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Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Minnesota Timberwolves

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The Spurs play the second night of a road back-to-back against the up-and-coming Wolves.

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at San Antonio Spurs Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The San Antonio Spurs are back at it again on Wednesday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves on the second night of a road back-to-back in Minneapolis. After the victory on Tuesday night against the Mavericks, the Spurs will look to keep it rolling against an up-and-coming Minnesota Timberwolves squad.

San Antonio Spurs (9-5) at Minnesota Timberwolves (8-5)

November 15, 2017 I 7:00 PM CDT

Watch: FSSW, Listen: WOAI

Spurs injuries: Kawhi Leonard (quadriceps), Tony Parker (quadriceps), Derrick White (fractured right wrist)

Timberwolves injuries: Gorgui Dieng (finger)

Containing Minnesota’s Big Three

The Minnesota Timberwolves have had an up-and-coming team for the last few seasons, but the young roster got a welcomed jolt when the Chicago Bulls dealt all-star Jimmy Butler to Minnesota this past summer. Butler reunited with former Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau in Minneapolis, and joined young guns Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins to create a formidable Big Three for the Timberwolves.

The trio has gotten off to a fast start in this 2017-18 campaign, beginning the season with an 8-5 record and possessing an offense that ranks eighth in the NBA in offensive efficiency. Towns, Wiggins, and of course Jimmy Butler, have combined for 56.9 points per game this season, so defensive awareness by the Spurs will be of utmost importance in Wednesday night’s tilt.

While the Spurs have been a roller coaster ride on the defensive end of the floor without stalwart wing Kawhi Leonard, Wednesday night will present an opportunity to gain confidence in stopping one of the best offenses in the NBA. A strong night on defense should go a long way towards determining the outcome of the game.

Exploiting a poor Minnesota defense

Despite being coached by Tom Thibodeau, a heralded coach of the defensive end of the floor, the Wolves have had a ton of issues meshing and getting timely stops on defense so far this season. The issues on defense is a major reason why their record is not better than 8-5 in this early season. The Wolves enter Wednesday night giving up 108.4 points per 100 possessions, which is tied for 26th in the NBA.

Oof.

It’s early, there are plenty of new pieces entering the fold, and Thibodeau is a good teacher of defense. They’ll likely improve in later meetings this season against the Spurs, so this match-up on Wednesday presents a golden opportunity for San Antonio to take advantage offensively against a porous Wolves unit.


Vegas Odds: Wolves by 5.

Game Prediction: Spurs by 5.

For the Timberwolves fan’s perspective, visit Canis Hoopus.

As always, Tony must dominate Fisher.

PtR's GameThread will be up this evening for those who want to chat through the game. You can also follow along with the action. through PtR's Twitter feed.