Miami Heat v. Wolves (Game #58) Preview

Statistical Breakdown:
Time: Tonight 6:30 p.m. CST
Place: American Airlines Arena
MIA record: 29-28
MIN record: 13-44
MIA home record: 14-12
MIN road record: 4-24
MIA record v. Western Conf: 11-13
MIN record v. Eastern conf: 6-18
MIA PPG: 96.5 (26th)
MIN PPG: 97.9 (21st)
MIA opponents PPG: 95.1 (T-4th)
MIN opponents PPG: 106.5 (29th)
MIA RPG: 41.6 (17th)
MIN RPG: 43.4 (4th)
MIA RPG Diff: +0.9 (11th)
MIN RPG Diff: +0.1 (T-16th)
MIA AST/TO: 19.0/13.1 (16th)
MIN AST/TO: 19.7/16.0 (29th)
MIA FG%: 45.6% (16th)
MIN FG%: 44.8% (23rd)
MIA opponents FG%: 44.2% (7th)
MIN opponents FG%: 47.6% (26th)
MIA 3PT%: 34.6% (16th)
MIN 3PT%: 33.6% (26th)
MIA FT%: 74.9% (18th)
MIN FT%: 73.7% (24th)
Last meeting: 1st meeting of season
My prediction: MIA 104-103

Preview: I think the T-Wolves can stick with the Heat. Miami is a very good team but they do not have anything (aside from Dwyane Wade) that is spectacular. Lucky for Minnesota D-Wade is not playing tonight. Without Wade the Heat have a major chink in the armor. It is up to the Wolves to take advantage of his absence. Michael Beasley is a force to be dealt with. He can single handedly take down Minnesota, but he also might not show up at all. At this point in his 2nd year he is still struggling to be consistent. Miami is not very deep but their bench is not too poor either. Kevin Love will need to be at his best along with Big Al and Darko. The Wolves strength is clearly down low yet they tend to go stretches without allowing Big Al to touch the ball. That cannot happen tonight. Minnesota must get the ball into the post and force Miami to stop them.

Key Matchups: Darko/Hollins v. O’Neal, Alston v. Flynn, and Love/Big Al v. Beasley

Projected Starting Lineups:
Miami Heat
PG Rafer Alston 8.3 pts, 3.5/1.8 Ast/TO,
SG Not Wade and that is all that matters
SF Quentin Richardson 82 pts, 4.8 reb
PF Michael Beasley 15.8 pts, 6.7 reb
C Jermaine O’Neal 13.3 pts, 7.4 reb

Minnesota Timberwolves
PG Jonny Flynn 13.9 Pts, 4.3/2.77 Ast/TO
SG Corey Brewer 13.2 Pts, 3.6 Reb
SF Ryan Gomes 10.7 Pts, 4.4 Reb
PF Al Jefferson 17.4 Pts, 9.5 Reb
C Ryan Hollins 6.2 Pts, 2.9 reb
Go Wolves!!!!!!!!!!

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