Timberwolves (24-24, 10-15 road) vs. Thunder (39-11, 21-3 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 109.8 (5th), Wolves – 108.5 (9th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 101.8 (4th), Wolves – 104.9 (9th)
Pace: Thunder – 95.2 (10th), Wolves – 97.3 (2nd)
The Timberwolves are here, and apparently they brought their weather with him. I wish they hadn’t have done that. But what the Thunder have in front of them is just another game against another solid team. What I find interesting about them is that they’re top 10 in both offense and defense, except they’re .500 and outside the playoffs. What’s the deal?
The perfect explanation for it is the Thunder’s last game against them. KD went off, but the Wolves had an excellent opportunity to win the game, and probably should have. But thy didn’t, which is the story of their season. They seem to lose any game that’s within two possessions, except that’s changed just a bit in the last two weeks.
The Wolves are missing two rotation guys in Nikola Pekovic and Corey Brewer, but Kevin Love is a player more than capable of picking up slack.
Three Big Things
1. Matchups. How do the Wolves play OKC tonight? Small with Love at center and Dante Cunningham at power forward, or some other variation of that. Serge Ibaka is improved in guarding on the perimeter, but it’s easy to fall asleep just for that split second and give him enough room. So a thought: If the Wolves do play Love at center super small, how about KD on him with a four guard lineup?
2. Transition defense. The Wolves like to run, primarily off long rebounds which lead to long outlet passes. But it’s those secondary breaks off misses they can really bust you on, those half transition plays where a trailer gets an open 3 or an early pick-and-roll. Gotta get back.
3. KD. He always seems to do something fairly fun against the Wolves. What’s he gonna do?
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go Warmer Weather.