Timberpups Weekly Preview – Week 10

 

David Sherman/Getty Images

David Sherman/Getty Images

Setting the stage:

With the holidays upon us, should we be celebrating the fact that our Timberpups have reached the .500 mark?  I have mixed feelings on this roster as a whole and would like to see more minutes given to the rookies, particularly Gorgui Dieng.  Someone needs to work with Ricky Rubio all offseason on his shooting stroke because it is clearly still broken.  All of that said, the Wolves are 15-15 and hopefully ready to roll going into 2014.  Much of the positives have to be credited to Kevin Love and his incredible play thus far this season – 26.1ppg (3rd in the NBA) & 13.8rpg (1st), with a PER of 28.5 (2nd).  Can we tear up his contract and max him out for the next five or six years?

Since I previewed week 8 of the season, the team has improved to 2nd in the league in scoring at 106.4ppg, 3rd in rebounding (46.2rpg) and 6th in assists (23.4apg).  Nothing much has changed on the defensive end, with the team giving up 102.3ppg, “good” for 23rd in the NBA.

Game 32: Monday, 12/30, 7pm – Dallas Mavericks @ Timberwolves (TV: FS North)

Tonight’s game starts a three game home stretch for the Wolves and pits them against the Mavericks for the third time this season.  The Pups have won the prior two meetings, with both teams going well over 100 points in each game.  Expect more of the same in tonight’s contest.

Opponent to watch:

Monta Ellis – Ellis has put together a nice string of games recently (over 20ppg and 7apg in his last five) and it will be important for Kevin Martin to try and contain this as much as possible.

Predictions:

The Wolves need to start making a run towards the playoffs.  Final score: Timberwolves 115, Mavericks 104

Game 33: Wednesday, 1/1, 7pm – New Orleans Pelicans @ Timberwolves (TV: FS North)

The Pelicans enter the week at 13-15 and will also be playing on Monday night – a home game vs. the Blazers.  Anthony Davis is back and it doesn’t look like he has lost a step post-injury.  Ryan Anderson is putting up big numbers for the club as well.  This will be the first time these two teams match-up against one another this season.

Opponent to watch:

Austin Rivers – Huh?  Well, this is built off of my trade machine deal.  Rivers is out of the regular rotation.  However, if we see him get a good chunk of minutes in this game, it might be a showcasing scenario.

Predictions:

As referenced above, the Wolves need to go on a run and they need to start separating themselves from the bottom teams in the Western Conference.  Final score: Timberwolves 112, Pelicans 102

Game 34: Saturday, 1/4, 7pm – Oklahoma City Thunder @ Timberwolves (TV: FS North Plus)

Despite the latest injury to Russell Westbrook the Thunder continue to roll right along and have caught up with the Blazers to enter the week one game ahead in the Northwest division.  I think this can be attributed to one player …

Opponent to watch:

Kevin Durant – Sit back, relax, and enjoy watching the second best player on the planet.  Durant is putting up sick numbers – 28.5ppg, 8.3rpg, and 4.8apg coming into the week.

Predictions:

The Wolves and Thunder have split the prior two meetings this season with each team protecting their home court.  I’m going to assume the good luck ends for the Wolves Saturday night in a highly entertaining game (they always seem to be when these two teams meet).  Final score: Thunder 120, Timberwolves 115

Wrap-up:

The week will be considered a success if the Pups can win 2 out of 3 at home, with a very tough match-up to close out the week against one of the favorites in the NBA.  Let’s go Wolves!