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Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

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The Spurs look to improve to 18-0 at home and dish out another loss to the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves.

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
December 28, 2015, 7:30 p.m. Spurs Time
TV: FSSW Radio: 1200 AM WOAI

A Kawhi Leonard quote following the Spurs' 25-point thumping of the Wolves less than a week ago belied the effort he'd just delivered in a 19-point, 2-block, 2-steal performance:

"Just another day for me," he said.

It's also, of course, such a Kawhi thing to say -- a verbal puppy-eyed shrug in the wake of another superlative performance -- which is itself symbolic of the team's approach on the whole to start the season, especially at home where the team is yet to lose.

Mention San Antonio's near-historic play at the AT&T Center this season to a teammate, though, and Leonard's ho-hum sentiment might appear contagious, like a yawn moving across the room on Boxing Day.

But the team's execution, especially on the defensive end, can impress regardless of opponent or score. In one first-quarter play, the freakishly athletic Andrew Wiggins faced up against Danny Green and, in one motion, went completely around his defender and attacked the baseline. It was a feat that against most teams would result in an easy finish at the rim. Against this team, however, the baseline is often both siren song and watery grave for opposing ballhandlers, and Wiggins was met at the basket by a stone-faced 39-year-old. With no energy wasted, Duncan blotted out the sun, swallowed Wiggins' attempt, and the team was running the other way.

Equally impressive in the possession is how reactive Tony and LaMarcus are, slotting into position and covering for their teammate. The defense is as fluid as it is predatory, like a carnivorous houseplant or the monster in Deep Rising, and watching it eviscerate the efforts of elite athletes is really fun viewing.

Wiggins and Towns struggled in the last matchup, while Ricky Rubio's impact was also limited. There were a few bright spots for Minnesota, with Zach LaVine and Tyus Jones providing some bounce off the bench, but it'll take a complete performance, including another big night at the free throw line, for the Wolves to pull off the upset.

The Spurs expect to have Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili back, who both sat out Saturday night's blowout victory over the Denver Nuggets. With a full team playing at home against a lottery-bound team, the numbers suggest a comfortable Spurs win, while the chance of a highlight-worthy play will loom for most of the game, from both teams.

Matchup to watch: Duncan against... whomever. I thought KAT would get the assignment of Aldridge last game, but Sam Mitchell instead put the rookie on Timmy, who scored on a dream shake move early before having his patented over-the-right-shoulder fadeaway disrupted by Towns' length and timing. On the other end, Duncan marked his contemporary, Kevin Garnett. Neither player put up big lines, but the matchup was a sight fans will want to be able to savor one more time tonight.

San Antonio Spurs (26-6)

Minnesota Timberwolves (11-19)

December 28, 2015

AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

7:30 PM CST

TV: FSSW

Starters

Tony Parker

PG

Ricky Rubio

Danny Green

SG

Andrew Wiggins

Kawhi Leonard

SF

Tayshaun Prince

LaMarcus Aldridge

PF

Karl-Anthony Towns

Tim Duncan

C

Kevin Garnett


Game prediction: Spurs by 22.

For the Timberwolves fans' perspective, visit Canis Hoopus.

As always Tony must dominate Fisher.