Scouting Report: Wolves vs. Kings

Updated: May 3, 2004, 5:54 PM ET
By Brian James | Special to ESPN Insider
Timberwolves' plus-minus breakdown | Kings' plus-minus breakdown

Brian James, a former assistant coach with the Pistons, Raptors and Wizards, spent the 2003-04 season scouting for the SuperSonics. Insider tapped his NBA expertise to break down each playoff series.

Even though Minnesota doesn't want to admit it, the pressure to get out of the first round (at least) was enormous. At times, their play against Denver reflected that pressure. In this round, however, we should see the energetic and electrifying Timberwolves play with even more resolve.

Sacramento, mainly Peja Stojakovic, got the defensive stops on Dallas' last possession in three of their four victories. They definitely deserved to advance, having gone into Dallas, where the Mavericks had the best home record, and earned a split. It is no secret these two franchises have stability, and that is a major reason why they're so successful.

Only Minnesota managed to venture into crazy Arco Arena and win twice this season, once in a high-energy game with a lot of scoring and once in a lower-scoring affair. Minnesota's big three of Kevin Garnett, Sam Cassell and Latrell Sprewell led this team all season long, scoring 64 percent of the team's points, 72 percent in Game 5 against Denver. The rest of the roster has provided a lift periodically, and the team chemistry is excellent.