in 2010, Kahn preferred Wes Johnson over Paul "Mr. First Names" George
Ed Note: TCSnyder is a new contributor to TwolvesBlog.com. He resides in Phoenix with his wife who, while working for ASU, once recieved a phone call from Rob Babcock wanting to know if James Harden had any character issues. As Beard ended up elsewhere, we can assume she issued Babcock a terrible review, and thus we can blame her for the start of the OKC non-dynasty, and the subsequent trade to Houston. TC resides in Phoenix where he spends his days eagerly anticipating nightly hall-of-fame performances from Michael Beasley, Wes Johnson and Sebastain Telfair. Welcome, TCSnyder (no relation to Kirk Snyder)!
Familiar Foes. Both Indiana and the T-wolves have played at Toronto and against Sacramento at home. Indiana emerged from two close games 2-0. The Wolves got the W vs. Kings to open the year, but received a bare-bottom, pants at the ankles spanking in the 4th quarter as Toronto pulled away to win by 19. It is hard to draw anything conclusive from playing identical opponents, but it is interesting nonetheless.
Worth every penny. AK-47 is proving his worth. The season is young, but everyone who watched a game last year and beyond can appreciate the fact that Martell Webster and Wes Johnson’s respective reigns of terror are over, and in Johnson’s case, relocated to Phoenix for me to appreciate for 82 games. You are a special, special player, Wesley! I digress. AK-47’s line vs the Nyets is a thing of beauty: 7 of 11 FG, 16 pts, 10 boards, 6 assists, 4 blocks, 1 steal. Without K-love, he might be the most important player on the team.
Paul George: two first names, one tall fellow. Paul George is leading the Pacers in rebounding at a healthy 10.5rb/game through 5 games. As a team, the Pacers lead the league in rebounding per game. George is also averaging nearly 40 minutes per game. AK-47 will likely draw defensive duties here. Mr. Masha Lopatova needs to chase Mr. 2 first names off the 3pt line and keep him off the boards. If George has a big scoring night, the wolves are in trouble.
Length vs. Strength. Pekovic did not play his best basketball against the Pacers last year. I think part of it is due to Hibbert’s length (his overall play wasn’t bad either) and part is due to the injuries Pek had last year. This time, I see Pek putting up his first dbl-dbl of the year.
Prediction. These are two teams missing key pieces (K Love/Ricky for wolves and to a lesser extent Danny Granger for the Pacers). The wolves are winners of 2 straight, seemingly hitting stride, while the Pacers have dropped 2 in a row. Can the Timberwolves build off an extremely heartening comeback against Brooklyn and strong performance against Orlando? I think they can. Buoyed by big games from AK, Pek, and a solid game from D Will (14-18pts), the wolves win at home.