Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Minnesota Timberwolves

San Antonio Spurs @ Minnesota Timberwolves

Target Center
January 27, 7:00 PM Spurs Time
TV: FSNO - RADIO: WOAI 1200 AM

In the first meeting of the T'Wolves vs. our beloved Spurs, we lost our MVP candidate, Manu Ginobili and lost the game to the extremely hot-shooting Wolves. Since then, the teams have essentially gone in opposite directions. The Timberwolves have struggled to get over the hump of mediocrity going 6-7 in that timespan, while the Spurs have gone 9-5 during LWM. Both teams have had serious injury bugs with Minnesota having 6 players out for this game, while the Spurs have just 2.

Based on the starting lineups alone, the T'Wolves have a lot of wonderful talent. In fact, only one of their starting players wasn't drafted in the lottery. Their bench though seems thin comparatively, but it shouldn't matter too much since Rick Adelman can play his starters all 48 minutes without too much of a problem. The Spurs on the other hand have had bench trouble on the road. For some reason, Neal has lost that spark he had last year, Anderson has been a no-show so far this season, and Bonner hits just enough 3-pointers so that we believe he is actually alive.

I miss the days when the Spurs would shut down everyone but the star of the opposing team. Gone are the days that Kobe scores 35 against us and loses by 15. My best memory of this was the 2008 playoffs against the Hornets. The Hornets went up 2-0 against us and looked generally unstoppable. However, Pop made one of his patented adjustments (he actually does coach you know) and put Bowen on Stojakovic instead of Chris Paul. We won 4 of the next 5 games. I'd love to see Love go for 35-15 against us, but lose by 20 (no it's not because I have him on my fantasy team). But we can no longer focus like that with our team defense, and it's a shame.

Heading into this game, I think the only way we win is if one of the 3 players whose names are struck-out to have a big game. Unfortunately, they haven't given us a reason to trust them yet. Also, Adelman's teams ALWAYS do well against us. And 3, the T-Wolves nearly got us multiple times last season. I think that if we do win, it's going to be with a sigh of relief rather than a business approach.

Lineups

Starters
PG: Tony Parker
SG: Kawhi Leonard
SF: Richard Jefferson
PF: Tim Duncan
C: Dejuan Blair

Key Bench Players
Danny Green
Tiago Splitter
Matt Bonner
James Anderson
Gary Neal

Lineups

Starters
PG: Ricky Rubio
SG: Luke Ridnour
SF: Derrick Williams
PF: Kevin Love
C: Darko Milicic

Key Bench Players
Wesley Johnson
Nikola Petrovic
Wayne Ellington

A few things I want to see:

I know most of you don't want to see this, but I'm dying for us to play some small ball tonight. I want to see what Kevin Love does with Kawhi guarding him, and Splitter manning the middle.

I'm interested in watching the Spanish phenom that is Rubio. I've heard he delivers some awesome passes.

Game Prediction:

Spurs by 4 and only because I have a little bit of faith.

NBA Stats Cube Lineup Comparison Here. Minnesota Timberwolves perspective can be found here: Canis Hoopus

As always Tony must dominate Fisher, and 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.

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