Wolves at Memphis: Soul to Squeeze?

The Timberwolves (11-12) take on the Memphis Grizzlies (10-12) today in Memphis. The game is at 5 P.M Central and can be seen on FSN (you), LP (me), or listened to on 830 WCCO.

The Wolves have won two of their last three. They’re coming off of a tough loss at San Antonio on Friday, in which Kevin Love was the main attraction. Love put up 42 & 14 whilst shooting 8-9 from downtown in the Wolves 117-110 loss to San Antonio. Kevin Martin had his second straight sub-par game. He scored 14 but shot only 4-12 and played bad defense. 

Tonight, the style of play is likely to look very different. Memphis is a grind-it-out, defensive-minded team that will try to stop the Wolves uptempo game.

Memphis is without its best player, Marc Gasol. Kosta Koufos should get the starting nod at center. Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Love should be able to exploit mismatches on the frontline as they arise. And they will.

Tony Allen is probably the best defender in the NBA, and he’ll presumably be putting the shackles on Kevin Martin. Martin’s mini-slump could continue with Allen checking him. The Wolves tend not to play well when Martin doesn’t play well.

Zach Randolph is not as good as he used to be, but he’s still good, and he’s still cool, and I’m thus dedicating the Shaft Theme above to Z-Bo. (Eds. Note: It was written by the late, great Memphis musician Isaac Hayes.) 

Anyway, it wasn’t that long ago that Kevin Durant was calling Z-Bo the best PF in the League. He’s still a joy to watch.

And here’s Hayes’ Shaft Theme set to the original movie.

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