Oklahoma City Thunder (0-1, 0-0 away)

at

Minnesota Timberwolves (1-1, 0-0 home)

Friday, October 5 :: 7:00 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (19,356)
TV Coverage: NONE
Radio Coverage: 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemyHere.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 3½-point underdog. The over/under is 220½.
Online StreamOKCThunder.com | WWLS Sports Animal | Live Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | T-Wolves: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • The regular season is just 11 days away, but for now Oklahoma City is in the twin cities taking on the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight.
  • The Thunder are coming off a 97-91 loss to the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night to open their preseason slate.
  • The T-Wolves are 1-1 this preseason and are at home for their first time this preseason.

FOLLOWING THE ACTION

  • You can catch the radio on Oklahoma City’s WWLS, 98.1 FM. Matt Pinto will be your play-by-play voice. If you’re in Tulsa, catch it on 1450 AM.
  • Chris Fisher and Michael Cage call the game on OKCThunder.com. That’s the only “legal” place you can watch the game. It’s free. So, that’s where you should watch it.

SCOUTING THE T-Wolves

  • Last season, the T-Wolves went 47-35 and made the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade.
  • Minnesota is coming off a 128-101 loss to the LA Clippers on Wednesday night.
  • Anthony Tolliver joins the T-Wolves with a free agency signing.
  • INJURY REPORT:
    Justin Patton (foot) is out.
    Jimmy Butler (personal) is out.
  • The Thunder went 0-2 in Minnesota last season and are 1-3 over the last two seasons.
  • Last season, Oklahoma City lost the season series 3-1.
  • All-time, the Oklahoma City Thunder lead the series against the Minnesota Timberwolves 81-33.
  • Oklahoma City is 29-10 against Minnesota since relocation.
  • When playing at the Target Center, the Thunder are 13-7 at Minnesota.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Minnesota came on April 15, 2015, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 138-113 (25-point margin of victory).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (42 points) vs. Minnesota occurred during an 129-87 loss on Jan. 7, 2009.

THUNDER INJURY REPORT

  • Andre Roberson (ruptured patellar tendon) is out.
  • Abdel Nader (knee) is out.
  • Russell Westbrook (knee) is out.

WHAT’S IN THE T-WOLVES NAME?

  • The ownership group for Minnesota’s prospective franchise chose Timberwolves through a name-the-team contest in 1986.
  • The nickname beat out Polars by a 2-1 margin in the final vote, which was conducted in 333 of the state’s 842 city councils.
  • Tim Pope, who was one of the first fans to nominate Timberwolves, won a trip to the NBA All-Star Game. Pope submitted 10 nicknames in all, including Gun Flints. “I thought a two-word name would win,” he told a reporter.
  • The most popular entry in the contest was Blizzard, but the team wanted a nickname that was more unique to its home state. “Minnesota is the only state in the lower 48 with free-roaming packs of timber wolves,” a team official said.

NEXT UP

  • Oklahoma City plays the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday afternoon in Tulsa. That game will be on FS Oklahoma.
  • The Thunder then finish their preseason slate against the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday, Oct. 9.



Three things to watch

Bench

Diallo and Co. are who I’m interested in seeing. I want to see more of an aggressiveness from what we saw on Wednesday night. That aggressiveness will lead to better efficiency shots. I don’t know why but I’m always wanting big things out of Diallo.

Efficiency is key

The Thunder struggled to shoot from the field on Wednesday. Let’s see better shot selection and that may see the Thunder in the win column, even though this game doesn’t matter.

Rebound

Oklahoma City has to win the rebounding battle tonight. Last season, the Thunder were 35-11 when they have the same or more rebounds as their opponents. They’re were 13-23 when they lose the rebounding battle. With no Westbrook to gobble of the rebounds, it’s going to be interested to see who steps up.

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Chuck Chaney

Founder & Editor-in-Chief.
Member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.