Tim's Game Preview: Game 48, San Antonio Spurs

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Ho, hum. The Spurs are 2nd in the Western Conference and fifteen games over .500. How boring.

Minnesota Timberwolves (23-24) vs. San Antonio Spurs (29-14) at AT&T Center

The San Antonio Spurs come into tonight's game fully rested, having not played since Saturday night against the Dallas Mavericks, and fully healed. Manu Ginobili broke his left hand in the Wolves-Spurs matchup on January 2nd of this year, but Manu is back, and is looking to help the Spurs avoid losing two games in a row for the first time since January.They have won 14 straight over the Wolves at the AT&T Center.

The Wolves will once again be without Nikola Pekovic and may be without Michael Beasley. They avoided what would have been a terrible loss to a tanking Golden State Warriors team on Monday and are looking to finish up this road trip on a positive note. They are currently 2-3 on the road trip with tonight's game and Friday's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder yet to play.

Minnesota won the first two games of the series this year and are looking to make it a sweep against the Spurs.

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Stephen Jackson is back with the Spurs after winning a title with the team in 2003.

Projected Starting Lineups

C: Darko Milicic vs. Tim Duncan
PF: Kevin Love vs. DeJuan Blair
SF: Wesley Johnson vs. Kawhi Leonard
SG: Martell Webster vs. Daniel Green
PG: Luke Ridnour vs. Tony Parker

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With Derrick Rose's Bulls continuing to win games without him, Kevin Love's name has to be rising in the MVP rankings this season. He had a ridiculous 36 points and 17 rebounds against the Warriors on Monday.

Last 5 Games

Minnesota Timberwolves (4th in Northwest, 11 1/2 behind OKC; 11th in West, 2 behind Houston)

Mon, Mar 12: Win at Phoenix 127-124
Thu, Mar 15: Loss at Utah 105-111 (OT)
Fri, Mar 16: Loss at LA Lakers 92-97
Sun, Mar 18: Loss at Sacramento 99-115
Mon, Mar 19: Win at Golden State 97-93

San Antonio Spurs (1st in Southwest, 4 ahead of DAL; 2nd in West, 3 1/2 behind OKC)

Fri, Mar 9: Loss vs. LA Clippers 108-120
Mon, Mar 12: Win vs. Washington 112-97
Wed, Mar 14: Win vs. Orlando 122-111
Fri, Mar 16: Win at Oklahoma City 114-105
Sat, Mar 17: Loss at Dallas 99-106

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Nikola Pekovic will not play tonight or in Friday's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Injuries

Minnesota Timberwolves

Michael Beasley - Questionable with a sore left toe

Nikola Pekovic - Will not play tonight due to a sore ankle

Ricky Rubio - Out for the remainder of the season

San Antonio Spurs

No significant injuries


Noteworthy Stats

  • In their January 2nd win over the Spurs, the Wolves had all five starters in double figure scoring, which is one of only 4 games in which that has happened (Jan 21 @ UTA, Mar 1 @ PHX and Mar 9 vs. LAL). They are 2-2 in those games.
  • The Timberwolves are 5th in the NBA in free throw differential, shooting an average of 4 more free throws per game than their opponents. The Spurs are tied for 6th at +3.1. Denver leads the league at +7.4 per game, while Toronto and Golden State are tied for last at -6.4 per game.
  • T.J. Ford, who began the season with the Spurs but recently retired due to medical issues, finished his career with averages of 11.2 points, 5.8 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game. He had 306 NBA starts and played in 18 playoff games with the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers
  • In the month of March, Manu Ginobili is shooting 52% from three (15-of-29). Ginobili has only played 340 minutes in 15 games this season, and still has 8 more free throw attempts than Wesley Johnson, who has played 1030 minutes in 46 games.
  • Rick Adelman's Wolves would have to lose their next 94 in a row to match Kurt Rambis' win percentage in Minnesota. Gregg Popovich would have to lose his next 3,838 games in a row to equal the .195 win percentage.

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After watching the Dwight Howard saga during this year's trade season, you have to wonder if Spurs' owner Peter Holt is satisfied with the outcome of the CBA negotiations.

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