Official Game #57 Preview

Statistical Breakdown:
Time: Tonight 6 p.m. CST
Place: Target Center
OKC record: 32-21
MIN record: 13-43
OKC road record: 16-11
MIN home record: 9-19
OKC record v. Western Conf: 15-15 (in div 5-2)
MIN record v. Western conf: 7-26 (in div 3-7)
OKC PPG: 98.9 (18th)
MIN PPG: 97.8 (T-21st)
OKC opponents PPG: 95.7 (6th)
MIN opponents PPG: 106.5 (28th)
OKC RPG: 43.6 (3rd)
MIN RPG: 43.4 (T-4th)
OKC RPG Diff: +2.3 (7th)
MIN RPG Diff: +0.1 (16th)
OKC AST/TO: 19.2/15.3 (T-26th)
MIN AST/TO: 19.6/16.1 (29th)
OKC FG%: 45.6% (17th)
MIN FG%: 44.8% (23rd)
OKC opponents FG%: 43.6% (2nd)
MIN opponents FG%: 47.6% (26th)
OKC 3PT%: 34.3% (21st)
MIN 3PT%: 33.6% (25th)
OKC FT%: 79.1% (2nd)
MIN FT%: 73.7% (24th)
Last meeting: OKC 94-92
My prediction: OKC 103-91

Preview: I wonder if the Black Eyed Peas would be willing to do a remix of “I Gotta Feeling”…….”I gotta feeling tonight’s gonna be a bad night, that tonight’s gonna be a bad night, that tonight’s gonna be a bad bad night!” It would be a perfect melody for what is likely to come tonight. I really hate being negative but the Thunder are better than the Wolves in every statistical category. I am not exaggerating. Even the categories OKC is not very good in the Wolves are somehow worse.

Coming into tonight’s game the Thunder have won 8 straight and KD has scored 25+ points in 27 straight games. Durant is attempting to chase down Michael Jordan’s 40 straight games with 25+ points. Russell Westbrook is averaging 18.8 points 8.2 assists per contests over the past 10 games. Basically the Thunder are on fire.

The wild card in tonight’s matchup as always is Kevin Love. Since Ryan Hollins has taken over as the starting Center, The Beach Boy is averaging nearly 15 points and 10 boards a game off the bench. If Love plays 30+ minutes and can dominate both in and outside then the Wolves have a chance. Both Love and Big Al need to have great performances if the Wolves are going to upset OKC.

Defensively we will have to wait and see what Minnesota’s plan for defending Durant is. There is always two trains of thought here: 1) Shut KD down and force everyone else to hit shots. 2) Focus on taking away everyone else and make Durant beat you. Either way KD will be the focus of Minnesota’s game plan.

Key Matchups: Big v. Green, Durant v. Brewer or Gomes, Westbrook v. Flynn, Collison v. Love

Projected Starting Lineups:
Oklahoma City Thunder
PG Russell Westbrook 16.3 pts, 7.6/3.2 Ast/TO, 5.1 reb
SG Thabo Sefolosha 5.8 pts, 5.2 reb
SF Kevin Durant 29.8 pts, 7.5 reb
PF Jeff Green 14.5 pts, 6.1 reb
C Nenad Krstic 7.9 pts, 4.8 reb

Minnesota Timberwolves
PG Jonny Flynn 13.8 Pts, 4.3/2.75 Ast/TO
SG Corey Brewer 13.2 Pts, 3.7 Reb
SF Ryan Gomes 10.9 Pts, 4.4 Reb
PF Al Jefferson 17.5 Pts, 9.5 Reb
C Ryan Hollins 6.2 Pts, 2.9 reb
Go Wolves!!!!!!!!!!

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Tags: Big Al Corey Brewer Jonny Flynn Kevin Love Kurt Rambis Minnesota Timberwolves Ryan Hollins

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