Game On: Timberwolves @ Hornets (With Live Chat!)

Published: February 7, 2011

Matchup: Timberwolves(11-39) @ Hornets(32-20)

Off Efficiency: Timberwolves 101.8(23rd), Hornets 103.4(17th)
Def Efficiency: Timberwolves 108.1(26th), Hornets 99.8(4th)

As usual, thanks to Dariusz for his wonderful gameday banners!

If the Wolves could have picked a time to take on the Hornets, this would be it.  After just a few games without Okafor, the Hornets defense has already slipped to 4th and their rebound rates has fallen three spots to 5th.  Minnesota’s best attributes all season long has been their rebounding, spearheaded by Love, and their mid-range defense.  Their weaknesses are defending the three point line and at the rim.

Without Okafor, the Hornets have struggled onthe boards and they’ve never been great from three.  In the past few games, they are also shooting a larger percentage of their shots from mid-range.  The highly inefficient mid-range.  Sigh.

Anyways, here’s to hoping that Belinelli is hitting shots, Thornton makes it to the basket to give us some shots at the rim, and Aaron Gray sits on Kevin Love.


Timberwolves: Martell Webster is out with back Spasms, Ricky Rubio is out with an injured desire to play for the Timberwolves.
Hornets: Okafor and Ariza are out.  Nothing yet on whether Jason Smith will play.

Positional Analysis

PG: Jonny Flynn v Chris Paul
Advantage: Hornets
Yugo, Ferrari.  Ferrari, Yugo.

Okay – I won’t leave it there.  Most of you probably have no idea how badly Jonny Flynn is playing.  He has the 13th worst True Shooting percentage of any player in the league.(that’s out of 331 players)  He has the 14th worst turnover rate in the league, and second worst among point guards.  He makes Sebastian Telfair look like a good option at the point.  Now, yes, he’s coming back from injury, but it’s been 25 games, and things aren’t improving much.

SG: Corey Brewer v Marco Belinelli
Advantage: Even
Brewer can’t shoot, and Belinelli can, but both earn about the same number points per shot due to Brewer getting free throws.  Both are solid defenders.

SF: Michael Beasley v Quincy Pondexter
Advantage: Timberwolves
Beasley is a classic volume shooter who gets his points by taking lots of shots.  To give you an idea of his inefficiency, Beasley earns 1.157 points per shot he takes.  Marco Belinelli, who we blast all the time for his offensive problems, earns 1.161 points per shot.  Except for the Wolves, Beasley takes 17.3 shots – more shots than any other player.  Essentially, he’s streaky like Belinelli, and the Wolves hope from night to night that he gets hot.  As for Quincy, despite his energy and all the signs that he could become a rotation player, his production has been abysmal.  At least his defense is solid.  Would anyone be surprised if Pavlovic started here?  I wouldn’t.

PF: Kevin Love v David West
Advantage: Timberwolves
I’ll get blasted for this – but Kevin Love grabs almost twice as many rebounds as West – and that’s using rebound rate, not raw rebounds per game, so you can’t argue with me and say Love just gets more rebounds because there are so many missed shots created by his team.  Do I think West is a better defender?  Yes.  I just have a hard time ignoring the fact that Love earns 1.42 points per shot to David West’s 1.26.  Love is good.

C: Darko Milicic v Aaron Gray?
Advantage: Even
Milicic is overrated at this point.  Yes, he blocks shots.  Yes, he’s scoring more than he ever has.  It doesn’t matter.  He had a hot streak, but now he’s settled back to his expected numbers – and they are awful.  He rebounds at a worse rate than David West, he’s extremely inefficient, posting sub-Trevor Ariza scoring numbers despite being 3 feet from the basket, and he anchors the 26th worst defense in the league.  I don’t think it much matters which of our reserves takes him on – they’ll match him . . . or better him.

Anthony Tolliver, Sebastian Telfair, Wesley Johnson, Nikola Perovic
David Andersen, Marcus Thornton, Jarrett Jack, Sasha Pavlovic
Advantage: Hornets
Hey look – a bench that’s worse than the Hornets!  New Orleans did dodge a little bullet here, because Martell Webster has actually provided efficient offense for this group when he’s playing, but he’s out, making this bunch a sad, sad group.  Wesley Johnson burned the Hornets last time they played him, but he’s broken 20 points exactly zero times since that game.  I think we can call it a fluke.

Enjoy the game!  Talk it up in the comments.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.