Game #37: Bobcats @ Timberwolves 2-on-3 Preview w/ PodCats « Queen City Hoops

Game #37: Bobcats @ Timberwolves 2-on-3 Preview w/ PodCats

Who: Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Charlotte Bobcats

What: NBA Basketball – Timberwolves Home Game

When: 8:00 PM ET

Where: Live at The Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

The Matchup:

Record Offensive
Minnesota 17-18 105.2 (9) 102.5 (13) 100.5 (2)
Charlotte 15-21 96.8 (28) 100.2 (7) 95.0 (22)

Minnesota: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (DTD)
Charlotte: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (OUT), Jeffery Taylor (OUT)

Starting Lineups

Timberwolves Bobcats
PG Ricky Rubio Kemba Walker
SG Kevin Martin Gerald Henderson
SF Corey Brewer Chris Douglas-Roberts
PF Kevin Love Josh McRoberts
C Nikola Pekovic Al Jefferson
6th Man J.J. Barea Ramon Sessions

3-on-3 TrueHoop Network 1- Minnesota is the second fastest team in the league according to the PACE category – how does Charlotte slow this game down and why is it so important?

Spencer: Yeah, this one is interesting – Kemba and Hendo will presumably have nice games with defensively challenged Ricky Rubio and Kevin Martin guarding them, but when the ball is sticking to our backcourt it usually means the game will be played at a quicker pace. Avoid quick, outside shots in this game and obviously take care of the ball and you can limit the Wolves run-out opportunities.

I tend to believe that a guy like Ramon Sessions will play a very important role for the Bobcats tonight – a guard who can dominate the ball + force action to the rim where he’s good at creating contact and getting to the charity stripe – that slows the tempo of any game down. Jefferson, as usual, will play a vital role in collapsing the Wolves defense as well.

Doug Branson ( / PodCats Show): Big Al MUST play well in this game. His outside shooting will be key against their lane stuffer Pekovic. If Jefferson and McRoberts can stretch Pek and Love out on defense expect Kemba and Sessions to have big games against Minnesota’s defensively liable backcourt.

2- McRoberts vs. Love. Can McBob slow him down, and if so, how?

Spencer: Doug is dead on with this one – speed Love up. Personally, I’d run doubles at Love on the catch as much as possible, but that’s not typically Clifford’s style. Essentially, it’s going to require McBob to be on his hip at all times and crowd him on the catch. From a team defense perspective, you just have to know where this guy is at all times and be very help-side wary.
Doug: To slow him down we must speed him up. Make him make quick decisions with the basketball. Don’t let him beat you with easy passes (he’s a skilled disher) and get physical with the inevitable Rubio/Love pick and roll.

3- After yet another disappointing home loss in their last game, Charlotte needs to step up on the road. Do they steal one tonight in Minny?

Spencer: I don’t think so. This should be a close game with both teams having at least one night’s rest, but this is a two-game road stretch that I unfortunately believe puts Charlotte on the outside looking in with the playoff hunt. Let’s all hope that the return of MKG on Tuesday can get the train back on the tracks.

Doug: Judging by the trends this year, yeah, why not? This is a frustrated Minnesota team and I think if we play physical defense early and use Big Al to slow things down I think we have a chance to feed into their lack of confidence.

11 comments to Game #37: Bobcats @ Timberwolves 2-on-3 Preview w/ PodCats

  • NCTony

    Again another disappointing first half out of Subs. Biyombo is regressing – Cody fouls 2x in 11 seconds. Effort is going.. Giving up 70 /68 points in a half? Something is going horribly wrong now. MKG is not going to fix this. Where is the effort?

  • NCTony

    This is another horrible effort by this team. Has another coach lost this team too? This is hard to take , much less watch.

  • charlottean

    while i agree he’s looked bad over the past couple of games, hard to establish yourself in less than 6 minutes on the floor.

    this has way more to do with what happened in the last minny game than it does with us. i knew we were going to get waxed tonight because of that. minny is better than their record suggests. they aren’t contenders, but they are legit mid level playoff caliber team. think atlanta hawks teams of the past 8 years or so. we just aren’t and never were on THAT level to be expecting to beat teams like this. it was an inflated start just like last year. it was home heavy early, and against soft opponents. last year it was more injury based where we were playing banged up teams and beating them.

    there’s just no scenario where we should be thinking playoffs and playing biz and cody as little as we are. when MKG gets back, he should get 40 mpg. and the ball. A LOT. green light. jumpers, post ups, drives, whatever. doesn’t matter if we lose by 40 every night. if he, cody, and biz get better and we add another top flight talent……we’re closer to contending.

    we continue down the path that we’re going, we’re closer to another blow up and rebuild and labeling like 5 more draft picks “busts” when they weren’t.

  • NCTony


  • charlottean

    what’s more embarrassing is that dude is probably going to bring the starters back in the 4th quarter instead of using the opportunity to teach.

    another stud performance by jefferson……8 points on 12 possessions and gave up 26 on 18 possessions to pekovic.

    and why the eff is TOLLIVER guarding (i use the word loosely) kevin martin? wtf is that?! that dude is a 4 masquerading as a 3, and trying to guard one of the better scoring 2′s in the league? jesus this is bad.

    honestly i’m thrilled. reality keeps coming, detroit won, atlanta-chicago-cleveland all in close games with chance to win, and BK is up 11 on miami. we’re getting closer to getting out of no-man’s land and potentially becoming seller’s at the deadline. here’s to hoping management reads the writing on the wall.

  • charlottean

    jeff adrien? seriously clifford? it’s ish like this that makes me hate this dude. number 4 pick in the draft and you pull him in a blowout loss after 16 minutes so you can give jeff adrien some run.

    i’ll give you ben gordon for hoping to raise his trade value (he won’t) and not having any young wings to play……but adrien?

  • NCTony

    It’s the lack of effort that bothers me most. Jefferson has been out muscled and hustled the last two games.

    I see effort from some guys.. But something has to change now.. I want to them play hard win or lose… This just can’t be watched!! Another shake up is in order … Maybe it’s Hendo as the sacrificial lamb here.

  • charlottean

    hendo is far from the problem. i’m not opposed to moving him in a deal for turner or gordon or something big, but he’s one of the guys you want to keep around. I hope people are starting to appreciate MKG and everything he brings to the table when you subtract him and we look THAT bad.

    brooklyn has officially passed us (love watching livingston ball out), detroit tied with us, new york is 1 game back. playoffs is NOT going to happen. we should try and talk cleveland into taking jefferson off our hands before we’re stuck paying him for 3 years. he just doesn’t win and he doesn’t at all fit our team.

    everything he brings on offense, biz brings on defense. the correct move would be to develop biz’ offense.

    mcroberts is NOT a starting caliber 4. he was an improvement over mullens’ complete lack of balls, but a downgrade in talent. the guy is rotation talent, but not starter. not on a playoff team anyways. zeller playing as little as he did tonight is just unacceptable in a rebuild.

    clifford was the wrong hire. they should have given him a multi year contract to NOT coach the team this year, but coach it next year or the year after.

  • Dave Walshy

    I don’t think there is any way Jefferson is getting traded. I agree he is a terrible fit but trading the only big free agent signing we’ve had after half a season seems like it could hurt our chances of signing other free agents in the future. He never should have been signed in the first place though. I’m not sure why they thought signing an extremely slow footed plodder who demands a slow pace and can’t play defense was a good idea for a team with a bunch of super athletic young guys and no shooters. I think it would be possible to make it work if they build the team right and don’t revolve the offense around him so much. I think it could work better if we used our athleticism and speed to get out and transition and look to attack early in the shot clock and then use Jefferson as a bail out option in the half-court and hope we can continue to hide his defense(with MKG and Taylor back). That way Jefferson could still play and get plenty of touches without the teams offensive identity being to slow the pace down to a crawl so we can watch Jefferson post up every possession. Idk, just a thought.

  • charlottean

    I agree with that mind set completely on offensive scheme. I agree that trading your big free agent signing would look bad to the idiots, but tToronto basically did it with Rudy gay. It’s been done before plenty.

    They aren’t smart enough to do it, but it needs to be done. Free agents will ultimately go where the money or the good team/good city is. They weren’t coming here before and the biggest free agents charlotte pulled previously were bobby phills and david Wesley. They gotta build through the draft and augment that core through trades and free agency. They cannot expect to sign the key pieces. And they cannot expect to build through the.draft in one year and without focusing on developing the guys.

    Its just insane how incompetent our management has been for so long.

  • Spencer/SDS

    Trade Jefferson and Tolliver for Tyler Zeller and Earl clack plus a pick possibly??? Force Tolliver out of Cliffords hands, giving Cleveland the stretch 4/3 they wanted when they got Clark (gives us an actually backup behind MKG and another young guy (25 yrs old) then get Zeller for a backup big behind Biyombo and just more youth with a 1st involved??? That looks like the best possibility to me, fullfills Cleveland s aspirations of being a middle of the road playoff team with potential from their core yougens to develop…plus I believe Jefferson is a Brown type big man, someone he would like to have on his team…win win for everyone…we get younger and a pick, plus free up cap space…Cleveland gets the type of guys they were hoping for when picking up Bynum and Clark in this past free agency…

    put this on the bulls pre-view on accident rather then this one originally, so here this is