National Basketball Association
Preview
Minnesota at Chicago
When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, February 27, 2015
Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois

While the Minnesota Timberwolves adjust to having a franchise icon back, the Chicago Bulls are getting used to playing without their star point guard after yet another injury. The Bulls play their second game since losing Derrick Rose to a torn meniscus when they host the Timberwolves on Friday. Minnesota is coming off a 97-77 home win over Washington in Kevin Garnett's first game back with the team.

Garnett's return to Minnesota was successful as a new round of Timberwolves stars led a convincing victory while the veteran fan favorite contributed five points and eight rebounds after a standing ovation before the tip. "Tonight it was just over the top," Garnett told reporters. "I did not know the city missed me like this. I don't think you can ever wish or ever think the city loves you like this." Chicago's love affair with Rose has been a tumultuous one, and he is scheduled for surgery Friday morning — his third knee surgery since winning the NBA MVP in 2011.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN North (Minnesota), WPWR (Chicago)

ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (13-43): Minnesota has the worst record in the Western Conference but has won five of its last eight. Garnett's return provided Minnesota with a mentor for a new generation of stars including Rookie of the Year candidate Andrew Wiggins (15.6 points) and center Nikola Pekovic (13.8 points, 7.8 rebounds). Garnett is no longer a big-time scorer, but the Timberwolves have one in shooting guard Kevin Martin (21 points), who forms a solid backcourt duo with Ricky Rubio (10.6 points, 8.2 assists, 5.6 rebounds).

ABOUT THE BULLS (36-22): Chicago should be past the point of panic about losing Rose, who missed most of the past two seasons, but his 18.4 points and five assists are not easily replaced. The Bulls can't count on much more scoring production from Jimmy Butler (20.2 points, 5.9 rebounds) and Pau Gasol (18.4 points, 12.1 rebounds). Aaron Brooks (10.6 points, 2.7 assists) and Kirk Hinrich (6.5 points, 2.4 assists) will share Rose's role, and key reserves Nikola Mirotic (7.2 points) and Tony Snell (5.2 points) will need to do more offensively.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Gasol has a league-best 38 double-doubles including 17 in his last 18 games.

2. The Timberwolves are 3-42 when shooting for a lower percentage than the opposition.

3. The Bulls forced nine turnovers in Wednesday's 98-86 loss to Charlotte, only the third time in the past 29 games they have failed to force 10 or more.

PREDICTION: Bulls 95, Timberwolves 92

Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Minnesota 13-43 W1 8-21 5-22 0-2 13-41 2-7 5-28
Chicago 36-22 L1 17-12 19-10 2-1 34-21 6-4 21-13
Last Meeting
Minnesota Chicago
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
11/1/14 CHI 106 MIN 105 105 42 44.7 106 38 47.8
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Minnesota K. Martin 33 64.3 11
Chicago J. Butler 24 50.0 11
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Minnesota G. Dieng 8 4 4
Chicago J. Noah 11 3 8
Assists Player  
Minnesota R. Rubio 17
Chicago A. Brooks 5
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Minnesota A. Wiggins 922 43.6 200
Chicago J. Butler 1167 46.8 355
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Minnesota G. Dieng 524 201 323
Chicago P. Gasol 730 172 558
Assists Player  
Minnesota Z. Lavine 167
Chicago D. Rose 254
Quickchart Matchup
Minnesota Off vs  Chicago Defense
97.8 Points For
98.7 Points Against
43.5 FG%
44.2 FG%
41.8 Reb
43.2 Reb
Chicago Off vs  Minnesota Defense
101.6 Points For
105.8 Points Against
44.3 FG%
48.7 FG%
43.2 Reb
43.0 Reb