Matchup: Oklahoma City Thunder vs Minnesota Timberwolves
When: 7 p.m. CST
Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena
Coming into tonight’s game, the Oklahoma City Thunder sit at a record of 8-12 and are currently the 10th seed in the western conference. Their opponent the Minnesota Timberwolves are the seventh seed at a record of 10-10 after losing their last two games.
Oklahoma City is looking to bounce back from tough 107-100 home loss to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night.
Due to the fact that this is the Thunder and Timberwolves first matchup up of the season there isn’t a previous game to draw from. Yet, there are still some things to look forward to in tonight’s game.
Things to look for
- Timberwolves Injuries
The biggest turning point in this game could come before tip-off, as both Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins are day-to-day and questionable to play tonight for Minnesota.
If the Timberwolves two best players are out that would give the Thunder a clear advantage, but certainly won’t guarantee a win.
Here is the full injury to the Timberwolves vs the Thunder:
Oklahoma City can take advantage of absence of these players in multiple ways. On offense the pick and roll should be more effective without Towns in the game. Although, Gorgui Dieng is a good shot blocker, he lacks the mobility Towns has help hedge or switch on screens.
Meanwhile, defensively the Thunder have less to worry about as Wiggins and Towns are the Timberwolves two leading scorers. Towns averages 26 points per game, while Wiggins averages 25 points per game.
There is a major drop off to the third leading scoring, which is Robert Covington who averages 12 points per game.
- Timberwolves NBA rankings vs Thunder NBA rankings
Heading into this game there are some categories that heavily favor Minnesota.
Minnesota ranks top ten in the following categories; points per game, steals per game, blocks per game and rebounds per game.
In comparison, the Thunder ranks 20th or below in all those categories.
The two categories the Thunder most combat the most in this game are rebounding and steals per game. Limiting turnovers and rebounding well are key to forcing Minnesota to score in the half court. Giving up free transition scores to the Timberwolves hurts because Minnesota ranks 29th in fast break points per game.
Who do you think will win tonight?
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