Preview: Minnesota Timberwolves (16-17) @ San Antonio Spurs (28-11)

The Spurs lost 101-98 to the Memphis Grizzlies in overtime Friday night. Only two other teams this year hung 98 or more on the Griz, the Lakers scored 98 (Kobe had 30) and lost, while the Rockets blew them out scoring 121 (Harden had 31). As I write this, I realize Dallas just beat the Griz by scoring 104, so– my point is, what is going on with the Memphis Grizzlies? NO. NO. My point is:the Spurs can put up points with the best of them.

Spurs probable starting lineup:

PG Tony Parker

SG Danny Green

SF Kahwi Leonard

PF Tiago Splitter

C Tim Duncan

Tony Parker is having one of those MVP years where, should the Spurs end up at or near the top of the league-best records, the clamoring for Parker MVP votes will start to get obnoxious because, honestly nobody’s going to wrench the thing away from LeBron James, so just give it a rest, but seriously — guy is averaging 20 points and 7 assists on 51% shooting. Same story as last year, really. Guy drives one of the premier offenses in the NBA, and he does it well.

Is there a center in the league playing better than Tim Duncan? He’s playing more minutes than he has in 3 years, his stats are up across the board. The weirdest improvement? This career 69% free thrower has found the secret in his 16th year. He is shooting a career-high 81% from the line.

Wolves probable starting lineup:

PG Luke Ridnour

SG Alexey Shved

SF Andrei Kirilenko

PF Dante Cunningham

C Nikola Pekovic

I don’t know if I have the patience to delve too deeply into what the New Orleans Hornets did to the Wolves Friday. Greivis Vasquez was too big and savvy for Ridnour’s defense. Cunningham seemed — and has for a few games — a bit off for stretches. AK got a taste of his own medicine a few times getting burned backdoor on the baseline. Pek played limited minutes and seemed to peter out as the game wore on. Acting head coach, Terry Porter’s had a tough job subbing for Rick Adelman and incurring additional injuries (seemingly) daily. I know the time may come for Ricky Rubio to start sometime later, as his minutes are capped at only 20 a game, for now. But when Ricky does make his way to the starting lineup, I’d hope Derrick Williams (if he is still on the roster) gets the chance to make the move with him. D-Will benefits playing with Rubio more than most, and Dante could be more effective from the bench.

Topics: Minnesota Timberwolves, Preview, San Antonio Spurs

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