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Tim's Game Preview: Game 29, Los Angeles Clippers

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#FreeBlakeGriffin. I think the Wolves would be willing to give up Paulo Prestes and a 2nd round pick for him.

Minnesota Timberwolves (28-0) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (7-21) at Staples Center

While the snow continues to fall, there is one game tonight that is getting national attention and that every Minnesota sports fan is going to have his or her eyes on: the matchup between Kevin Love of the Timberwolves and Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers.

The two greatest young power forwards of this generation are the keys to victory for their squads tonight. Unfortunately for the Wolves, their designated "Griffin Stopper" - Darko Milicic - is still questionable for the game, which means that either Love, Nikola Pekovic or Kosta Koufos will have to stop the former Sooner.

The best option to stop Blake Griffin? David Kahn. Kahn needs to get on the phone with the Clippers and trade for Griffin. Offer them cap relief. Offer them future draft picks. Offer them a Brett Favre-autographed football and season tickets at Target Field. But if we trade for Griffin, I think that will solve our biggest matchup problem tonight.

Let's break down the rest of tonight's game:

 

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You should be scared, DeAndre. B Easy and the Wolves are gonna win big tonight.

Kosta Koufos vs. DeAndre Jordan

In his last game against Minnesota, at Target Center back on November 17th, DeAndre Jordan went 5-for-5 for 11 points and 7 rebounds. In November, Jordan was going up against Darko and Anthony Tolliver, both of whom are likely sitting out tonight's game with injuries. Now that he's going up against the defensive stalwart known as Kosta Koufos, Jordan is going to have a much tough time scoring and rebounding the basketball.

Kosta Koufos is finally getting a chance at major minutes with the Wolves this season and its just another opportunity for the team to show its depth. David Kahn has built such a fantastic squad that you can look at any piece, from Kevin Love all the way down, and feel confident about getting a significant contribution.

There are only about 2-3 other teams in the league for which Koufos would not start - Orlando, the Lakers, and maybe the New York Knicks - and if Koufos were on the Clippers, he'd probably be their 2nd or 3rd option. Tonight, the rest of the NBA will take notice.

Winner: Kosta Koufos

 

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Blake Griffin had two dreams as a kid: 1. To meet "the real" Dora the Explorer and 2. To be the best power forward in the NBA. I think the first dream is more realistic than the second.

Kevin Love vs. Blake Griffin

If you were Blake Griffin, wouldn't you want to play for the Timberwolves? You'd be the top candidate each year for the Sixth Man of the Year award. You'd be able to back up the best power forward in the league. You'd be able to take advantage of living in one of the U.S.'s best media markets. You might even be able to meet celebrities like Prince, Michelle Bachmann and Amelia Santaniello.

While I'm still hopeful that a deal goes down within the next five hours, in case it doesn't, Griffin will get to see for the second time this year why it would be better to join us than to try to beat us. Griffin might be able to thrown down a flashy dunk from time to time. But can he shoot the three? Can he grab 30 rebounds in a game? Can he make a short film about 'Coats'?

I doubt it. I'd really like to have Blake Griffin and Kevin Love both on the Wolves. But if I have to choose just one, then all I need is Love. 

Winner: Kevin Love

 

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Ryan, don't let him pull that move. Don't let him pull that move! That's the move! Oh, that's the move!

Michael Beasley vs. Ryan Gomes

Ryan Gomes, from everything I know about him, is a great guy who I enjoyed watching while he was in the lineup for the Timberwolves. Unfortunately, Gomes is a lot like that guy at the gym who you let play on your pick-up team because he's a stand up fellow, even though he isn't very good at basketball. In the first game against the Wolves, Ryan Gomes let Michael Beasley make the winning shot, even though every person in the stadium knew what Beasley was going to do.

Even for Gomes, he is having one of the worst seasons of his career. He's shooting under 40% from the floor. He's scoring only 7.3 points per game and grabbing 3.8 rebounds per game, both of which are career lows. Even in his rookie season, when he was getting fewer minutes and fewer shot attempts, his numbers were better.

Michael Beasley, on the other hand, is having a career year. Even in games like he had against the Nuggets - 17 points and 5 rebounds - his performance this season still eclipses Ryan Gomes' performance at the same spot last season.

For tonight, I can only hope that Gomes has studied his tape a little better so that he doesn't get embarrassed again.

Winner: Michael Beasley

 

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Admit it. Eric Gordon would be the last person in that picture who you would choose to play on your team. That includes the cardboard cutouts of Dirk Nowitzki and Candace Parker. 

Martell Webster vs. Eric Gordon

In his last game against the Timberwolves, Eric Gordon scored 30 points - 10 of them from the foul line - and dished out 7 assists. It wasn't enough. The Clippers still lost.

Two nights ago, against the Chicago Bulls, Eric Gordon scored only 15 points with only 2 assists.

The conclusion is clear? Martell Webster is the best shooting guard in Timberwolves' history.

Wesley Johnson is pretty good, too. Together, they make a tandem that is going to shut down Eric Gordon. I'm thinking that the former Hoosier might score 8 points tonight. He might have a couple of assists, since he'll be forced to pass most of the time. But he's definitely not going to score 30.

Martell Webster might score 30. If he's having an off night.

Winner: Martell Webster

 

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Donald Sterling shows his unconditional support for his point guard. 

Jonny Flynn vs. Baron Davis

According to reports, Donald Sterling has been heckling his point guard Baron Davis - the highest paid player on the team that Sterling owns - for Davis' play. Sterling has been quoted as saying things like, "Why are you in the game?" "Why did you take that shot?" "You're out of shape!" "What's your favorite Korean take out restaurant in Los Angeles?" and "Do you have Jessica Alba's number?"

Can you imagine Glen Taylor heckling Jonny Flynn from the sidelines? The toughest part for Taylor would be thinking up stuff to heckle Flynn about. After all, Flynn is an All-Star caliber point guard who outplays nearly every other point guard he comes up against. If Taylor were to heckle Flynn, he's have to say things like,

"Hey, give the other guy a chance, Jonny!"

"Only 15 assists tonight? What gives?"

"I haven't seen a defensive point guard this good since Gary Payton."

Maybe when we trade for Blake Griffin, we can take back Baron Davis' contract as well. In garbage time, we can take Flynn out, but Davis in, and let him play a few minutes without having to hear trash talk from anyone other than the hot dog vendors he owes money to.

Winner: Jonny Flynn

 

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This guy will be there tonight. If I were David Kahn, I'd go sit by him and yell, 'SIMMONS!" every five minutes as the Wolves blow out the Clippers.

My prediction: Timberwolves 118 - Los Angeles Clippers 82

Timberwolves' Record: 29-0.


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