Saturday, February 11, 2012

Knicks at Minnesota Timberwolves- Preview

Are they still called the Timberwolves? Or is it just Wolves, like the Devil Rays became the Rays? Anywho, tonight at 8 the Knicks play them! The Wolves that is! Tonight's the first time these two teams have met in Minnesota since the Wolves pulled out a win behind a 30-30 effort from Kevin Love. The Knicks don't want to do that again tonight.

Surely there will be some fun matchups in this one, particularly Jeremy Lin vs. Ricky Rubio. However, Jared Jeffries guarding Kevin Love could be interesting, and Landry Fields vs. Wesley Johnson is fun because it reminds me of what a steal Landry is.

Anyway, take the jump for some notes!

An important thing to remember these two teams both played last night. The Wolves lost to the Mavericks and committed 27 (!) turnovers. The Knicks, of course, rallied behind Jeremy Lin's 38 points and upset the Lakers. They'll continue to be short-handed tonight, so it may take some more extraordinary performances to continue this win streak. Here's what I'll be looking for:

  • While Jeremy Lin has risen as one of the NBA's favorite faces, Rubio has slipped slightly since his hot beginning to the season. Nonetheless, this should be one of the more exciting point guard matchups we've seen this season. Lin and Rubio are both surprisingly good defenders, and while Lin is a good passer, he's not on Rubio's level. Then again, Rubio can score, but I'd be quite surprised to see him put up what Jeremy has in the past 4 games.
  • Kevin Love is a rebounding monster, there's no doubt about that. He could easily out-muscle Jared Jeffries down low. But between Jeffries and Tyson Chandler they might have enough to keep Love off the boards. Nikola Pekovic has played well recently, and rookie Derrick Williams can provide an athletic spark down low that the Knicks may have trouble competing with. On a night where the Knicks will have some tired legs, they'll have to keep the Wolves from getting offensive rebounds and getting second chances.
  • Steve Novak had a rough shooting night last night, as did Bill Walker and Landry Fields. As I mentioned, there will be some tired legs tonight, so a more all-around team effort will be important when it comes to scoring. If the above mentioned three players can hit some outside shots, it will spread the floor more for Lin and Tyson to do their things. Also, it'll be interesting to see if Mike D'Antoni keeps playing Bibby off the bench or if he'll give Toney Douglas's fresh legs a chance.
Minnesota Timberwolves Scouting Report

 - Anthony Randolph and Darko Milicic - both ex-Knicks - have been devising a plan where they both wear their old Knicks uniforms and go onto the court pretending to be Knicks. When they're mistakenly thrown the ball they will score on the Knicks' basket. Rinse and repeat.

 - Michael Beasley has an alter ego called "Mikey Beastly" that takes over when his team needs points. However, given Beasley's sometimes spotty offensive game, Mikey Beastly sometimes falls short of his goal. Luke Ridnour thinks it's badass anyway.

 - Veteran center Brad Miller has been desperately trying to convince Ricky Rubio to rock "the swag-Kings Brad Miller look" all season long, despite Rubio's insistence that he loves his hair the way it is now.

Knicks are looking for their longest win streak of the season at five! Go Knicks!!

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