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Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

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The Spurs look to bounce back from their overtime loss to Cleveland by taking on the young Minnesota Timberwolves -- the last game in what's been a solid home stand.

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
March 15, 2015, 6:00 PM Spurs Time
TV: FSSW - RADIO: 1200 AM WOAI

There are great games and then there's what happened against Cleveland on Thursday night. Enough fine articles have been written on this site about it, and all I can say is how stupidly fortunate I feel for being a basketball fan this season -- even if it didn't end the way we'd like. If the Spurs give us more performances like that, there's a decent chance we could see a few more games against Cleveland down the road.

Let's move on to tonight's affair against the rebuilding Timberwolves who, despite being the first Western Conference team to 50 losses, are a few years away from being a dangerous team. For now, head coach Flip Saunders is happy to let his young players grow and learn their way into a high lottery seed. Amid a tough stretch in its schedule, which has included games against the Grizzlies, Clippers (twice), and Thunder, Minnesota has lost plenty as of late, although they did steal one against the Blazers.

The Wolves will look to run and make the most of the playmaking ability of Ricky Rubio, who's emerged as a solid floor leader for a group of guys that's largely still very inexperienced. While ROTY frontrunner Andrew Wiggins will be a focal point of their attack, Kevin Martin is still by and far their best scorer. He'll likely get his points tonight, and the struggle for Minny will be where the other 80 will come from.

Rubio remains a great passer who still isn't much of a threat either from deep or when he attacks the basket. Wiggins might produce some oo-aah moments, and he's certainly looked the part of the first overall pick, but he's still very raw. If Saunders knows what's good for him, he'll unleash Gary Neal (back in the Midwest after a stint in Charlotte), who I still think has a 25-point game against San Antonio in him before it's all said and done.

Aside from that, there's just not much of an offensive punch on the T-Wolves. Gorgui Dieng will get some points off his athleticism and developing game facing the basket, and Kevin Garnett brings 20 minutes of scowling and above-average mid-range shooting, but the disciplined Spurs defense should be able to exploit the shortcomings of each player.

Their team allows the most points per game in the league. They defend the three-point line especially poorly, and their interior defense relies on Gorgui Dieng's length to erase the occasional breakdown. The Spurs' manic movement should see plenty of those breakdowns, and result in plenty of points.

Tonight's the last of the Spurs' six-game home stand, and I think San Antonio closes it out strong. If Minnesota were a bit better, and if this was happening in December instead of March, this matchup might have the makings of a trap game.

Matchup to watch: Danny Green vs. Kevin Martin. Martin's still the team's best option for instant points, and remains a solid scorer -- even though it feels like he's been doing the same thing in this league for the last 15 years. Verde is capable of giving him fits on both ends, though, and a quiet night for Martin could ensure this game is wrapped up early.

vs.

Minnesota Timberwolves (14-50)

San Antonio Spurs (40-23)

March 15, 2015

AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas

6:00 PM CDT

TV: FSSW

Radio: WOAI 1200AM

Starters

Ricky Rubio

PG

Tony Parker

Kevin Martin

SG

Danny Green

Andrew Wiggins

SF

Kawhi Leonard

Adreian Payne

PF

Boris Diaw

Gorgui Dieng

C

Tim Duncan


For the Timberwolves perspective, please visit Canis Hoopus.

Game prediction: Spurs by 14.

As always Tony must dominate Fisher, and you can get your San Antonio Spurs tickets from Daniel Farias with Spurs Sports & Entertainment: Tel: 210-444-5607 | dfarias@attcenter.com