Does that matter? No, not really but it is the day after Thanksgiving and my brain is somewhat addled by Turkcoma with a side of pie-eye glazing.
Ignore all that mess and move along to the rest of the preview....
When these teams first met in Phoenix for the third game of the season it was a case of the Suns still finding themselves and the Wolves being a crappy team. In the 12 games since the Suns have done pretty OK while Minnesota has only the 0-15 Nets to thank for deflecting attention away from their miserable and pitiful start to the season.
There are many things to be thankful for this holiday season and one of them is that you don't live in Minnesota where it is ungodly cold and root for a team that has only 1 win which came against the only other team in the league with a more pitiful record. The Nets.
But don't let those records fool you. The Suns have struggled in Minneapolis where they must suffer from understandable weather induced shock going from 80 degrees and sunny one day to cold as ice and cloudy the next. If you think little things like the outside temperature don't effect our indoor warriors just look at this tweet from Jason Richardson...
On my way to shootaround, man it's freezing in Minny.
And this from a guy who went to school in Michigan!
Actually, I lied. The Suns are a lifetime 22-16 in Minnesota so really even the cold weather isn't an excuse but sometimes you have to dig deep to find a reason to stay on your toes and not get cocky and overlook your opponent.
Statistically speaking the Timberwolves are...well they are bad on a lot of areas as this chart from the Suns Game Notes indicate:
Bottom line here is that the Suns biggest enemy is complacency.
This is a game that should be won.
There's no real excuse for not winning.
Yes, Al Jefferson is a great player but even he has been sub-his-own-par this season. His 15ppg are the lowest in the past 4 years and his rebounding numbers are down as well.
I will admit that I haven't actually watched the Timberwolves play this season (can you forgive me?) so I am not sure how much of that decline is due to his personal ability to play the game of basketball at a high level; or how much is due to his mental apathy; and how much is due to teams being able to focus so much attention on him since he's playing with some pretty ineffective teammates.
Whatever the reason, Al Jeff isn't dominating like he has in the past so Channing should be able to contain him without too much help. I would probably not be inclined to double him early in the game unless he just goes into Berserker Mode and puts up 15 points in the first quarter. Make him work for his points and don't let guys like Sessions or Brewer get open looks.
Offensively, I am going to blow your mind with this ingenious game plan:
Give the ball to Steve Nash. Watch him do his thing. Score. Repeat.
Basically, as long as the Suns wear their long underwear on the bus ride over and remember that despite their horrible record, pathetic statical output, underwhelming roster, and crazy assortment of 80's players turned coaches...
...the Timberwolves are in fact still an NBA team and their worst guys are still very capable of beating the crap out of us if we don't show up and play then
...we should be fine and get the W.
Game and other links: