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Game Preview: Timberwolves host Thunder

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Timberwolves host Thunder

Friday, January 13th, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at the Target Center

MATCHUP

Wow. Now that was a basketball game. The Timberwolves put the pedal to the metal and floored it all the way to Houston. It was good to see the team want to win this game after blowing a 17 point lead in their previous game against each other. Minnesota looks to make it 3 in a row with a 13-26 record holding the 13th spot in the Western Conference. Oklahoma rolls into town with a 24-16 record holding the 6th spot in the Western Conference.

Projected Starters

Timberwolves:

PG: Ricky Rubio #9

SG: Zach LaVine #8

SF: Andrew Wiggins #22

PF: Gorgui Dieng #5

C: Karl-Anthony Towns #32

Thunder:

PG: Russell Westbrook #0

SG: Victor Oladipo #5

SF: Andre Roberson #21

PF: Domantas Sabonis #3

C: Steven Adams #12

Injury Report

Timberwolves: 

Nikola Pekovic – out/season (recurring foot pain)

Thunder:

N/A

Last Meeting

The Timberwolves and Thunder have faced off twice already this year. Once on November 5th, which resulted in a 20 point Timberwolves loss. The second time was on December 25th, the infamous Christmas Day game. That game resulted in a 12 point Timberwolves loss. Westbrook lead the way with 31 points, 15 assists, and 7 rebounds. Karl-Anthony Towns tried to stop him with 26 points and 8 rebounds.

Noteworthy

Match-up to watch tonight: Karl-Anthony Towns & Steven Adams. Now I know the center piece of this Thunder team is Russell Westbrook, but the center piece of the Timberwolves happens to be Towns. Throughout his career, and as of late, Towns has been starting to stretch out to the 3 point line even more. Adams is known to be more of an interior defender versus an exterior. It should be interesting to see how OKC reacts to a Timberwolves team who has been shooting more from outside the arc recently.

Player to watch: Victor Oladipo. I could’ve gone with the obvious here and put Westbrook, but it’s common sense to watch him. Oladipo has found a home here in OKC as of late. I was a big fan of him coming out of college. He’s turned out to be a league average (if not better) shooting guard. Oladipo is averaging 16.1 PPG this season. He’s also doing a little here and there in the rebounds and assists categories. He can do some damage if he’s not guarded correctly.

Broadcast Information

TV: Fox Sports North – Dave Benz (play-by- play), Jim Peterson (analyst)

Radio: 830 WCCO-AM – Alan Horton (play-by- play)

(All stats found on NBA.com and basketball-reference.com)