Tim's Game Preview: Minnesota vs. New Orleans


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Last night in San Antonio, Eric Gordon scored 31 points on 11-of-19 shooting. It's the perfect timing for Gordon to show teams why they should overpay him this summer.

Minnesota Timberwolves (25-31) vs. New Orleans Hornets (14-41) at New Orleans Arena

The Minnesota Timberwolves come into tonight's game against the New Orleans Hornets having lost 4 straight games and 10 out of the last 13. The Wolves have not lost 5 in a row so far this season. They had 7 streaks of 5 or more losses in '10/'11 and 6 streaks of 5 or more losses in '09/'10.

The Hornets have lost 4 out of 5, including a 25-point road loss to the San Antonio Spurs last night. In the previous meeting between the Wolves and Hornets, which came the day after the Wolves lost Ricky Rubio for the season, New Orleans won 95-89 at Target Center.

New Orleans currently has the 3rd worst record in the NBA and is only 2 1/2 games ahead of the Washington Wizards.

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New Orleans' center Chris Kaman catching his dinner.

Projected Starting Lineups

C: Nikola Pekovic vs. Chris Kaman
PF: Kevin Love vs. Jason Smith
SF: Wesley Johnson vs. Trevor Ariza
SG: Martell Webster vs. Eric Gordon
PG: J.J. Barea vs. Greivis Vasquez

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Nikola Pekovic only played 22 minutes on Wednesday night against the Golden State Warriors, but he scored 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting. Hopefully, he can play more minutes tonight against the Hornets.

Last 5 Games

Minnesota Timberwolves (5th in Northwest, 15 1/2 behind OKC; 12th in West, 5 1/2 behind DEN for 8th)

Wed, Mar 28: Win at Charlotte 88-83
Fri, Mar 30: Loss vs. Boston 79-100
Sun, Apr 1: Loss at Portland 106-119
Mon, Apr 2: Loss at Sacramento 108-116
Wed, Apr 4: Loss vs. Golden State 94-97

New Orleans Hornets (5th in Southwest, 26 behind SAS; 15th in West, 16 behind DEN for 8th)

Thu, Mar 29: Loss at Portland 93-99
Sat, Mar 31: Loss at LA Lakers 85-88
Sun, Apr 1: Loss at Phoenix 75-92
Wed, Apr 4: Win vs. Denver 94-92
Fri, Apr 6: Loss at San Antonio 103-128

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Does Gustavo Ayon deserve to make an All-Rookie Team this season?

Injuries

Minnesota Timberwolves

Michael Beasley - Questionable with a sprained left big toe

Darko Milicic - Questionable with a strained right hamstring

Luke Ridnour - Out indefinitely with a sprained right ankle

Ricky Rubio - Out for the remainder of the season

New Orleans Hornets

Jarrett Jack - Questionable with a sprained right foot

Chris Johnson - Questionable after a concussion

Emeka Okafor - Out indefinitely with a sore left knee

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If you can name every player on the New Orleans Hornets without looking at the roster, you deserve some sort of prize.

Noteworthy Stats

  • Offensive stat comparison
    Nikola Pekovic: 18.7 pts, 10.0 rebs, .620 TS%, .174 WS/48
    Marc Gasol: 14.4 pts, 9.1 rebs, .537 TS%, .157 WS/48
    Andrew Bynum 18.7 pts, 12.0 rebs, .616 TS%, .199 WS/48
    Dwight Howard: 19.4 pts, 13.6 rebs, .572 TS%, .185 WS/48
    DeMarcus Cousins: 21.4 pts, 13.1 rebs, .506 TS%, .110 WS/48
  • This season, J.J. Barea is shooting .576 at the rim, and .293 everywhere else on the court
  • In 10 games, Malcolm Lee has 12 turnovers, 10 assists and 10 made field goals
  • Wesley Johnson is 4th on the Timberwolves in total minutes (1249) and 13th on the team in total free throw attempts (27). Only Malcolm Lee and Brad Miller (both tied at 8) have taken fewer free throw attempts this season than Johnson
  • Gustavo Ayon, a 26-year old rookie for the Hornets, had the highest WS/48 (.131) on the team. Jarrett Jack is second at .116. Ayon and Jack would have the 3rd and 4th highest WS/48 on the Timberwolves, behind only Love (.234) and Pekovic (.174)

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Glen Taylor and David Kahn believe that Wesley Johnson can be turned into an All-Star level small forward this offseason. Now, if they could only find where they put those cheat codes.

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