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Wolves Travel to San Antonio for Round Two Against the Spurs, Notes from Around the League, Things That Are Great

The Timberwolves look to rebound from a tough loss against the Pacers over the holiday weekend with another match-up vs the San Antonio Spurs, one of the best teams in the league. The young Wolves will need to have one of their strongest games to hope to beat the veteran team.

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The Timberwolves match-up tonight against the San Antonio Spurs, against whom they played last week and were thoroughly dismantled as the Spurs proved themselves the vastly superior team. This was no surprise coming into the game, as the Spurs are one of top three teams in the league and are on a historical rate for team differential, only ranking behind the Golden State Warriors in average margin of victory of all time(the Warriors are at 13.28 to the Spurs 13.09).

Hopefully tonight's game will be a more even game and the Wolves manage to keep the score close throughout. It will take a much stronger performance from Andrew Wiggins, as in the previous meeting he struggled to deal with the Spurs tough defense and their (obviously scouted) anticipation of his drives off the curl screens.

However, the Spurs looked mortal on Christmas Day as they were beaten by the Houston Rockets in a close game. While the Spurs aren't known as a team to lose games in succession, the Wolves may be able to surprise the Spurs as they recover from their loss.

The Wolves rotation seems to be solidifying a bit in the backcourt now that Tyus Jones has been called up from the D-league. The game against the Pacers was now the second in a row where Tyus has played the backup point position with Zach LaVine playing the 2-spot.

This change has left Kevin Martin out the rotation, which has been confirmed by Jerry Zgoda yesterday in his Sunday Article. Zgoda claims, after talking to Mitchell, that Martin likely won't play again until he is traded.

Bit of a fun note from the weekend. I travelled back to Minnesota for the holidays and went to the Timberwolves game on Saturday against the Pacers with my father. While it wasn't the most impressive display of basketball from the Wolves, I am now a proud owner of one Karl-Anthony Towns bobble-head. It will make a nice addition to my desk back at home in Baltimore.

Notes From Around the League

The Phoenix Suns are in a state of turmoil as Eric Bledsoe was injured on Saturday night. He has likely suffered meniscus damage and could be out till after the All-Star break. Adding to the damage, Marc Stein has reported that due to the Suns 5-15 swoon the Suns' coach, Jeff Hornacek, is in the hot seat.

NBA released their anti-gun commercial, featuring Steph Curry, on Christmas Day. This has been an largely unprecedented move by a major league sports organization as they usually like to avoid political topics that might alienate some of their fans. The NBA worked with Everytown for Gun Safety to produce the series of ads, an organization founded by former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Ish Smith was traded from the New Orleans Pelicans to the Philadelphia 76ers for two second round picks. While this isn't a monumental trade by any stretch of the imagination, it does signal a distinct shift of practice for the 76ers with their new front office, as this is a trade that Sam Hinkie would likely have never approved.

This Week in... Things That are Great!

Most of the major entertainment websites are running their "Top X Movies of the Year" lists around this time and I've been finding one of my favorite movies often missing.

Dope, starring newcomer Shameik Moore, is a bit hard to explain. The best I have come up with so far is inner-city Superbad, but with a bit of a political message.

The soundtrack is great for those who love old-school hip-hop and the movie revels in telling a fun story about three teenagers just trying to make things work out. Pharrell Williams contributed heavily to choosing the soundtrack as well as creating the original songs in the film.

Happy Monday