Game On: Minnesota @ Hornets

Published: January 11, 2013

Minnesota brings no Love to New Orleans.  Will Vasquez and Company take advantage?

Minnesota has struggled with injuries all year, with Love missing nearly half their games, Brandon Roy managing 5 games all season, Ricky Rubio chalking up 7 so far, and Chase Budinger only playing six.  Through it all, the Wolves have managed to play about .500 ball.  Had this team managed to stay healthy (minus Roy, who was clearly not going to be healthy) they would probably be challenging for home court advantage in the first round.  Instead, they are struggling to stay in the playoff conversation.

As can be expected for a middle of the road team, they do some things well and some things terribly.  Can the Hornets take advantage?

Keys to the Game

  • The biggest battle in this game is the boards.  Minnesota shoots poorly.  They turn the ball over frequently.  They gain a major advantage in every game, however, by dominating the glass on both ends of the floor.  This reduces shot counts for opponents and ensure the Wolves get extra shots to make up for their poor shooting.  The Hornets have been crushing the glass the past week – if they can even battle Minnesota to a draw on the glass, advantage Hornets.
  • Since Gordon has returned to the lineup, the Hornets have cut their turnovers – that looks to continue tonight as the Timberwolves have been terrible at forcing turnovers this season.  If Gordon and Vasquez can keep their miscues low, the Hornets can gain a possession advantage here.
  • Drill it from deep.  The Wolves have allowed the 6th most threes in the league.  The Hornets have some good shooters.  If they make their shots, this game could be a laugher.

Thing to watch – Personally, if I was Rick Adelman, I’d put Kirilenko on Ryan Anderson and tell him to never leave.  It will be interesting to see if this happens and what Anderson does to get free.

Enjoy the game!


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