by Ya Mudda
The Minnesota Timberwolves travel to American Airlines Arena to face off against the Miami Heat tonight; the Wolves bring a four-game losing streak into this matchup having lost a few tough games mainly due to injuries. During this four-game stretch Rubio has missed every game. It would be stating the obvious to say that he is an integral part of our team. Miami secured a win against Minnesota in Minneapolis on November 5th, 96 to 84. Dwyane Wade had 25 points that night. The Heat on the other hand comes into the game with a three-game winning streak, along with four-days’ rest to prepare for the Wolves.
Ricky Rubio is listed as questionable tonight, it’s hard to know what to expect. Well, actually, not really, the Heat allow the lowest points per game in the league, this is mainly due to PF Chris Bosh and C Hassan Whiteside’s excellent play. The two big men complement each other’s game splendidly as Bosh is terrific defending the pick and roll while Whiteside is an elite help defender who averages 4 blocks per game.
On the Wolves’ side, things have been going smoothly for #teamtank. But with Rubio out it gives Zach Lavine a chance to run the offense, as well as giving Wiggins more chances to create offense for him and others. Minnesota is sixth in points per game but I feel like the offense is so lethargic at times, it’s almost as if Sam Mitchell wants the team to take long 2 after long 2. Hell, even Towns is shooting them. But, he’s also killing it inside of the paint and around the rim, shooting 54% within ten feet. There just might be a bright future for this lad.
This game could be an ugly one to watch, the Heat’s defense, plus Minnesota’s penchant for taking a bunch of long deuces, it may not make for an enjoyable affair, or even entertaining basketball.
The Wolves do have Towns and Wiggins. Before the Miami crowd arrives in the middle of the second quarter, I hope Minnesota has built a 25-point lead.
Match ups to watch:
This game features some great one-on-one matchups with rising stars vs veterans in the NBA.
Wiggins vs. Wade: Right now Wade is basically what Wiggins seems to be modeling his game after, the only facet he’s really not close to a young Wade in is the fact that he’s not really a creator off the dribble but that will develop with time.
KARL vs. Whiteside: Whiteside’s 2k rating is 81 whereas KARL’s is 78, this is just a travesty. That’s a is justified, though, when considering just a few games ago, Karl had his worst game as a Timberwolf. It came against Miami where he scored 6 points on 3-of-13 shooting. Towns has to play better. Whiteside is a great inside defender; I hope KARL is prepared for a challenge tonight. If KARL gets blocked more than once, I might cry myself to sleep.
Lavine vs. Dragic: I’m assuming that Rubio is a no go here. Dragic’s had a slow year so far averaging a paltry 10 points and 4 assists per game. His body of work suggests he’s got way more in him just seems to be having a down year. Miami has been playing a slow pace and this could be affecting Dragic’s game. Lavine meanwhile has quietly been playing well lately, hittin’ 5-7 from 3 against the Grizzlies. His natural position just doesn’t seem to be the PG position so I expect a few LOL worthy plays especially if he matches up against Wade who is basically going to funnel him into Whiteside waiting to block him. Posterize him, Zach. Or pass it to Towns and Wiggins.