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Timberwolves Notes: Muhammad in Reno, Suns at Target Center

Some notes for your morning cup.

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Shabazz Muhammad made his D-League debut yesterday for the Iowa Energy, and scored 24 points, had seven rebounds, two assists, and a steal (!). Ridiculous Upside wrote about it: sounds like an impressive performance, though with most of his activity and success around the rim, which is going to be difficult to replicate in the NBA.  Still, congratulations to Muhammad for going out there and playing well.

The Wolves are home to the surprising Phoenix Suns tonight.  It's an 8:30 pm Central start as it's the 2nd half of ESPN's Wednesday double header.

The Suns have been arguably the biggest surprise in the NBA this season, as it looked like they were in full tank mode for the season, especially after they traded starting center Marcin Gortat.  They currently sit at 20-13 and firmly in the playoff picture in the Western Conference. Their back court of Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe has been superb, the team as a whole is scoring efficiently and making threes, and the Morris twins seem to have made a simultaneous step forward.

However, tonight, the Suns will be without Bledsoe, who has a sprained knee, and are playing the 2nd night of a road back to back, having lost in Chicago last night.  One specific area where the Suns struggle is with defensive rebouding. Bright Side of the Sun just wrote about it. The Wolves should have some advantages and need to make them count.  They look once again to get above .500 on the season.

Around the League: I wonder what odds you could have gotten on a two team parlay last night picking the Kings and Jazz to win their games against the Blazers and Thunder?

The more I think about it, the less I like the Luol Deng trade for the Cavs.  I feel like they could have done better with that Bynum contract and a pick; Deng is a UFA in the summer, and I wouldn't want to be in the position of having to give him a huge contract or see him walk away.  Given how bad the Eastern Conference is, they still have a good shot at the playoffs, but that's a high price to pay.

Today in History

1598: Jews expelled from Genoa, Italy
1790: George Washington delivers first State of the Union address
1815: Battle of New Orleans 
1867: African American men granted right to vote in Washington DC
1912: African National Congress formed

Today's musical birthday is Elvis Presley, born in 1935 (d. 1977).

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