Wolves at Heat
6:30 pm Central
The Heat will be without Dwyane Wade (and Greg Oden), but Ray Allen will play tonight against the Timberwolves. They still have LeBron James, though, and that makes the Heat favorites just about any time they step onto the court. They certainly are tonight against a Wolves team that has had little success against them in recent years, and took a beating at Target Center earlier this year.
The Heat still have Eastern Conference home court to play for, as they are percentage points ahead of the Pacers for that spot. They have won four in a row since losing 10 days ago in Indiana.
The Wolves are without Dante Cunningham, who remains in Minneapolis (and apparently in jail). This just in:
Dante Cunningham charged in Hennepin County court on felony count domestic assault by strangulation
Dante Cunningham charged in Hennepin County court on felony count domestic assault by strangulation— Jerry Zgoda (@JerryZgoda) April 4, 2014
The Wolves also look to be without Nikola Pekovic, so it's another opportunity for Gogui Dieng to face one of the league's top teams.
It will be interesting to see how the Wolves attempt to guard LeBron James. Corey Brewer will start on him, but this might be a game where we see more of Luc Richard Mbah a Moute then we have in recent weeks. Hard to picture what the alternatives are; Cunningham isn't available, asking Muhammad to do it is completely unfair.
The Heat play at a very slow pace, which is opposite the Wolves; on the other hand, do the Wolves want to increase the number of possessions against a better team? The Heat turn the ball over a lot, but are also the best in the league at forcing turnovers, so that's something to keep an eye on. They also have struggled on the boards, so the Wolves will need to create extra possessions by getting on the offensive glass and forcing turnovers, while being careful with the ball themselves.
The Heat don't really start a traditional center, so we'll see how the Wolves handle that. My guess is that they will put Dieng on Haslem to start the game, but I don't know.
This is your first half game thread. This is a link to Hot Hot Hoops. Be excellent.
No pics, gifs, links.
Enjoy the game. Chat here. Go Wolves.