Preview & Chat: The Minnesota Timberwolves

Kurt —  March 18, 2007

Kareem vs. Bruce Lee: The guys at NBA Fanhouse have been mining Youtube and found a classic.

Dare we say “winning streak? Here are the next five Laker games — Minnesota, Memphis, New Orleans, Golden State, Memphis. All winable, and a chance to get their confidence back heading toward the playoffs.

Last meeting. These two teams got together for a double-overtime game two weeks ago, a game where Minnesota stayed close in the fourth quarter because Mark Blount suddenly thought he was Jason Kapono and went 3-3 from three-point range. Minnesota eventually won in double overtime.

For the most part the Lakers played pretty good defense in that game, even Rickey Davis (who had 33 points) was 10-23 from the floor (but got to the line a lot and was 12-12 there). Garnett also shot under 50%.

It was the Laker offense that sputtered in that game, particularly late — there were the three failed inbounds plays, and the team being baffled by the zone defense. Outside of Kobe the Lakers shot 41.3%.

But this time the Lakers have Odom and Walton back.
Walton is expected back tonight.

Things to look for: I’m guessing we won’t see Kobe throwing his arm out and hitting Jaric in the face again. Jaric will likely get the primary Kobe assignment, as Trenton Hassell is not completely healed from a sprained ankle.

With Jaric trying to overplay Kobe and deny him the ball, other guys should be able to get good matchups and looks, Odom, others need to step up.

Hopefully the Lakers will have better defensive rotations out to the three-point line — it was a weak spot against Portland. They need to get out there even if the guy shooting is some 7-foot center, like Blount.

Look for a big game from Smush on offense — the T-Wolves are worse at defending the point guard spot than the Lakers (Smush had 24 in the last meeting on 64.3% [eFG%] shooting). Of course, they also struggle to defend the two, and I think that guy who plays the two for the Lakers can score pretty well too.

Kurt

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15 responses to Preview & Chat: The Minnesota Timberwolves

  1. Kobe is amazing.

  2. This was by far the best overall game by the Smusher in recent memory.

    Not sure why Bynum played so much in the second half.

  3. It really got me upset when they almost blew that game. If Luke didn’t get that rebound off Kobe’s missed 3 this could have been a very different ending.

    In the bright side we only need a 17 game winning streak to get 50 wins, and if we didn’t have two games against Phoenix it would almost be possible.

  4. chris henderson March 18, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    wonder what went on down at the bench between Bynum and Brian Shaw, this is right after Bynum mysteriously tossed the ball outta bounds when we really needed to maintain possession near the end of the game.
    so nice to see Luke and Lamar back, feels like a rhythm to the “O” is slowly coming back. I know Kobe has scored over 100 points in the last 2 games, hard to overlook that, and yeah, he is amazing no doubt.
    what we need to see now is the team starting to contribute around Kobe, beliving in their own abilities.
    and work hard on D, as we get our players back from their injuries, we can start to see a cohesiveness between the starting and second units.
    good time to start fine tuning, end the season on a winning note! go into the playoffs as good as we can hope for with our personnel.
    and yeah, it would be ncie to see KG and KB on the same team one day…but we’re probably only dreamin’.

  5. That first quarter run felt all warm and fuzzy. Back to what we expect from this team.

  6. That has to be one of the prettiest box scores I have ever seen. Luke, Odom, and Smush each with near triple doubles on top of Kobe’s 50.

  7. It seems pretty much impossible to catch Houston for the the 5th spot, so the question is do we want to play San Antonio or Phoenix in round 1?

    I think we match up much better with San-An since Kwame can actually stay with Duncan, where-as he would be destroyed by Amare.

  8. its been a while since i posted something here or even followed the laker games after the all-star break. ever since lamar alnd luke went down, i knew it would mean big trouble for the team. I said then that kobe needed to be ultra agressive for the lakers to stay afloat while the two were gone. but i only realized now that he needs luke and lamar to be able to pick his comfortable spots on the offense. I just hope we get EVERYONE healthy and like last year get a good winning run going into the playoffs. I’d rather that the lakers stay on the 6th spot because they will be a better match up with san antonio, as compared to phoenix. Lets just hope for more laker wins and timely losses by denver for the team to be able to hold on the 6th spot!

  9. I’ve said this on the fanhouse before, but when the Lakers are healthy, I don’t think there is any team that wants to play them in the playoffs. Now, can they stay healthy?

  10. Only 50? I hate when Kobe slacks out after a high scoring game 9the 65 on Friday)…only 50 points….

    LOL…I’d be lucky to score 2 points in an NBA…50 to follow a 65…is just amazing.

    Smush did look great….he has the potential to play like that all the time. Luke was great coming back. Lamar…is getting his movment back.

    If they are healthy (as JONESONTHENBA said) nobody will want to play the,…Phoniex, San Antonio or Dallas or even Utah…nobody. Our Boys are a threat.

  11. hi guys
    Timberwolves is my best team in the nba i wish i could go to watch all their games i found a good web site where you can compare your Minnesota Timberwolves tickets an found cheap tickets http://www.ticketwood.com/nba/Minnesota-Timberwolves-Tickets/index.php
    really is a good site

    go go Timberwolves

  12. That was a very nice change of pace… but the late game stagnation is back.

  13. I missed the game, what went down with BShaw and Bynum?

  14. I’m back! I couldn’t summon the energy to hit up here/the NBA sites while they were losing. I applaud all of your abilities to struggle through, but man, it’s too fustrating for me.

    First, re bshaw/bynum. That actually looked like a blowup between phil and bynum, and bshaw was stepping in after. Indeed, it went down after bynum bobbled the ball and then there was a timeout, then when they panned over the huddle, bynum and phil were kinda going at it. Then after they came back from break, bynum was yanked, turiaf was in, and bshaw/bynum were chatting on the bench. Anyone see any comments from phil about it?

    Second, Yay! Nice two games. However, I’ve said it before, and I’m more concerned about it now… We’re not going anywhere with kobe playing the horrible defense he was playing. He was getting killed constantly – the only reason the twolves were in that game was due to slow (or no) rotatation by kobe, esp. against ricky davis. He wasn’t even challenging shots, letting guys dribble past him, etc. He really seemed like he just figured he’d make it up on the other end… Which is wrong! Dammit, this guy can be one of the best perimeter defenders in the league, with his skills and smarts, and to have the attitude of complacency out there from your best player, and the team leader, is why the general laker defense is so bad. I didn’t track the game, but it felt like 10+ possessions where it was just plain kobe’s fault…

  15. Jones,
    Late in the game… Bynum had the ball and he was trying to pass it to Kobe but hesitated and lost the ball off his hands and out of bounds… He was then quickly yanked from the game for Turiaf. Then I saw a shot of Bynum on the bench with Shaw talking to him and I really hate to jump to conclusions…. but Andrew kinda looked like he was a little teary eyed.
    All I can assume is that he got chewed out for not holding onto the ball when we needed to kill time and took it too hard. The TV showed Shaw talking to him calmly and Drew with a towel in his hand and his eyes were all red and Sasha gave him a big hug around his head.
    In case everybody forgot… this kid is ONLY 19 playing center for the LA Lakers.
    Drew looked like he was gettin over it by the next time they showed him on the TV… I’m sure the scoreboard had something to do with that.

    And how about a golf-clap for the Smusher. Nice game. I especially enjoyed how all of his shots were from spot ups from Luke or Lamar or Kobe driving and passing it to Smush for wide open 3s. I also enjoyed watching him penetrate and kick it out. Hadn’t seen him do that all year. Hence the 9 assists.