Thunder at Wolves
7:00 pm CST
Copied from this morning's article cause I'm a lazy bastard:
There is no let up for the Wolves in this tough stretch of the schedule, as the Oklahoma City Thunder visit Target Center tonight, followed by a road game in Houston tomorrow and then a return visit to OKC after that. Finding a desperately needed win is going to be difficult as the Wolves try to emerge from what is becoming more than a tough stretch and instead looking like what they are: a callow team that remains far away from anything resembling a contender.
The Thunder, with their two huge stars--Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook--under new head coach Billy Donovan, appear much the same as they have been for most of the last half decade: a 55 win team that is perhaps a rung below the very best teams in the league. They currently sit at 26-12, 3rd in the West, and feature an offense that is second best in the league, but struggle a bit defensively (14th).
On offense it's the Durant and Westbrook show, with both averaging over 25 a night. Durant is on the verge of a 50-40-90 season while Westbrook is a walking triple double. They don't take a ton of threes as a team, but they make the ones they do take, get to the line as well as anyone, have the 3rd best eFG% in the NBA, and are the best offensive rebounding team in the league so far. In other words, they are hard to stop, and it's difficult to see how the Wolves will have the wherewithal to slow them down. They absolutely MUST gang rebound tonight--the Thunder are too good to give them 2nd chance opportunities, something that has hurt the Wolves in recent games.
The Wolves also must win the turnover battle, an area where the Thunder are relatively weak. Forcing some live ball turnovers that can turn into transition opportunities will be especially important. Mostly though, you have to play as well as you can and hope for an off-shooting night from the Thunder. I wouldn't count on it.
Much more importantly, tonight is 90s throwback night. I admit I find it a little disturbing that the 90s are fodder for "retro," but I guess that's how it goes. To the point, it appears as if the Wolves are going to wear their 90s jerseys, which yes thank you very much:
Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) January 12, 2016
*My pick for MPE. Usually it's a perimeter guy, but I can see Adams killing the Wolves on the offensive glass and getting a bunch of put backs that demoralize us.
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Enjoy. Chat. Go.