Tale of the Tape: Randy Breuer vs. Nikola Pekovic

Tale of the Tape: Randy Breuer vs. Nikola Pekovic



Cristy Brusoe
Web Editorial Assistant

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Editor's Note: As part of our 25th season celebration, Timberwolves.com will put together a Tale of the Tape each week during the month of December showcasing a fantasy basketball matchup between the Wolves' current starting five and its starters from the 1989-90 inaugural season. This week, we focus on the center: Nikola Pekovic and Randy Breuer.

Breakdown:

Randy Breuer was pegged as a “huge risk,” when picked 18th in the 1983 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks. Steadily, he proved the doubters wrong by playing 6 ½ solid years there. But Breuer, a homegrown player from Lake City, Minn., wasn’t long for the rival state. In January 1990, the Bucks traded Breuer to the Timberwolves in exchange for Brad Lohaus. At 7-foot-3, Breuer was one of the biggest men in University of Minnesota history, having played for the Gophers during his college years. Breuer towered above the competition at the center position for the Wolves and was well known for his ability to block shots and score over opponents with his length.

Nikola Pekovic was selected 31st overall in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Timberwolves. He was widely considered a higher pick that dropped because of his contract situation with his team in Europe. It wasn’t until 2010 that Pekovic signed a substantial deal that brought him overseas to join the Wolves roster. Pekovic struggled learning the style of play in the NBA during his first year with the team. The next year, Pekovic stepped in for the injured Darko Milicic, and proved himself worthy of the starter role. This past summer Pekovic signed a five-year deal to continue his dominance as the Wolves center for years to come.

One on One:

 

Advantage Breuer Pekovic  
Height/Weight X X Breuer takes the height advantage, standing several inches taller than Pek. But Pek weighs nearly 60 pounds more.
Free Throws   X Pek makes nearly 73 percent of his free throw attempts.
Field Goals   X Pek just barely edges out Breuer, making 53 percent of hsi shots compared to Breuer's 46 percent.
Blocks X   Breuer's height advantage gives him the edge, averaging 1.5 blocks per game.
Defensive Rebounds   X Pek is a rebound machine, averaging more than five defensive boards per night.
Offensive rebounds   X On the offensive end, Pek is a major factor on the glass. He averaged 3.6 offensive rebounds a night compared to Breuer's 2.2.
Assists X   Breuer passes the ball around mroe with 1.6 assists per game compared to Pek's 1.0.
Turnovers X   Breuer proves to have a better handle here with only 1.3 turnovers a game. Pek turnst he ball over 1.6 times on average.
Points Per Game   X Pek has really come on in his scoring ability over the past few years, averaging 16.2 points per night this year.
Total Score 4 6 Pekovic wins 6-4 in the nine categories we selected for this matchup.

 


Analysis:

Nikola Pekovic’s game is mainly down low on the block—although, recently he’s shown he has some range. With that said, he has much more of a physical presence in the paint. Breuer could extend the defense with his ability to shoot a longer jumper from outside. Down low, Breuer was known for his turn around hook shot.

It always helps to have two defensive stars playing next to you. Breuer had Tod Murphy, who played lockdown defense against players such as Charles Barkley and Karl Malone, while Pekovic has Kevin Love, who averaged 14 rebounds per game last year. However, Pekovic seems to have the advantage when it comes to team defense. His weight gives him the advantage in positioning down low for the rebound. Bigger opponents were often able to push Breuer around because of his thinner frame.

However, Breuer appears to be the more agile of the two on the court. He was able to get to the rim and swiftly move the ball around without many turnovers. Meanwhile, Pekovic is a force in the paint, unable to be moved. In other words… feed the beast. With Ricky Rubio and J.J. Barea swinging the ball around, Pek gets plenty of opportunities to score, a task that no other Wolves center has been able to do in years. Pek averaged 16.3 ppg last year on a very consistent basis.

Overall, we believe Nikola Pekovic’s scoring ability down low, offensive put backs and pure muscle gives him the advantage in this week’s fantasy matchup.

Next Up: Corey Brewer vs. Tyrone Corbin


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