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2010-2011 Game 23 Preview: Oklahoma City at Minnesota; The Timberwolves Still Have Bite, Believe it or Not

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This also counts as an open thread, so feel free to post your thoughts during the game here.

Records: The Oklahoma City Thunder (14-8) vs. The Minnesota Timberwolves (5-16)

Time: 7:00 PM Central Standard Time

Place: The Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

TV: Fox Sports Net Oklahoma, Fox Sports Net North

Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1), KFAN 1130 AM

Enemy Blog(s): Canis Hoopus, Twolves Blog, Howlin' T-Wolf

Previous Meeting(s): November 22nd.

Two and a half weeks later, and the Timberwolves only have one more win.

It's rather surprising, considering how closely the Timberwolves have been playing good opponents. But, therein lies the Timberwolves problem: Too many great opponents to play, and not enough talent to get over the hump. Before getting a break on Friday and Saturday, they were forced to play San Antonio twice, Dallas, and a Golden State team that just got David Lee back from injury and had a career night from Dorell Wright. They had a win against the dismal Cavaliers, but they ran into another brick wall against the rising Knicks. And now, they face Western contenders in the Thunder. It gets a bit easier for the rest of the month, with a couple possible wins against the Pistons and Warriors, but more tough challenges against the Bulls, Suns, Trailblazers, and Nuggets. I'm not saying the Timberwolves should be at the top of the standings, or even a playoff team, but it would be hard for any team in the NBA to cope with the absolutely brutal schedule the Timberwolves have had over the first month and a half.

The Timberwolves will get Martell Webster back for this game, and he will undoubtedly help out with the situation at Shooting Guard, where a lot of players have been solid, but not great. And thus, we should take this Timberwolves team seriously. The key to the game, for the Thunder, is knowing that the T-Wolves have no answer for Durant, Green or Westbrook. On the flip side, we need to have an answer for Love and Beasley on our end. If we force the T-Wolves to rely on their other players for scoring, it will mean trouble for them down the stretch.

Prediction: Oklahoma City 115, Minnesota 105.