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Timberwolves vs. Thunder: Pregame Primer

Timberwolves vs. Thunder: Pregame Primer



Timberwolves (9-20, 5-9 road) vs. Thunder (18-12, 11-6 home)

Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 930 AM (Spanish))
Time: 7:00 PM CST

Team Comparisons (per NBA.com/Stats)

  • Offensive Rating: Thunder – 104.3 (16th), Timberwolves – 105.9 (10th)
    Defensive Rating: Thunder – 103.3 (11th), Timberwolves – 108.1 (26th)

I really don’t know if people are appreciating what they are currently witnessing with Russell Westbrook. Oklahoma City Thunder fans probably look at as normal by now. But 40-point triple-doubles are about as rare as they come. 50-point triple doubles, even rarer. And yet, we’ve seen those from Westbrook on at least 3 occasions in the first 30 games of the season. That’s a 10% return on historical triple-doubles. Enjoy what you are watching. This is truly a historic season.

Season Series Recap

This is the second of four meetings this season between the Thunder and Timberwolves. The Thunder won the first meeting by 20 points, dispatching the T-wolves in easy fashion.


Cameron Payne (foot)
Victor Oladipo (wrist)

3 Big Things

1. Mind the shooters, back off the rest

The Timberwolves young trio of Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and Zach LaVine are each shooting at least 32.5% from deep, with LaVine topping the team as nearly 40% for the season. Everyone else on the team, not so much. While Wiggins and Towns are more of system shooters, LaVine has the ability to create his own shot and get hot from time to time. The Thunder will have to mind LaVine, as he burned them a couple times last season.

2. Inside Dominance

Towns and Gorgui Dieng are good big men. But they just aren’t big enough to contend with true big men like Steven Adams and Enes Kanter. The Thunder big men dominated in their last meeting and that should still be the case in this game.

3. The No. 2 for the Thunder

In Victor Oladipo’s absence, different players have stepped up to be that secondary scorer. Two games ago, it was Alex Abrines who put in a career-high 18 points. Last game it was Domantas Sabonis who put in a career-high 20 points. Do we get a career high 11 points from Semaj Christon tonight? Does Kanter pump in 30? We shall see. Merry Christmas all!