Preview 3 of 82: Timberwolves @ Thunder

TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma

Radio: WWLS (98.1 FM OKC / 97.1 FM Tulsa)

Game Notes: Thunder / Timberwolves

After last night’s 96-87 loss to the Utah Jazz, the dream of a perfect 82-0 Thunder season is lost. However, it’s far from time for Thunder fans to panic. Russell Westbrook warned the media during training camp that this new-look Thunder offense would take time to perfect. Who am I to question Russell Westbrook?

The good news for the Thunder is they’re headed home to Chesapeake Energy Arena to face a young Minnesota Timberwolves team that is struggling defensively. The Timberwolves are 1-1 heading into tonight’s game after dropping their season opener to San Antonio and picking up a win versus Utah. During the offseason, the T-Wolves made two notable additions to their roster in Jimmy Butler and Jeff Teague.


Injury Report

Thunder

  • N/A

Timberwolves

  • Justin Patton: Out — Foot

Starting Five


Notes

  • In a stark contrast to opening night, Russell Westbrook scored just 6 points and tallied 7 turnovers versus Utah. Expect more balanced scoring from the “OK3” tonight and more opportunities for Russ to drive to the basket. Knowing Westbrook, expect him to come out with a vengeance as well.
  • In the way of balanced shooting, Carmelo Anthony needs to be more selective with his shot. He went 8-for-20 on opening night and 11-for-26 last night. We love you man, but efficiency is key.
  • Getting boards could be the difference for the Thunder on both ends tonight. Against Utah, Westbrook grabbed 10 rebounds, but no other player had more than three. That won’t work versus the Timberwolves, who beat the same Utah team behind a combined 18 rebounds from big men Karl-Anthony Towns and Taj Gibson.
  • Patrick Patterson’s minutes are steadily increasing and it’s time for him to shine offensively. Last night showed flashes of the dynamic player Patterson could be for the Thunder. He’s a solid defender, but also a sharp perimeter shooter. Having him on the court tonight will space the floor offensively against a long Timberwolves team.

Paul George discusses last night’s sloppy loss in Salt Lake City. Via Royce Young.

Russell Westbrook after last night’s 6 point, 13 rebound, 9 assist, 7 turnover effort. Via Royce Young.

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