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Game 15 – January 21, 2012: Minnesota Timberwolves @ Utah Jazz

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The Minnesota Timberwolves will tip off against our Utah Jazz just hours after a fantastic finish (and road win) against the Los Angeles Clippers. A lot of their best players made big plays when they counted the most. Rubio had a key jumper, shooting without any hesitation despite missing every jump shot he took that night. And Kevin Love drained a game winning three with no time left on the clock. On the flip side the Jazz lost their second game all season at home, to the Dallas Mavericks, by a three point margin. The Jazz are upset and looking to get back to their winning ways; while the Wolves are hungry to continue their current streak.

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Sight Reading:

These are two pretty equal teams on paper. Of course, the paper also shows the Jazz having a better record, and the Wolves having a way more experienced Head Coach in Rick Adelman. I forgot to adjust the ranks for point differential, so right now they are the wrong ranks, but everything else looks in place. Minnesota crashes their offensive glass, and also take (and make) the 6th most threes, and get to the line the fifth most in the entire NBA. The Jazz continue to try to own the paint, being great at stopping the other team from getting boards (they are also Top 5 in opponents offensive rebounds), blocking shots, and holding onto the ball. Utah will play a control game; while the Rubio led Timberwolves will attempt to be a bit more free-flowing at times (what they can get away with, from Adelman, I guess).

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Much more info after the jump!

Recapitulation:

These teams haven’t played each other yet this season, and last season, well, the Wolves always give us trouble.

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The Beats and the Rests:

The T-Wolves have an advantage over us in most places. Kevin Love is having a great season, but not as Efficient as Paul Millsap (really, who is?). By the same token, how many guys is Gordon Hayward playing better than this season? Man . . .

Michael Beasley and Josh Howard will both be out, again; so we’re going to get to see more of Anthony Randolph (hopefully), and smoking hot C.J. Miles. Also Luke Ridnour may start because I have no clue what the T-Wolves are doing there . . . I am matching him up against Earl Watson in this graphic.

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Soloists:

Kevin Love and Al Jefferson, former team mates, not fighting one another for a potential All-Star Spot; tonight the light shines on them brightest.

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The Remix:

Man, remember when we used to punish the Timberwolves with a great power forward / point guard combo? I guess the shoe is on the other foot now . . .

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Liner Notes:

  • Utah will be without Josh Howard
  • A lot of Jazz players got poorer due to NBA fines over their technical fouls
  • Devin Harris and Jamaal Tinsley are both questionable
  • Minnesota will be without J.J. Barea, Michael Beasley, Malcolm Lee, Brad Miller, and Martell Webster
  • That doesn't mean they'll be easy to beat though

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