The New Orleans Pelicans (3-4) will attempt to get back to .500 on the season against off-season fan favorites the Minnesota Timberwolves (4-3.) On paper both teams are loaded with All-Star caliber talent so this should prove to be an exciting game!
However, both teams have gotten off to somewhat sluggish starts thus far. The Pelicans collapsed in the fourth quarter against the red-hot Orlando Magic — that felt strange to type — crushing good feelings emanating from the win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. And as far as the Timberwolves, their defense ranks the worst in the league.
Sooner rather than later, these two teams would prefer a lot more wins than losses if they hope to build the chemistry required to make the postseason in the Western Conference.
Fortunately for the Pelicans, Anthony Davis always seems to have a chip on his shoulder when facing Karl Anthony-Towns. In their short careers, they’ve matched up five times and New Orleans has walked away victors every single time. Davis’ averages of 35.4 points and a 64.5 FG% dwarf Towns’ really good scoring average of 23.4 points and 50.6 field goal percentage.
I don’t know what it is about KAT that brings out the killer instinct in AD. Maybe it is because the national media foolishly keeps claiming that Davis has been surpassed? Maybe it is because they both went to Kentucky? Who knows?!
For the Pelicans’ sake, let’s hope it continues. Jrue Holiday recently mentioned the importance of making home field advantage mean something in New Orleans. If it requires AD bullying KAT one more time, so be it!
Points of Interest
According to the numbers, Jimmy Butler has yet to find his place inside Minnesota’s offense, but let’s hope that he doesn’t find it Wednesday. While I am confident in the frontcourt’s ability to handle the Timberwolves, I fear the Pelicans’ wings could be at a significant disadvantage.
Despite the slow start, Butler is still an All-Star talent who can make easy work of even the best players in the NBA, and Andrew Wiggins is a budding superstar who can light up the score board.
Oh, and expect a lot of points. The Timberwolves average 109.4 points per game (6th) while the Pelicans 108.4 (8th).
Keys to the Game
· Close out on all perimeter shots
· Open space for Davis/Cousins with role players keeping Wolves defense honest
· Control the tempo (don’t let Tom Thibodeau coach his style)
· Keep Jeff Teague under wraps — he’s a difference maker in Wolves wins
· Limit fast break/easy points
The game will tip at 7:00 PM CST on Fox Sports New Orleans. Check back with us after the contest for the game recap after what hopes to be a win!
What: New Orleans Pelicans vs Minnesota Timberwolves
Where: Smoothie King Center
When: November 1, 2017, 7:00 PM Central
How: FSNO, WRNO 99.5 FM