MIchael Beasley on opening night (Yahoo! Sports)

Timberwolves vs Heat Reminds Of '97-'98 vs Michael Jordan's Bulls

The Minnesota Timberwolves will do their best to put out the flame tonight versus the defending Eastern Conference Champion Miami Heat.   The Heat are loaded with superstars, and certainly an imposing matchup for the young and up-and-coming Timberwolves.   Back in the 1997-98 season, Kevin Garnett, Stephon Marbury and crew took on Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and the Chicago Bulls in one of the most exciting regular season game in Timberwolves history.   The Bulls were on their way to their 3rd straight NBA championship, and the Heat may very well be on their way to an NBA title this season.   The excitement of Garnett and Marbury can only be matched by Ricky Rubio and his running mates.   Having attended Monday’s season opener, I can attest that I have not been to a more exciting basketball atmosphere in a long, long time.   Rubio has the magic, and the Timberwolves faithful can sense it.   It’s only a question of putting all the right pieces together now. 

Click here to see a full game’s worth of highlights from the 1997-98 game versus the Bulls.

The atmosphere is very similar to Monday night, when Rubio delighted the Target Center crowd.

What to watch for tonight:

  • Timberwolves defensive strategy against Lebron & DWade.   Look for the team to try out some zone.  The Heat have proved early on this season that they do have the ability to beat a zone, but can they keep it up?   I’d like to see Derrick Williams match-up with Lebron.  Similar size and we know Williams has the athletic ability.
  • Rubio’s playing time.  I know several Timberwolves faithful who are confused by Rubio not starting already.  Obviously the Timberwolves are going to make the rookie earn his time.  Now, with J.J. Barea out tonight, Rubio’s playing time will certainly increase.  Although, he will still come off the bench.
  • Will Michael Beasley pass the ball tonight?    He has 1 assist in 2 games this season, and has been killing the Timberwolves ball movement.
  • Somebody check Anthony Tolliver’s pulse and get Anthony Randolph in the game!
  • If the Timberwolves can get lucky enough to have DWade sit out with an injury and also if the Heat have a difficult shooting night……they have a chance.

My 2011 will end on a glorious note if Ricky can give us another highlight assist!


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Tags: LeBron James Miami Heat Michael Beasley Minnesota Timberwolves Ricky Rubio

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