Game Preview #81: Minnesota Timberwolves @ San Antonio Spurs

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Possible visual representation of this game.
via Chuck & Beans

It's the Spurs' last home game and second to the last for the season, folks. After the jump, you know the drill.

I got all the random stuff bunched up in the return of the Other Things of Possible Interest section.

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Minnesota Timberwolves @ San Antonio Spurs
Where: AT&T Center - San Antonio, TX
When: April 12, 2010, 7:30 PM Spurs time
Watch: FSN Southwest


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How They Stack Up
28-12 Home 10-30
21-19 Road 5-35
101.1
Offense 98.0
96.1 Defense 107.5
47.3 FG% 44.8
35.9 3-pt% 33.9
74.3 FT% 74.4
42.7 Rebounds 43.0
13.0 TOs 15.6
7-3 Last 10 1-9
Won 1
Streak Lost 5
2nd, Southwest Position 5th, Northwest

Country/Time Zone Game Time
FANGIO LAND
9:30 PM
West Coast
5:30 PM
Philippines 8:30 AM
Central Europe 2:30 AM
Palestine/Egypt 3:30 AM
East Coast 8:30 PM
Winter Wonderland
6:30 PM
Perth, AUS 8:30 AM
Tokyo, JP 9:30 AM
Sydney, AUS 10:30 AM

Spurs
(49-31)
Matchups

Timberwolves
(15-65)

Garrett Temple
Pounding the Rock-Solid

Point Guard

Jonny Flynn has a bright future in the NBA and can probably make the All-Rookie 1st team in any other season except this one, which has been dominated by combo guards Tyreke Evans, Stephen Curry and Brandon Jennings. Garrett Temple won't make any All-Rookie teams but you know what? As long as he plays tough defense and makes those corner threes with deadly accuracy, Spurs fans will continue to show him the love.

Advantage: Tied


Jonny Flynn
Li'l Jonny B. Goode

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Manu Ginobili
We Go Where You Go (WGWYG)

Shooting Guard

It's been an awful, forgettable season for these young T-Wolves but they got great talent on the rise personified by Corey Brewer, who was initially thought to be a bust until he improved big time this season. If only he wasn't playing for the West's worst, he'd probably get a little more recognition for MIP honors.

On our side though, is the Master of the Plus/Minus (a whopping +26 vs. Denver), The Bane of Hollinger, Conqueror of All Things Nocturnal and The One Who Holds The Key To The 'Chip. Overall, I think we're pretty good.

Advantage: Spurs


Corey Brewer
Sick Dunker

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Richard Jefferson
Need U Tonight

Small Forward

It's been said many times that if RJ's really aggressive, he really adds another dimension to the Spurs, particularly the ability to draw fouls because of his athletic forays to the hoop. Ryan Gomes might be the random player to have a career game tonight, but I still expect RJ to continue his high level of play and win the match up.

Advantage: Spurs


Ryan Gomes
Expected Random Player to Play Well

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Antonio McDyess
Playoff-Spry

Power Forward

I'm probably just one of the few who appreciate what Dice has been bringing to the table lately. I hardly noticed his presence during the Denver game but when you look at the boxscore, he scored only 5 points BUT grabbed 9 boards (3 offensive) and handed out 4 assists (3rd highest on the team after Manu and Tony). You'll also notice he's jumping up and down more actively now to get rebounds or alter shots. Thank heavens we really didn't get 'Sheed.

For the T-Wolves, the Darko FAIL experiment continues.

Advantage: Spurs


Darko Milicic
Mega Bust

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Tim Duncan
Nearing Playoff-Timmeh Mode

Center

Al Jefferson recently left the team for a few games because of "personal issues" and came back against NOLA with a stinker of a performance: 5 points on 1-6 shooting with 3 rebounds for almost 30 minutes of PT, recording a major -29 for the game. The young man will certainly look to bounce back from that and Pop really limit Tim's minutes or not play him at all, so this match up should be interesting.

