For the fourth and final time this season, the Timberwolves will meet the New Orleans Hornets. Minnesota has taken two of the three prior meetings, including a rout last month at the Target Center, where our Pups pulled away early and never looked back, winning 115-86. That win snapped a six game losing streak for the Wolves at the time, but they haven’t had much to smile about since.
While maintaining that big lead against the Hornets is one thing, the Wolves are coming off of a loss on Friday night to the Rockets in which they blew a 20 point lead in the second half. While the team continues to play with only nine capable bodies, those types of losses shouldn’t happen. As of this morning’s writing, there is no news on whether or not Pekovic or Kirilenko would be available for tonight’s game. The team didn’t practice on Saturday and Adelman has cancelled this afternoon’s shoot-around.
The Hornets come into Sunday’s game on a two game losing streak as well. Their last loss also came on Friday night against the Wizards. If the team is looking for any type of good news, it can be found in the fact that Eric Gordon is back on the court again for the team. Gordon has played 30+ minutes in each of the team’s last two games.
Our Pups are only 1.5 games ahead of the Hornets in the loss column this season, so this game could have ping pong ball implications. If the Hornets win tonight, it brings the team closer to the potential coin flip for lottery positioning. The entire premise of this paragraph is making me nauseous so I am going to stop now and not say/type where the rest of this goes.
Player to watch:
Eric Gordon – Gordon has missed a tremendous amount of time again for the Hornets. However, when he plays, he is typically putting up respectable numbers. Gordon matches up nicely against Ridnour and Shved, so it could be another big performance from the SG.
Match-up to watch:
Ricky Rubio vs. Greivis Vasquez. This match-up has been highlighted before in earlier previews this season and there isn’t a reason to not do so again. Vasquez has been phenomenal against the Wolves this season, averaging 13.3 ppg, 12 apg, and 5 rpg in the three, prior match-ups. As you are likely well aware, Rubio has been a monster over the past month or so. His earlier games against the Hornets were not very successful, but we should expect to see a much stronger performance from Ricky this evening.
Sunday home game for the Pups and let’s hope for a little luck o’ the Irish!
Final score prediction: Timberwolves 100, Hornets 91
Three stars of the game predictions:
- Ricky Rubio
- Derrick Williams
- Eric Gordon
Let’s go Wolves!