Tim's Game Preview: Game 30, Charlotte Bobcats


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Be warned: The Target Center may not be able to contain Pek and Biyombo at the same time.

Minnesota Timberwolves (13-16) vs. Charlotte Bobcats (3-25) at Target Center

The Minnesota Timberwolves have lost four games in a row and desperately need a win to get some positive momentum before a tough stretch.

Enter the Charlotte Bobcats.

Losers of fifteen in a row, the Bobcats have not won a game in over a month (Jan 14 against Golden State). They have only won one game on the road this season: an overtime victory in Madison Square Garden in which Jeremy Lin was a DNP The Bobcats have the worst average scoring margin in the league, -14.43, which is more than 6 points worse than the 29th-place Pistons (-8.37).

D.J. Augustin is back for the Bobcats, Gerald Henderson is still out, but let it be know: If the Wolves lose tonight, it might be time to sound the alarms and batten down the hatches. By the way, can someone please find a way to get Nikola Pekovic some shots in the 4th quarter? Anybody? Bueller?

(FYI: The participants for this year's three-point shootout will be Kevin Love, James Jones, Mario Chalmers, Ryan Anderson, Anthony Morrow and Joe Johnson)

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Jonny Flynn, rookie season: 16.8 pts, 5.5 asts, 1.3 stls (per-36), TS% of .511, USG 24.2%
Kemba Walker, rookie season: 15.9 pts, 4.5 asts, 1.2 stls (per-36), TS% of .468, USG 24.7%

I'm just saying.

Projected Starting Lineups

C: Nikola Pekovic vs. Bismack Biyombo
PF: Kevin Love vs. Boris Diaw
SF: Martell Webstervs. Corey Maggette
SG: Wesley Johnson vs. Reggie Williams
PG: Ricky Rubio vs. D.J. Augustin

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The Bobcats organization recently stopped sales of mini donuts at Time Warner Cable Arena because the smell was too distracting for Diaw.

Last 5 Games

Charlotte Bobcats: (5th in Southeast, 19 gms behind MIA; 15th in East, 10 1/2 gms behind 8th)

Sat, Feb 4: Loss at Phoenix 89-95
Tue, Feb 7: Loss at Boston 84-94
Fri, Feb 10: Loss vs. Chicago 64-95
Sat, Feb 11: Loss vs. LA Clippers 86-111
Mon, Feb 13, Loss vs. Philadelphia 89-98

Minnesota Timberwolves: (5th in Northwest, 9 1/2 gms behind OKC; 11th in West, 2 gms behind 8th)

Tue, Feb 7: Win vs. Sacramento 86-84
Wed, Feb 8: Loss at Memphis, 80-85
Fri, Feb 10: Loss vs. Dallas 97-104
Sat, Feb 11: Loss vs. Linsanity 98-100
Mon, Feb 13: Loss at Orlando 89-102

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With Luke Ridnour questionable again for tonight's game, Martell Webster is likely to get his second-straight start. As the Wolves' savior, it would be nice if he'd start his saving as soon as possible.

Injuries

Charlotte Bobcats:

D.J. Augustin - Small fracture in right big toe, Paul Silas said he will play tonight

Gerald Henderson - Strained right hamstring, expected to be out 2-4 weeks

Minnesota Timberwolves:

Martell Webster - Questionable with that haircut

Luke Ridnour - Questionable with personal reasons

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Byron Mullens has played 22 minutes a game this season for the Bobcats. That is really all that needs to be said to understand why their season is going so poorly.

Noteworthy Stats

  • 17 players in NBA history have finished their rookies season averaging more than 1.2 blocks per game and less than 5.0 rebounds per game. Bismack Biyombo currently has averages of 1.3 blocks and 4.0 rebounds, respectively
  • Wesley Johnson is currently shooting 37% on the season. If you take away his shots at the rim, that average drops to 28%
  • On the road this season, Corey Maggette is shooting only 27% from the field and 17% from three-point range, compared to 37% and 23% at home.
  • Sorted by PER, the Minnesota Timberwolves have 3 players in the top-100: Kevin Love (5th, 25.57), Nikola Pekovic (24th, 21.78) and Anthony Randolph (93rd, 16.75). Charlotte has 1 player in the top-100: D.J. Augustin (100th, 16.51)
  • Brad Miller has the 13th worst TOV% in the NBA at 31.6%. He is far behind the leader in TOV%, Ronny Turiaf, who is at 66.7%
  • In '09-'10, the season before the Wolves traded for him, Martell Webster had a WS/48 of .105. On the '11-'12 Timberwolves, that would be the 5th best WS/48 on the team, behind Love (.253), Pek (.187), Randolph (.127) and Rubio (.116). This season, Webster has a WS/48 of .010, which behind only Wesley Johnson (-.022) and Miller (-.067)

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I'm guessing Mr. Silas is rethinking this career move. If not, maybe Michael Jordan is rethinking it for him.

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