The Knicks are in town tonight for a 7 PM CST tilt against the Wolves. By way of preview, a few things:
- The psychology of streaking: It’s time to talk about streaking, and the weird effects it can have on people. No, not that kind of streaking. I’m talking about the kind where someone does something many times consecutively. In this case, the Knicks have won 15 of the last 16 against the Wolves. They’ve basically been streaking against the Wolves. I hate streaks like that, because they play into teams’ psychology, even if the players won’t admit it. Continue reading
Eds. Note: After a couple tough home losses this week, we decided to change things up a bit. The game is, each of us singled out a few players who’ll be rockin’ it in tonight’s tilt. We then assigned the guys we selected to the other guy, who then offered some Kahnjecture about how those players will fare tonight. Whoever’s closest to the mark (however defined) wins. It’s sort of like no-stakes gambling, unless, of course, you consider things like trash talk in future posts or pride as currency. We consider trash talk in future posts and pride as currency. Let the games begin.
Patrick J: Your first assignment is
MASTER P ANTHONY DAVIS. What kind of NUMB#RS should we expect from Davis’s eyebrow tonight? Can the Wolves’ stop it, and if so, how? Does Adelman have Pek go mano e brow-oh with Davis, or are Wolves fans in for the kick-in-the-crotch consolation prize: a reminder of how much worse Derrick Williams is than another one of his contemporaries (i.e., a recent high lotto pick)?
Randy Wittman: Stil at the Helm
The Timberwolves are in The District tonight for a 7 PM tilt against the Wizards. Andy G is here. We’ll be courtside.
The Wolves have a bunch of problems right now, which came to a head Wednesday against the Nets. For those joining us in progress, let’s recap:
Unsurprisingly, the Wolves have been losing a lot, going just 2-9 since Kevin Love’s injury forced him out of the lineup.
A silver lining for the Wolves heading into tonight’s game in DC…
I have a dream, that Wolves fans will be seeing lots more plays like this…
MLK Day Wolves games are the best. Sam Mitchell won’t be walking through that door, so it won’t be quite like the good ol’ days, but the Wolves are on a one-game winning streak, and that’s better than an any-game losing streak.
James Harden and the Houston Rockets are in town for a 7 PM tilt against the Wolves at Target Center.
The Rockets, having lost 6 straight, are really struggling. Immediately before their current 6-game losing streak began, Houston reeled off a 5-game winning streak. Overall, the Rockets are 21-20. They are 2nd in the League in scoring and 30th in points allowed. (Adjusted for pace, their offense is ranked 9th, defense 18th.) James Harden is still really, really good, with the League’s 5th-best scoring average, 2nd-best assist average among non-point guards, and 1st-best beard.
Streakiness, mediocrity, and working the offense almost entirely through a go-to guy – what else could you expect from a Kevin McHale-coached team?
The Clippers visit Minneapolis on Thursday evening. I won’t be able to see the game live. I’ll be giving a talk in Chicago, but will be following from afar, from my iPhone, as possible.
The lowdown: the Clippers are 30-9 and have been playing well; The Wolves are 16-19 and have been playing poorly. The Wolves will be lucky to win. Continue reading
Mark Cuban on making it rain: “That’s dumb shit that people with real money dont do.” He better hope Dirk and OJ didn’t get the memo…
Mark Cuban can make it rain. But does he? (No, he says. Read here why.) Can the Wolves make it rain tonight in Dallas? What about Juice and Dirk? Am I mixing metaphors? Could you tell if I weren’t? (RHETORICAL!)
Okay, so the Wolves take on the Mavs in Dallas Monday evening after suffering an exhausting, frustrating loss last night in San Antonio. Dallas (15-23) recently fell to 10 games under .500 for the first time in 13 years last week. But Big D has since begun to pick up the slack. Dirk & co picked up a 117-112 overtime win at Sacramento, and followed it up by destroying Western Conference Contender Memphis Grizzlies 104-83 on Saturday. Dirk is coming back to form, just as the Wolves are settling into a Love-less reality.
Which Mavs team will show up tonight? Who knows? But it does look like the Wolves are catching Dallas on an upswing, not the downswing they were on a few weeks ago. Meanwhile, the Wolves are in the midst of a fairly horrible downswing of their own. So, for the sake of argument, let’s say that “momentum” – whatever that is – is in Dallas’ favor.
What’s wrong with the Wolves? Injuries, coaching, and shooting, for starters. More below the fold.
Hope not to see this scene in tonight’s game
The Wolves are coming off a tough loss at New Orleans on Friday night, in which they were beat handily by the worst team in the Western Conference.
It doesn’t get any easier tonight at San Antonio.
The Spurs are good. Real good. 28-11 good – which is good for 1st in the Southwest Division and 3rd overall in the Western Conference. (San Antonio is currently 1½ games behind the 28-8 Oklahoma City Thunder.)
The Spurs are good, but are they great? That’s where the data stops and the speculation starts. But with the Lakers threatening to miss the playoffs, OKC lacking James Harden, and the Clippers being the Clippers, the Spurs have a shot in the West this year. And it isn’t just question marks about the competition; San Antonio’s play this season suggests they’re every bit a threat to make The Finals.
Unfortunately for the Wolves, if the Spurs have a special strength, it appears to be their performance at home. The Spurs have actually lost three of their last five, but all three of those losses came on the road, against the Knicks, Hornets, and Grizz, respectively. At 15-2 (.882), San Antonio has the best home winning percentage in the NBA. They’ve been eminently beatable on the road, at 13-9 (.591), but divine intervention isn’t going to move this tilt to the Target Center: coming off an overtime loss in Memphis Friday night, expect the Spurs to be primed and ready tonight at home.
Some specifics to look for tonight:
The Wolves’ hipsters take on Thunder’s hipsters tonight in OKC
The Wolves got a nice win over Atlanta last night at Target Center. Tonight they have the Thunder, in Oklahoma City, on the wrong end of a back-to-back against the team with the second-best record in the NBA. As nice as last night’s tilt was, the Wolves are in for a long night if they aren’t ready from the get-go tonight.
The Thunder are really good (26-8). They have freak athletes (see Westbrook, Russell; Ibaka, Serge; and, of course, Durant, Kevin). They don’t have James Harden anymore, but they do have a former Mr. Efficiency, Kevin Martin, whom they received for Harden and who missed the last game OKC played against Minnesota, when the Wolves beat the Thunder 99-93 in Minneapolis on December 20th in one of the signature wins of the post-Garnett era.
Josh Smith & co bring it tonight at Target Center
UPDATE (4:58 PM): Add Rick Adelman to the Injury Report list. He won’t attend the game tonight for personal reasons, say reports. Hope all is okay with Rick and the Adelmans.
Tonight’s tilt is against the Atlanta Hawks at Target Center. Did you know that the Wolves have an 11-game losing streak to Atlanta? I didn’t, not until today.
That’s a trend that needs to be reversed. Like, eight matchups ago.
You see, the Hawks are one of the most unfun teams in the League. They will never make one of our All-League Pass teams, unless we write one up a “All League Pass: Most Unfun to Watch” version (which we’ll probably do at some point, perhaps in the offseason). Al Horford? Nice player, but yawnstipating. Josh Smith. Another nice player, super cool individually, but not even J-Smoove redeems the Hawks collective. Andy G and I don’t agree on everything, but we agree that we never flip to a Hawks game unless all our other channels are blacked out. Or they’re playing the Wolves. Which they do tonight.
What to expect?