Понедельник, 23 Апреля, 2018

Minnesota Timberwolves: 5 keys to series vs. Rockets

Nightmare Harden Vol 2 Timberwolves Feel Ready For First Postseason Appearance In 14 Years
Sammy Stanley | 16 Апреля, 2018, 14:54

First things first: The Minnesota Timberwolves are not merely happy to be in the playoffs for the first time since 2004, despite the prevailing narrative regarding their presence. Minnesota won three straight to close the regular season, including a 112-106 overtime win at home over Denver Wednesday night in their finale.

For their effort, which included surviving a lengthy span of the stretch run without All-Start guard Jimmy Butler, the Timberwolves earned a matchup against the top-seeded and heavily favored Houston Rockets, with their Western Conference first-round series set to commence Sunday at Toyota Center. His teams were bounced in the first round five times, and the other four they lost in the second round. I'm not saying the traditional big man is a relic but it's not something that's necessarily needed to have a successful team in the Association. He's a great playmaker and makes everyone around him better.

We'll be seeing the likes of Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson and Jeff Teague go up against James Harden, Chris Paul, Trevor Ariza and P.J.

Minnesota Timberwolves arrive into the playoffs on the back of Karl-Anthony Towns' best performance yet. The three-ball will reign supreme for the Rockets as the T-Wolves defense as a whole won't be quick enough to adjust to the torrid pace of which these Rockets shoot their three-pointers. The Rockets averaged 50.1% shooting from the floor in the four games.

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How Minnesota handles the challenge that comes with defending the Rockets might align with its offensive approach. But you need to limit the damage Houston does from the 3-point line, and offensively, the Wolves should be fine. Score more points than them, sure, that's it. Of particular concern is the Wolves' defensive rebounding percentage against the Rockets, which is.736.

What can be said about the Houston Rockets that hasn't already been written about?

James Harden, a favorite to win the MVP this season, leads the Rockets lineup.

Towns finished the series opener with a paltry output of eight points. Not only are they one of only two teams to make over 1,000 threes this season but they have made nearly twice as many threes per game as the Timberwolves have. The Rockets are well aware of their potency, and the potential to inflect damage by doing what they usually do. This is more of a recipe, or rather a list of ingredients, that if mixed together correctly under the right conditions, could come out as four Minnesota wins.

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