Advantage: Tied


Al Jefferson
Trapped in Mediocrity

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Tony Parker
Speed Kills

Bench & Role Players

So far, Tony's been coming along nicely after missing a month, and I'm not complaining about his bench role (Who is? Maybe Eva.) Matt Bonner 1.5723 has also been bringing a precarious smile to everyone's faces, while Roger Mason's still chasing after his shot. Yep, I think our BAM is playoff-ready.

Advantage: Spurs


Kevin Love
Handles

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Gregg Popovich
Wise Guy

Coach

Kurt Rambis has long been Phil Jackson's disciple of the triangle offense in LA, but with his merry bunch of players, I don't even know if he's using it. Best of luck to him against the most sarcastic man on the planet.

Advantage: Spurs


Kurt Rambis
Used to Wear Those Goofy Goggles
images via yahoo.com

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OTHER FACTORS

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Intangibles

After losses to New Jersey and Memphis, I don't think this third trap game's going to be a charm.

Advantage: Spurs

Mojo

Ask me again about it if we get a favorable match up for the playoffs.

Advantage: None

Winner

Prediction: Spurs.
Time to finish this early and gear up for that final game showdown with the Mavericks..

Keys To The Game

  • Get The Early Blowout - Will Pop play TD much in the first half to create a big enough separation instead of limiting him early and then playing him more than he'd want to when the team gets in another close game? Decisions, decisions. Either way, Manu and Tim really, really need to be fresh against the Mavs.
  • Take Care of the Boards - Minny's rebounding totals rank 7th-best in the league, powered by the beastly rebounding duo of Kevin Love and Al Jefferson. The frontline should make sure to limit the T-Wolves' offensive rebounds, which will be key in keeping them outside of striking distance.
  • Bench Play - The bench support in the last few games has been really encouraging. Hopefully Tony will go off for 55 points again like he did against this Minnesota team a season ago.

Strength of Schedule

The Spurs get a day off and then make the short trip to Dallas for a seemingly epic close to the regular season.

Likewise, the Wolves will get one day rest before closing out their season against the Pistons, full of hope yet again to finally strike lottery gold.

Last Time They Met

The Spurs ran the hapless Wolves out of their den with a 103-85 victory as RJ and George led the way with 19 points apiece.

Some Other Reading

Timberwolves

Canis Hoopus - The SBN blog for the Wolves. Their two-man team is doing a pretty awesome job keeping the content fresh and frequently updated. You might want to drop by and say hello, and maybe offer a trade proposal or two along the way.

Howlin' T-Wolf - The TrueHoop blog for the T-Wolves. I'm liking the name. About the blog, for a mediocre team like 'Sota, it's pretty good, actually. Wolves fans are lucky in that respect.

Spurs

48 Minutes of Hell: The best TH blog around. Don't believe me? Well, at least Mr. Miyagi does.

Project Spurs: Lots of good folks in here. Visit, read, comment, come back. And don't miss their podcast, either.

Return of The (sort of) Daily Twitter

DeJuan45

Iz everybody watching basketball wives on VH1? SMH that girl Royce go hard smh!!!!!! I'm not gettin married!!!! Lol hahahaha jk one day!!!

MoneyMase

Getting ready for the playoffs! whats up everyone? [sb_d: Um... yeah, you better get your shot back by that time, dood.]

manuginobili

Any fans of "How I Met Your Mother"? Awesome show. Watched Season1 in just a couple trips. Very funny. [sb_d: Damn, Manu. Watching HIMYM, too? I love you more and more.]

You can also find all the official Spurs Sports & Entertainment Twitter accounts here: http://twitter.com/spurs/official/members

Let's Go Old School - Other things of possible interest

South Park reveals the truth about Chat Roulette, and making friends in general. It's pretty spot-on.


How to get the girl, for all you girlfriend-less dudes out there.

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Where to Tune In

TV

This game will be aired on Fox Sports Network's Southwest affiliates, and of course, if you're in the Twin Cities area, they'll probably have it, too.

Online

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. In fact, nobody can stop you from googling "atdhe". You can also shoot an email to poundingtherockmail@yahoo.com for more assistance.

Spurs League Pass audio is still free this year, so check it out.

Radio

If you're in the San Antonio area and aren't near a TV, tune in to WOAI (1200 AM).

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