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Martin Luther King Day Matinee

If you have the day off, and really you should, you're in for a treat this afternoon. Not only do the Sixers have a game, but it's a game they really should be able to win. Preview and game thread after the jump.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are one of the most troubled franchises in the league. Blessed with two of the top six picks in the NBA draft, they decided to take two point guards, prompting one of them to eschew the NBA altogether and stay overseas while the other is struggling mightily at the pro level. To add insult to injury, the best point on their roster (Ramon Sessions, the third point guard they acquired this summer) hardly sees the floor (21 minutes/game).

The T-Wolves do have some talent, especially up front, but Kevin Love and Al Jefferson aren't exactly what you'd call complementary players at PF and C. Both guys can rebound, Love especially who is already one of the best in the league in his sophomore season, and both can score, especially Jefferson. The problem is they're both slow, and neither can defend worth a lick.

They have zero outside shooting. Love is the only shooter on the team above league average from three (another impressive part of his game, he's shooting it at a 39% clip from deep).

When you look at Minnesota's stats, it's no wonder they have the second-worst record in the league. They play at a break-neck pace (3rd fastest in the league), they can't score the ball (99.9 points scored/100 possessions) and they can't defend either (110.1 points allowed/100 possessions).

Honestly, the T-Wolves are another franchise that should thank their lucky stars the Nets are chasing the record for worst season ever, otherwise more people would realize exactly how terrible they are. An interesting side note for Minnesota. Most likely, they'll have the second-best odds in the league of winning the lottery on draft night. Let's say they do, would they then select John Wall with the number one overall pick? If they did, they will have drafted three point guards in the lottery in two seasons, and committed $17M over four seasons to a fourth. That's quite an achievement.

I have the Sixers winning this one, assuming they stick with the smart rotations and defensive-minded play we've seen since Stefanski's tirade. If Eddie Jordan is left to his own devices, all bets are off.

Key to The Game: Defensive glass. Minnesota is going to miss a ton of shots. Thad especially is going to have to really work to keep Kevin Love off his offensive glass.
If ___________ the Sixers will win: Eddie Jordan does not coach like Eddie Jordan wants to coach.

This is your game thread, up extra early. I think I'm going to be spending the afternoon with the wife and kids, so the thread is all yours. Keep it civil (at least concerning each other. I don't care what you say about Eddie). I'll be watching the game on DVR in the early evening, and I'll check in after. Enjoy your holiday, guys.
by Brian on Jan 18 2010
Tags: Basketball | Previews | Sixers | Timberwolves |