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Game 62 Preview: Timberwolves vs. Blazers

The Blazers just played the 'Wolves, so if you want the more in-depth preview, click here.  Long story short, they're not good defenders.  They're also a fast-shooting team that doesn't move the ball, which usually means a lot of bad shots.  They're short on bodies which makes them even shorter on talent than they used to be (and they were never long).  They do rebound well on both ends.

The Blazers match up extremely favorably versus the 'Wolves, particularly in the backcourt.  Sebastian Telfair and Randy Foye have to shoot near-perfectly to make up for their defensive liabilities.  That seldom happens.  The Blazers can beat them up all night.  The frontcourt isn't much better, though they can at least throw some bodies in there.

The keys are keeping the 'Wolves from scoring second-chance points, keeping the ball in the hands of the guards, not leaving three-point shooters open (because you don't need to double these guys down low), and not getting lazy on offense, letting their poor defenders off the hook.

A key particular to tonight will be remembering that this game counts in the overall Western playoff race just as much as Thursday's did.  This game may not put you in the division lead but it will help keep you out of that fatal 9th spot in the West.  I don't believe the Blazers will have trouble getting motivated.  This just doesn't feel like a loss.  Minnesota has lost 8 in a row.  Unless something goes really wrong it'll be 9 after tonight.

There will be no Jersey Contest form tonight.  We'll get one up, hopefully by tomorrow, for Monday's game.

Check out CanisHoopus for plenty of Blazer hate (but do try to be respectful between blogs).

--Dave (