This also counts as an open thread, so feel free to post your thoughts during the game here.
Time: 7:00 p.m. Central Standard Time
Place: The New Myriad, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
TV: Fox Sports Net Oklahoma, Fox Sports Net North
Previous Meeting(s): None.
Oh boy! The Minnesota Timberwolves.
Ever since Kevin Garnett left town for the much greener pastures of Boston, the Minnesota Timberwolves have been known for nothing but failure and mismanagement. The drafting of Jonny Flynn and Ricky Rubio springs to mind, as well as letting Foye and Gomes go without getting any value back and signing Milicic to a multi-year deal. Kevin Durant and Jeff Green will be back for this game, so there's no way we can lose. Right?
Well, almost. Despite their lowly 4-10 record, the Timberwolves do have some bite to them. They were the victims of a terrible early schedule, with four back-to-backs in their first month of play and no two-day breaks until five weeks in. They also had to spend some time getting their lineup together, with lots of roster turnover in the off-season. Recently, the team has gotten it's act together and gotten a few semi-quality wins against the Kings and Knicks, while seriously challenging the Lakers, Hawks, and Bobcats for wins. Sure, they're still not a great team, or even making a run at the playoffs, but they are a team that's playing well and could sneak up on us should we not play our best ball.
The key to winning will be to stop Michael Beasley and Kevin Love. They're the two stars of the team, and one of them is going to have to explode for the Timberwolves to win. My guess as to who it will be tonight would be Kevin Loves, so I'd try to put Ibaka on him as much as possible.
This will be a defensively active game, if history teaches us anything. And while the thunder will probably slip a bit and make this a close one, I think that they can pull out this win. The Timberwolves just don't have the talent or clutchness to do so.
Prediction: Oklahoma City 97, Minnesota 94.