10/30/13 at TIMBERWOLVES

OPPONENT ANALYSIS: The last time the Timberwolves were in the playoffs Shaquille O’Neal was playing for the Lakers, LeBron James had just finished his rookie season and Kevin Garnett was in his 20’s. Abysmal draft decisions and recent injury woes have denied Minnesota from climbing the ladder in the West. Will Kevin Love be injury free this season? Also, will his impending free agency in 2015 become a distraction? There are finally some elevated expectations in Minnesota. But, are they good enough as currently constructed to be a playoff team or are they the ninth best team in the conference staring up at OKC, Houston, Golden State, San Antonio, Memphis, the L.A. Clippers, New Orleans and Denver?

BEST STORYLINE: It’s always a treat watching the two Montenegrin superstars battle down low. Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic and Minnesota’s Nikola Pekovic are two emerging big men. While Vucevic is looking to become more of an intimidator and tyrant inside, Pekovic, conversely, is trying to develop more finesse in the post.




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