Time: Tonight 7 p.m. CST
Place: Target Center
CHA road record: 6-19
MIN home record: 9-17
CHA record v. Western Conf: 9-9
MIN record v. Eastern conf: 6-12
CHA PPG: 95.1 (28th)
MIN PPG: 98.2 (20th)
CHA opponents PPG: 94.2 (3rd)
MIN opponents PPG: 106.8 (28th)
CHA RPG: 40.3 (27th)
MIN RPG: 43.7 (3rd)
CHA RPG Diff: 0.9 (12th)
MIN RPG Diff: 0.7 (14th)
CHA AST/TO: 19.6/14.9
MIN AST/TO: 19.7/15.5
CHA FG%: 45.1% (22nd)
MIN FG%: 44.7% (23rd)
CHA opponents FG%: 44.9% (8th)
MIN opponents FG%: 47.5% (27th)
CHA 3PT%: 33.9% (23rd)
MIN 3PT%: 33.1% (26th)
CHA FT%: 74.1% (23rd)
MIN FT%: 74.5% (20th)
Last meeting: 1st meeting of the season
My prediction: MIN 101-93
Preview: Charlotte is one of the best defensive teams in the league; they are one of the most athletic teams Minnesota will face this year. Gerald Wallace and S-Jax are going to be hard to defend and could possibly beat Minnesota by their selves. Ray Felton has incredible speed and is a very good decision maker while in transition. Fortunately for the Wolves I think this matchup favors them for a few reasons:
1) I think the T-Wolves can own the boards due to the Bobcats lack of size.
2) Jonny Flynn is fast enough and strong enough to stick with Felton and actually give him a hard time.
3) Corey Brewer’s athleticism, length, and defensive ability will help him give S-Jax problems.
4) S-Jax is not a very strong defender and I think Brewer can really take advantage of him.
5) Kevin Love is a luxury most teams don’t have. I don’t think Charlotte has seen a big man who can dominate both inside and outside coming off the bench.
6)Charlotte is a completely different team on the road.
Key Matchups: Gomes v. Wallace, Felton v. Flynn, Brewer v. Jackson
Projected Starting Lineups:
PG Raymond Felton 12.1 pts, 5.1/2.2 Ast/TO
SG Stephen Jackson 20.7 pts, 4.8 reb
SF Gerald Wallace 19.1 pts, 10.9 reb
PF Boris Diaw 10.2 pts, 4.8 reb
C Nazr Mohammed 8.3 pts, 5.1 reb
PG Jonny Flynn 14.0 Pts, 4.4/2.8 Ast/TO
SG Corey Brewer 13.4 Pts, 3.9 Reb
SF Ryan Gomes 10.9 Pts, 4.5 Reb
PF Al Jefferson 17.8 Pts, 9.8 Reb
C Ryan Hollins 6.2 Pts, 3.0 reb (10.4 Pts, 3.9 Reb as starter)