Preview: Minnesota Timberwolves vs. New Orleans Hornets, 2/2/13

Pelican BrowSetting the stage:

The Timberwolves and Pelicans (Hornets) face off for the third time this season on Saturday night at the Target Center.  The teams have split the two earlier match-ups, with the Wolves winning on 12/14 and then New Orleans returning the favor on 1/11.  This will be the Pelicans first trip to Minnesota this season.

The Wolves come in on a six game losing streak and have lost eleven of their last twelve.  To say this season has turned sour might be an early contestant for “understatement of the year – 2013”.  After losing to the Lakers on Friday night, there isn’t much more that needs to be said about how or why this team is struggling.

The Pelicans come into the game losers of three straight and are also coming off of a loss Friday night In Denver.  While the team remains in the cellar of the Western Conference, things have slightly picked up for the team since the return of Eric Gordon.  The good news for Pups fans is that Saturday’s game comes at the end of a back-to-back for the Hornets and Gordon may not be playing as a precaution.  (We’ll keep you posted via the comments below if/when there is official word from the club.)

Player to watch:

Anthony Davis – Despite being the #1 pick and having a pretty solid rookie season to date, I have not paid much attention to Anthony Davis at all.  His first performance against the Wolves was right around his season averages, putting up an 11 & 7 evening.  However, he had a tough second game, finishing with 9 points but 0 rebounds.  It will be interesting to see what Pekovic can do in the paint.  If Pekovic can get Robin Lopez in foul trouble, he should be able to beat up Davis in the paint.

Match-up to watch:

Ricky Rubio vs. Greivis Vasquez.  The only similarities between these two might be their body frame and facial hair.  However, both are critical to their teams’ respective success.  Vasquez has dominated the Pups in the two prior games this season, finishing the games with 15 & 16 (points & assists) and 18 & 13 several weeks ago.  Rubio will need to contain Greivis Saturday night if the Pups have any hope of breaking this losing streak.

Predictions:

This has to end at some point, right?  Right?!

Final score prediction: Twolves 106, Pelicans 101

Three stars of the game predictions:

  1. Ricky Rubio
  2. Nikola Pekovic
  3. Greivis Vasquez

Let’s go Wolves!