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GameThread #34: vs. Orlando

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The Wolves start 2010 off against the 08/09 Eastern Conference Champions. But, this isn't the same team that mustered only 1 win against the Lakers. Instead of Hedo Turkoglu and Courtney Lee, they've got Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson. Instead of Brian Cook, Rafer Alston and Keith Bogans they've got Brandon Bass, Jason Williams and Matt Barnes. Since they're on track for a better record than last year, it seems safe to say that all these changes were upgrades.

Last year the Wolves lost both bouts with Orlando by a combined 35 points, both times getting drowned in 3 pointers. Despite the change in personnel, Orlando still shoots the lights out from downtown (and the Wolves perimeter defense still struggles, despite some marked improvement lately). If you're able to deny the ball to their shooters, though, Orlando has a guy named Dwight Howard in the post (the same guy who averaged 19.5 points, 9.5 boards and 5.5 blocks against the Wolves last year.

It's a good mental test for the Wolves to try and bounce back from a close loss, regardless of tonight or Wednesday's opponent.

Evan & Co. at Orlando Pinstriped Post are one of the top NBA blogging crews and nice chaps to boot.