Minnesota Timberwolves (17-55, 5-31 road) vs. OKC Thunder (46-24, 25-10 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 110.9 (6th), Wolves– 104.4 (24th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 107.2 (15th), Wolves – 110.4 (25th)
Pace: Thunder – 92.7 (12th), Wolves – 96.6 (1st)
View from the enemy: A Wolf Among Wolves
Minnesota rolls into town sans Kevin Love. Who’s excited for this one!?!? Here’s the thing though: The Wolves really aren’t as bad as their record. They’ve lost a lot of close games (one being to the Thunder), have some talented scorers and if you fall asleep for a half, you can give one away. There’s no reason OKC shouldn’t take care of business in three quarters, but don’t underestimate Minnesota. I mean, need I remind you what happened last Sunday?
Minnesota coming in: The Wolves have lost five straight and last played last night against Dallas.
Without Kevin Love, the Wolves obviously are missing a big piece. But Anthony Randolph started in his place last night and dropped 31-11 against the Mavs. He’s super athletic, long and gifted. Serge Ibaka will have his hands full with Randolph who when he locks in, can be a really dynamic talent. Also inside is Darko Milicic who should play tonight after missing a few games because of personal reasons. If Darko doesn’t play it’ll be Nikola Pekovic. Either way, Kendrick Perkins will be fine inside.
Michael Beasley is a pretty good scorers and with his size can score over Kevin Durant. Problem is, Beasley will have issues checking KD on the other end. Wesley Johnson and Martell Webster will also see some time on KD, but without Corey Brewer Minnesota doesn’t have a good player to handle Durant.
Same issue with Luke Ridnour checking Russell Westbrook. Ridnour can shoot, but Westbrook should overpower him off the dribble. Where Minnesota can hurt you is if Beasley gets it going to go with Ridnour, Wayne Ellington and Johnson getting hot from outside. Then they’re a little dangerous.
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go Thunderwolves.