clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NBA Preview: New Orleans Pelicans and Minnesota Timberwolves matchup features battle of two longest current losing streaks

Someone is finally going to get a chance to smile.

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at New Orleans Pelicans Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans haven’t won a game in nearly a month.

That’s 27 days to be exact.

We’ve seen them get blown out by the Clippers, Bucks and Mavericks — twice, but also endure heartbreaking losses to the Lakers, Pistons and Nets. Invariably, the team always stumbles upon a way to beat themselves, whether failing to match the intensity of an opponent for far too long a stretch, suffer from some paralysis in the form of untimely execution or simply choke away a great overall effort in clutch time minutes.

Yet, the show must go on with 54 games remaining on the schedule, including the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight — which falls on the second night of a back to back for the Pelicans.

Unlike New Orleans, the Wolves got off to a good start this season, winning four of their first five, but since that time they’ve struggled as much as anyone, posting a 6-14 record which includes a current seven-game losing streak.

Ahh, the battle of two notable losing streaks, that’ll lure viewers!

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Minnesota Timberwolves Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

But in all honestly, it’s a surprise to some that two teams with a decent amount of good talent are struggling as much as they are. We know the Pelicans plight so let’s focus on the Wolves, who feature Karl-Anthony Towns (26.5 points, 11.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists) and Andrew Wiggins (25.0 points, 5.1 rebounds). Both of these guys carry a wart or two, but at the end of the day, they’re both still relatively young at 24 years of age and are enjoying fine offensive seasons.

Surrounding 1A and 1B on their roster, the Wolves have a couple of strong veterans in Robert Covington and Jeff Teague, and two good young talents in Josh Okogie and Jarrett Culver.

As it’s seemingly always been the case during KAT’s tenure, the Wolves have proven to be stronger on offense than defense. Hey, deep down, who doesn’t prefer to score a bunch of points than put forth a strong effort defensively?

Oh, right, many good teams that enjoy a trip to the playoffs year in, year out.

During the Pelicans 13-game losing streak, New Orleans is giving up just a shade over 120 points to opponents. Over this same time period, so too is Minnesota. However, unlike the Pelicans who have averaged 108 points per game since Nov. 22nd, the Wolves have put up 115.1, good for the sixth most number of points per contest. And there in a quick nutshell is why Minnesota has managed to scrap together at least a few wins while New Orleans is stuck on zero over practically the last month.

My gut had the strong sense that the Pelicans were going to beat the Nets — and they did manage to come oh so close, but I’m not feeling nowhere near as confident about their odds Wednesday. With how things continue to negatively unfold for this team, though, I hope I’m wrong. These guys deserve a break from all this damn losing!

Geaux Pels, please!!!

Where To Watch/Listen

What: New Orleans Pelicans (6-22) at Minnesota Timberwolves (10-15)

Where: Target Center

When: Wednesday, December 18, 2019 7:00 PM CST

How: Fox Sports New Orleans