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Timberwolves Start Back to Back in Atlanta vs. the Hawks

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Some thoughts on the Hawks and my weekend for Sunday morning.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Good Sunday morning to you all. I hope your weekend is a fun one. Friday night I made Shabbat dinner for a couple of my child's friends, something that is becoming a tradition every other Friday night despite the fact that I'm not even remotely religious. But it's fun. Pot roast, potatoes with onion, carrots, and challah bread. Then they went off to chatter as 14 year olds do and I watched the Wolves-Pels.

Saturday: boring. Made French toast with the leftover challah. No EPL this weekend, and happily Spurs FA Cup fiasco wasn't televised, though I'm not unhappy they lost. Less games going forward.

I actually watched an hour of college basketball--Kansas vs. Texas. Didn't see anyone that looked like an NBA player, but then again I never do. You can't trust me when it comes to prospects.

What's been going on in your weekend?

The Wolves start a two game, back to back road trip tonight in Atlanta before flying to Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder on Monday night. Oy. That's a tough trip.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>.<a href="https://twitter.com/rickyrubio9">@rickyrubio9</a>... Always cool. (cc: <a href="https://twitter.com/David_Sherman">@David_Sherman</a>) <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/StayPositive?src=hash">#StayPositive</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Twolves?src=hash">#Twolves</a> <a href="http://t.co/XP2H2x9tor">pic.twitter.com/XP2H2x9tor</a></p>&mdash; Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) <a href="https://twitter.com/Twolves_PR/status/559126876112056320">January 24, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Ricky Rubio smiling as he boards the plane, probably because he doesn't have to play against the Hawks.

A reminder that today's game has a 5:00 pm CST start time in case you don't want to miss any of the carnage, as the team with the best record in the NBA hosts the team with the worst.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Say hello to back-to-back Western Conference ROM, <a href="https://twitter.com/22wiggins">@22wiggins</a> (cc: <a href="https://twitter.com/David_Sherman">@David_Sherman</a>) <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Twolves?src=hash">#Twolves</a> <a href="http://t.co/eYfMtGjiX5">pic.twitter.com/eYfMtGjiX5</a></p>&mdash; Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) <a href="https://twitter.com/Twolves_PR/status/559126204671074304">January 24, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Andrew Wiggins: Wondering when this season will ever end?

The Hawks are on an amazing 15 game winning streak and playing fantastic basketball. It's all come together for them this season, and they are a terrific example of not waiting around for a superstar, but building a terrific, entertaining team with smart transactions.

In truth, they kind of blew their chance at a superstar 10 years ago, when they had a dreadful season that could have netted them Chris Paul, but came away with Marvin Williams instead. They made a good lottery pick a couple of years later with Al Horford, but he is the only top 10 draft pick in their rotation, and along with Thabo Sefolosha 13th pick, 2006), one of two lottery picks who play regularly for them.

They have slowly put together a great, balanced roster that sits atop the Eastern Conference and is top 7 in both offensive and defensive rating. They've also done so while maintaining a very good payroll structure, making savvy trades and bargain free agent pick ups. It's been a masterful job, and there could be more goodies to come, as they get to swap first round picks with the Nets this year as a result of the brilliant (if you are the Hawks) Joe Johnson trade.

All five of the Hawks' starters average in double figures, with Jeff Teague, emerging as a top 10 point guard in the NBA, leading the way with 17.2 a night, followed by Paul Millsap and Al Horford, who is arguably their best player and only scores 15 a night.

All of their starters have above league average efg%, led by the amazing Kyle Korver, at 70.7%. Not. A. Typo. Teams are so scared of Korver that they load up the defense to stop him, which is one of the reasons everyone else gets good looks. He bends defenses in amazing ways, and gets so much attention that DeMarre Carroll actually has more shot attempts (in fewer minutes) than does Korver. He's a unique and powerful weapon.

Since losing the Raptors on the day before Thanksgiving, the Hawks have gone 29 and 2. Yep.

It's hard to imagine the Wolves staying in this one, but if they do, it will probably be on the glass, where the Hawks are relatively weak. Hopefully this is a decent game, because watching the Hawks in a good one is a real pleasure.

Anyway, enjoy your Sunday, and we'll be back with a game thread later.