Game Day #48: T-Wolves at Thunder

Minnesota Timberwolves (23-25, 11-13 road) at Oklahoma City Thunder (35-12, 20-4 home)


Where: The ‘Peake!
When: 7:00 p.m. CST
FS Oklahoma (679 Directv, 37 Cox, 754 AT&T U-Verse, 416 Dish)
Online Stream: Here.
Radio: WWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemy: Here.
Projected Lineups:

Thunder T-Wolves
PG Russell Westbrook Luke Ridanour
SG Thabo Sefolosha Wesley Johnson
SF Kevin Durant Michael Beasley
PF Serge Ibaka Derrick Williams
C Kendrick Perkins Kevin Love
6th Man James Harden Martell Webster

Last time: The Thunder beat the Timberwolves in Minnesota 104-100.

This is not the same Minnesota team we saw at the beginning of the season Ricky Rubio is lost for the season with a torn ACL. He was a huge factor in Minnesota even having a chance in the first game. He is actually the reason (well, Kevin Love included) why the T-Wolves are even in the playoff discussion right now.

The Timberwolves, who lost for the 15th straight time in the Alamo City, are just 4-17 when allowing the opponent to score 100-plus points and 7-22 when being outshot. Six of the Wolves’ last eight games have been decided by six points or less.

In injury news for Minnesota, forward Michael Beasley (toe) is questionable for tonight and center Nikola Pekovic (ankles) is expected to miss the game.

Meanwhile, the Northwest Division-leading Thunder have alternated wins and losses over their last nine games and will continue a three-game homestand this evening.

The Thunder did well in Derek Fisher’s first game in a Thunder uniform, beating the Clippers 114-91 on Wednesday night. Kevin Durant collected 32 points and nine rebounds, while Russell Westbrook added 19 points, Serge Ibaka scored 15 and Derek Fisher had five points in his Thunder debut.

Oklahoma City has won 17 of the previous 20 matchups between the teams and four in a row in the ‘Peake.

Keys to the game

Points in the paint
Minnesota had 60 points in the paint the last time these two met. If you’re not sure what that means, all it means is the Timberwolves scored 60 of their 100 points in the painted area, within 0-15 feet. Which always improves your shooting chances. Must eliminate that tonight. Keep it in the 40’s if you ask me.

Three Point Shooting
It seems when the Thunder shoot the three well, they win (shocking), but when they don’t, they struggle to win games, or even lose (see a bunch of games this season. OKC was 5-21 in their previous match up with Minnesota. Gotta hit those threes.<

Second Unit
Minnesota’s second unit outscored Oklahoma City’s 35-29 last time these two met. That also was attributed by Rubio’s assists and Derrick William’s all around game. Oklahoma City’s second unit, now headed by Derek Fisher, need to really step up and show why this OKC team, is the best in the West.

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