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Timberwolves in Philly, All-Stars Named

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The Wolves are in Philadelphia for a rematch with the Sixers in a battle of the bottom of the barrel tonight.

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The entire NBA watching public will be riveted tonight when the Wolves and Sixers face off in an inter-conference battle of the ages. It will be like those Celtics-Lakers battles of old, only not.

Two of the worst teams in the league are facing off tonight with the Wolves looking to avoid a season sweep by the Sixers, who got their first win of the season after 17 straight losses when they visited Target Center in December in one of the truly terrible games of the season. The Sixers didn't even play well, and still were able to notch their first win that night as both teams shot under 40%. It was not pretty.

Since then, the Sixers have been merely run-of-the-mill bad as opposed to historically bad, going 9-20 since their 0-17 start. They still have the worst offense in the league, featuring the lowest efg% and highest turnover rate, a combination that impresses even this Wolves fan. They are running out virtually all rookies and 2nd year players to see what sticks. So far, Robert Covington has impressed with his three point shooting, K.J. McDaniels has shown a nice all around game but his shooting has gone in the tank, and Nerlens Noel has been a defensive force but terrible offensively. Most disappointing is that Michael Carter-Williams appears to have regressed from his modest rookie of the year campaign.

They are much better defensively at 13th in the league, driven by their ability to force turnovers at the highest rate in the league. Conversely, the are the worst defensive rebounding squad in the NBA, something the Wolves should be able to take advantage of.

On the other end of the spectrum, the all-star reserves were named yesterday. The Hawks got three players in (Millsap, Horford, and Teague), Jimmy Butler is an all-star for the first time, and Wade, Bosh, and Kyrie Irving also made the East squad, though Wade probably won't play due to his hamstring injury.

In the West, wow. Rough. Kevin Durant, Tim Duncan, Klay Thompson, James Harden, Chris Paul, and Russell Westbrook were named, and an injury replacement for Kobe Bryant will be chosen by Adam Silver. Incredibly, DeMarcus Cousins got left out, as did Damian Lillard.

A reminder that the all-star break is longer this year; the Wolves play on February 11th, a Wednesday, then not again until the following Friday, 2/20. We'll still be here, though!

Elsewhere, Kobe Bryant underwent surgery on his shoulder and is out for the season, but hopes to return for the start of next year. The Lakers went out and beat the Bulls in double OT last night without him and Nick Young; our old friend Wayne Ellington finished with 23.

Today in History

1661: Oliver Cromwell ritually executed after having been dead for two years. Odd. 
1781: Maryland 13th state to ratify articles of confederation
1815: Burned library of Congress is re-opened with Thomas Jefferson's thousands of books
1835: First presidential assassination attempt fails to take the life of Andrew Jackson
1931: Charlie Chaplin's City Lights premieres in Los Angeles
1933: Hitler named German Chancellor, forms government
1948: Mahatma Gandhi assassinated in New Delhi
1956: Martin Luther King Jrs. house is bombed
1965: State funeral for Winston Churchill in London
1972: Bloody Sunday sees 27 unarmed people shot (14 killed) by British troops during a march in Derry.

No appealing musical birthday today, so here's a Doomtree track from their new album

Have a great Friday.