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Game Preview #15: Pelicans at Wolves

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Wolves continue to show that things can always get worse.

Atlanta Hawks v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Yeah, but does StAtmUsE know that the pick is top-3 protected? Hah, in your face! Looks like the Timberwolves got the best of that exchange. Once again, Gersson Rosas is playing 4-D chess chess while the rest of the league is stuck in 2-D. As the front office and coaching staff have said this whole time, we just need to practice patience before our grand plan unfolds. We are a fanbase that is used to consistent success and excellence on the court, but we need to realize that it might be different for the first time.


Game Info

Who: New Orleans Pelicans (5-9) at Minnesota Timberwolves (3-11)
When: 7:00 pm CST
TV: Fox Sports North (streaming on the Fox Sports Go app)
Radio: 830 WCCO AM Radio


What To Watch For

  • The New Orleans Pelicans let their former #1 pick, Anthony Davis, walk out the door due to front office incompetence. Then they got lucky enough to win the 2019 lottery to draft Zion Williamson, a player who took an extremely long time to prove he had any talent.

Meanwhile the Timberwolves smartly used the past 3-4 seasons to build a strong, supportive foundation around their #1 pick, Karl-Anthony Towns, in order to retain him long-term. They were rightly rewarded with the top pick in the 2020 lottery which was widely presumed to be a legendarily strong draft class. They used that pick to select Anthony Edwards, a player who has had immediate success and led all rookies in scoring thus far into the season.

Though I wouldn’t put Edwards in same the lowly class as Williamson, tonight will likely be a showdown of the former top picks. 2019 vs. 2020. I’ll let you decide which year was better for the world.

  • No D’Angelo Russell? No problem. Despite being down both their all-stars tonight, the Wolves have shown that they don’t need either of their franchise cornerstones to defeat a NBA bottom dweller.
  • Sure, the Wolves aren’t the strongest rebounding team in the league (18th per 100 possessions), but I’ll be watching the Pelicans (5th per 100 possessions) struggle to keep Jarred Vanderbilt and Naz Reid off the glass. Williamson and Steven Adams will have their work cut out for them tonight.
  • The Pelicans have struggled to defend their opponents lately. They’ve given up an average of 111 points in their past 9 contests. Meanwhile the Wolves boast an impressive 115 points per opponent in their last 9 contests. That’s how stats work, right? As Kevin Garnett once said, “This ain’t golf!” With the Wolves scoring higher defensive marks, they will also likely outscore the Pelicans on the other end as well. As we all expected, Minnesota has pretty much become “Houston North.” And we all know how well Houston has done lately.

Injury Report

Pelicans: NONE.


Predictions

  • Ant is going to take the astute advice of Coach Saunders and “dunk everything” tonight. That includes a poster for every single Pelican. Watch out King Cake Baby! You’re next!
  • I expect former MVP Ricky Rubio and NBA star Malik Beasley to combine for at least 100 points tonight. The older Ball brother will be tormented by Rubio 1-legged fading bank shots all night until he calls LaMelo to tell him how unlucky he was to not get drafted by the Timberwolves.
  • The Minnesota Timberwolves highlight every big network story of the night, as they crush the Pelicans 200-4. Wolves fans will unite and lock arms (Through Zoom, of course) to tell the world their favorite Timberwolves memories of all-time. ESPN offers to buyout CanisHoopus and their loyal commenters for $1,000,000, but we deny that offer by citing the trillions of CH points we have saved up which contain much more monetary value than their deal.
  • My girlfriend replaces that Lakers poster sitting above out couch with a poster of Chris Johnson.