The 49-15 San Antonio Spurs visit the Target Center Tuesday night to take on the 21-39 Timberwolves. Andrei Kirilenko and Nikola Pekovic remain sidelined with injury, while Tony Parker will miss the game for the Spurs again. The Spurs are coming off of a victory Monday night against the OKC Thunder. The Wolves are coming off of a lost weekend where they were blown out in Denver on Saturday and destroyed by the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night.
To say this is a mismatch might be an understatement. The Spurs now hold a two game lead over the Thunder for the top seed in the Western Conference, while the Wolves do a little bit more “tanking” before their regulars are all ready to go, that includes Kevin Love and Chase Budinger who may be able to return soon.
These two teams have met twice earlier in the season, with the Spurs taking both games by double digits. Back on 1/13, the Spurs handled the Wolves in San Antonio by a final score of 106-88. The Wolves got a little bit closer on 2/6 at the Target Center, but ultimately falling again 104-94.
Player to watch:
Tim Duncan – The Wolves are missing their starting front line of Pekovic, Love, and Kirilenko. The old man should be able to pick apart the Wolves in his 24 minutes or so of action. While it pains me to say this, appreciate what Duncan brings to the table and what he has meant to the Spurs franchise. I imagine this is one of the last few times he will be stepping foot on the TC floor.
Match-up to watch:
Alexey Shved vs. Manu Ginobili. A look at a past 6th man of the year award winner vs. a potential future winner (not this year). Shved and Ginobili have similar builds. While Shved has hit the rookie wall, Ginobili keeps plugging along. Now in his 11th season in the NBA, Manu continues to be a double digit scorer and leading contributor off the bench for the Spurs.
The only reason this game is of interest is because the Wolves are playing for “The Champs Belt” tonight. The Wolves held the belt for approximately 24 hours earlier this season and will be looking to shock the world. If NBA League Pass drops Sean Elliott on my broadcast, I’m likely just checking in from afar from time to time. (If you haven’t checked out “The Champs Belt”, please do take a look for a good look at basketball history.)
Final score prediction: Timberwolves 78, Spurs 94
Three stars of the game predictions:
- Tim Duncan
- Kawhi Leonard
- Ricky Rubio
Let’s go Wolves!