Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Nuggets vs. Timberwolves Preview

(Boulder-CO) Tonight’s game is the last game before the Nuggets (except Carmelo) enjoy a five day break from action due to the All-Star break. It means more psychologically for the Nuggets than most games purely because it will be thought about for the next five days, win or lose. The Nuggets are on a three-game winning streak right now and need all the momentum they can gather in hopes of a stretch-run that can get them out of the seventh seed and into a more favorable position come playoff time. I’m thinking that the Nuggets could rise as high as the fifth seed if they can reel off a couple of long winning streaks while keeping the inevitable losses to a bare minimum.

Getting a win on the road at Target Center in Minnesota is never a short order. Kevin Garnett and the Timberwolves are 15-9 in the confines of their own house despite being 24-27 overall and are just merely a half game back from the L.A. Clippers for the eighth and final seed in the playoffs. So, with the stage set, don’t expect a ¾ speed game tonight. Both teams are going to be fired up, and if history is any indication, it should be physical and maybe even testy at times.

For Denver to win this game they need to limit Kevin Garnett’s impact on the offensive glass and make other T-Wolves beat them. The Big Ticket leads Minnesota in scoring, rebounding, steals, blocks, and is just a tenth of an assist behind Ricky Davis overall. To say that anyone, any team, or any army is going to stop Kevin Garnett from getting his is just plain asinine, so my prescription is to limit his impact in certain areas and the area that I think is most detrimental to the Nuggets chances of winning this game is the offensive glass.

The Timberwolves are shorthanded when it comes to help for Garnett. Ricky Davis is explosive, but his consistency is down and so are his numbers from a couple of years ago. The only other player that needs to be highlighted is Minnesota’s rookie Randy Foye. He is a great mid-range shooter and can get hot with too many open looks. And evidently, he can get hot off the court too. ESPN.com reports via The Minneapolis Star Tribune that just yesterday Foye was issued a misdemeanor citation for disorderly conduct for his role in an argument between a group of Foye's friends and family at a gas station that needed to be broken up by police.

So, I have said it before and I’ll say it again; this game means much more than just an increase in either the win or loss column. The Nuggets will be thinking about this win or loss for the next week to come and if you consider that there are playoff, and divisional, implications at stake. Tonight’s game is far more than just another game before players on both teams get a little break. Go Nuggets, tame the Timberwolves!

2 comments:

btalk said...

I agree with your assessment Nuggdoc, more than likely, the game will be won by the team that has not started the All-Star, in their minds, prematurely. These are millionaire athletes we are talking about!

Celtics Bandwagon said...

I'm up for the side bet. What do you propose?