Preview: Minnesota Timberwolves at Houston Rockets 3-15-13

Photo credit: Buzzfeed.com

Photo credit: Buzzfeed.com

Setting the stage:

The Timberwolves will once again grace the national audience with theirpresence, as NBA TV will be airing tonight’s game against the Houston Rockets. The Timberwolves are coming off of a loss Wednesday night in Indiana, a day after upsetting the Spurs at Target Center.  The Rockets come into the game with a 35-30 record on the season and are currently in the 7 seed in the Western Conference.

The two teams have met twice before this season, both in Minnesota, with each team claiming a victory.  Back on 12/26, the Rockets caught the Pup

s with aChristmas hangover, making a ferocious comeback in the 4th quarter to steal the victory.  The Wolves returned the favor on 1/19, with a 92-79 drumming of the Rockets at TC.  The latter game was a coming out party for Chris Johnson who had recently joined the team at that time.

In terms of injury news, there is nothing new to report for the Wolves.  Love and Budinger will remain out and it doesn’t look promising for Kirilenko or Pekovic.  There is also a small chance James Harden misses Friday’s game with a sore foot.  He is listed as a game time decision.

Player to watch:

Chandler Parsons – Friday night’s game is another opportunity to say “what if…” from prior draft nights.  Parsons is an excellent shooter from the SF spot and is averaging a little over 15 ppg and 5 rpg.  In the two earlier match-ups this year, he had been held in check by the Wolves wings, so he might be due for a breakout game.

Match-up to watch:

Ricky Rubio vs. Jeremy Lin.  Rubio has been on fire over the past few weeks and likely helping a lot of fantasy teams these days.  After a rough start to the season, Jeremy Lin has found consistency in his game, particularly in March.  Lin has averaged 13.8 ppg and 5.2 apg, but is doing so in a much more efficient manner, shooting 49% from the field for the month.  I couldn’t speak about a strong month without mentioning Rubio’s numbers halfway through the month; 14.4 ppg, 8.7 apg, 6.9 rpg.

Predictions:

The Rockets are fighting to stay in the top 8 in the conference and they can’t afford a letdown game right now against one of the weaker teams in the NBA.

Final score prediction: Timberwolves 86, Rockets 94

Three stars of the game predictions:

  1. Omer Asik
  2. Chandler Parsons
  3. Ricky Rubio

Let’s go Wolves!