|2013/2014 NBA Season|
|January 1, 2014, 7:00 PM CDT|
|Jrue Holiday||Ricky Rubio|
|Eric Gordon||Kevin Martin|
|Al-Farouq Aminu||Corey Brewer|
|Ryan Anderson||Kevin Love|
|Anthony Davis||Nikola Pekovic|
|Advanced Stats (2013/14)|
|93.4 (19)||Pace||97.3 (2)|
|108.7 (6)||ORtg||108.4 (8)|
|108.2 (25)||DRtg||104.3 (11)
First things first, Happy New Year all!
The Pelicans kick off their four-game road trip in Minneapolis. Considering the last two games of the trip come against the Pacers and Heat, the Pels really need to try and notch a victory tonight. However, despite the fact the Timberwolves have a losing record, I'm fearing the game won't go as many of us hope.
The Wolves are coming off a heartbreaking loss against the Dallas Mavericks, where the referee's missed an obvious foul on Kevin Love's final shot attempt. Even the NBA has remarked the whistle should have been blown. Consequently, don't be surprised if Kevin Love is treated like a LeBron James or Kevin Durant -- all borderline calls going his way. It will be particularly important that Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson be careful they don't get into early foul trouble.
As the numbers above indicate, Minnesota is an offensive powerhouse. They are second in the league in points per game (106.2), buoyed by their league-leading pace, 14 offensive rebounds a game and 27.2 free throw attempts per game. The Pelicans transition defense and rebounding prowess will need to be at their best.
Lastly, as the Timberwolves defensive rating indicates, they are quite adept at keeping opponents at bay. With such solid performance on both sides of the ball, it's a mystery why their record sits at 15-16. Their expected W/L record of 20-11 suggests a sleeping giant. Let's hope they don't figure it out with the calender flipping to 2014.
- Eric Gordon should be back in the starting lineup.
- Fox Sports New Orleans will not be carrying tonight's game.