The Sixers lost their only matchup with the Timberwolves last year in Minnesota on a controversial last second foul that ended with Kevin love shooting free throws with 0.1 seconds left to give Minnesota a 92-91 victory. The Sixers have won their last four home games against the T’wolves. The Sixers are happy to see the T’wolves in town as they are 5-1 against the Western Conference this season after only winning 7-of-18 games against the West . The Sixers have followed up each of their three game win streaks with two straight losses. They lost to Chicago and their second game is tonight against Minnesota.
Who to Watch: Lavoy Allen. Saturday’s game is proof that the Sixers big men need to step up. Allen had 10 points and eight rebounds on Saturday but the Sixers were absolutely dominated on the glass. He has started the last five games over Kwame Brown and Spencer Hawes. In those five games, he is shooting 57.6% from the field and averaging nine points per game. He is averaging 7.6 rebounds per game in his last four outings. The Sixers need him to improve inside if they want to be a contender.
The last time the Timberwolves won in Philadelphia was December 3, 2006 when they topped the Sixers 95-84. As imperative it is for the Sixers to outrebound their opponent, the Timberwolves cannot afford to get outrebounded. In games in which they have been outrebounded, the T’wolves are 1-5. They rank fifth in the NBA in rebound percentage (52.6%). The Timberwolves have a young team but only one rookie, Alexey Shved. Shved ranks fifth in the NBA in rookie scoring averaging 10.4 points per game.
Who to Watch: Kevin Love. Love is the undisputed go-to guy on the Timberwolves. So far this season Love is averaging 21.7 points and 15.2 rebounds per game. Last Tuesday, Love registered his 16th career 20/20 game when he poured in 23 points and grabbed 24 rebounds against the Sacramento Kings. He has been injured this year and has only appeared in six games. He is shooting a career low 68.3% from the free throw line but is an 81.8% free throw shooter in his career. As a 6’10” post presence, his free throw shooting is invaluable.
PG – Jrue Holiday
SG – Jason Richardson
SF – Evan Turner
PF – Thaddeus Young
C – Lavoy Allen.
Tipoff is slated for 7:00 pm and there are tickets still available. The game can be seen on Comcast Sportsnet and heard on 97.5 The Fanatic.
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