After such a glorious winning streak, the Spurs were bound to come back to earth. To borrow from Potter Stewart,
"I know it when I see it"
and despite the inconsistencies of this last week, this team has IT. Tonight provides the opportunity to get back in the win column against Minnesota. The last time these two teams met, the Spurs mounted an improbable comeback in the 4th quarter that resulted in an overtime win for the team and numerous 911 calls from their fans.
Hopefully, the guys have had time to recharge their batteries, regain the spring in their steps, turn back time, and whatever other cliche that you'd like to use. I'm betting the Big Three and Pop will be ready for this game - just a hunch.
And now for the preview.
Minnesota Timberwolves @
By the Numbers
Data source: basketball-reference.com
PG: Granted, I haven't been able to catch all of the Spurs games lately, but something's definitely wrong with Tony. He hasn't played well since our last game with the Wolves. However, he is going against Luke Ridnour - that alone should cure his ills. And of course, Tony needs to dominate Fisher.
SG: So far, Johnson has had a better rookie year than what I expected. And even though Manu slipped out of god-mode against the Clippers, he should still win this matchup. After such a lousy loss, the Wolves should FEAR THE BALD SPOT!
SF: RJ was one of the few Spurs not to take a poop on the court against the Clips. Beasley is a great scorer, but he's still a headcase with the ability to make boneheaded plays down the stretch. RJ 2.0's efficient overall game should counteract the Beas.
PF: DeBeast has (finally) started to revive from his offseason hibernation. However, Love just killed us last time, and unless the refs start calling over the back or we start boxing out, another double-double by Love is in the equation.
C: Darko was a man-beast the last game - lucky for us, he fouled out. Just looking at stats might make one think he and Timmeh are evenly matched. Yet, Timmeh's ability to jumpstart the offense via the high post and assists lately has the GOATPUFF getting the edge.
Brewer and Ellington gave us a few problems last time, but the resurgence of George and the icewater veins of Neal should put us over the top. But this Spurs' fan wants to see Bananas play big minutes against the Wolves frontline.
Pop will be PO'ed after the last game - Rambis doesn't stand a chance.
The boys won't be happy after the Clippers' loss, so expect them to come out strong from the get go.
Even after a loss, the force is strong in this team.
Da Spurs. But let's not have a repeat of November 24th when PtR had a collective heart attack. Thanks.
Key(s) to the Game
Make open shots - The game against the Clippers was a clankfest. it would be best not to repeat that.
Interior Defense - In the last game against the Wolves, their big guys beat us over the head with a basketball two by four. We need to keep them off the offensive boards and limit 2nd chance points. It's time to jail Darko.
Canis Hoopus (SB Nation)
WOAI 1200AM; Audio League Pass[streaming]
As always, NBA league pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Almost every Spurs game will be broadcast there, which is especially helpful for those of us who aren't in the San Antonio area.
Please don't post links to illegal game feeds in the game thread. Links to illegal feeds are not permitted on SBNation, but you can probably find them out there on the internets if you're resourceful and desperate. You can also shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (IMPORTANT: Please include your PtR username in the email for reference) for further assistance.