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Game 46 Preview: Houston Rockets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

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The Rockets head north to the Land of the Lakes, with the bitter taste of devastating back-to-back defeats. One made me want to break stuff. The other made me want to (and then proceed to) stop watching entirely. You can anticipate this game being more favorable to Rockets fans, and certainly more watchable.

Minny is 10-33 and give up 108 points per game. So, expect a high scoring affair tonight. Understandably, the over/under is 220.What sucks is that the Wolves had four days off to get practice and rest, whereas the Rockets used yesterday as a travel day and are now currently freezing their butts off.

Obviously, the bright spot for the T-Wolves is Kevin Love, who will be looking for his 30th-consecutive double-double. He leads the league in rebounding and is a fringe all-star for sure. He and Scola will have a battle for relevancy. Scola usually loses these.

Matchups!

Matchups:

PG: Kyle Lowry vs. Luke Ridnour:

Ridnour is a very serviceable point guard. He manages the game well and can score when called upon. He is similar to Lowry in that respect. With the way Lowry has been playing, this is at best an even matchup.

Advantage: Even

SG: Kevin Martin vs. Corey Brewer:

No matter what Brewer does with his NBA career, I'll always remember him for that half-court shot that started a 3OT disaster in Houston last season. It was a game that had no business being as close as it was, but you know the Rockets. Win a game handily? As if!

Advantage: Rockets

SF: Shane Battier vs. Michael Beasley:

Beasley is averaging 21/6/2. His shooting is up, as is his energy. I saw him when he was at K-State when the Wildcats came down to Lubbock. He just seems like he doesn't care, but don't hold that against him. I hate to bring up the name, but Carlos Beltran is a similar player. He just makes it look effortless sometimes, and we perceive it as a lack of caring. He was tossed from their last game, so maybe he is starting to take the leadership role that Minny needs from him.

Advantage: T-Wolves

PF: Luis Scola vs. Kevin Love:

What's not to love about this guy? He was considered undersized. He's not really athletic. He is always improving, so you can be sure he works hard in the offseason. He's averaging 21/16, and leads the league in rebounding, which is a hustle stat. I like the guy, and I think Coach K should have played him more during the FIBA Worlds.

Advantage: T-Wolves

C: Chuck Hayes vs. Darko Milicic:

Darko is actually having a good year. His stats don't show it, but I've watched a couple of Minny games and I can see more confidence there. You gotta feel bad for the guy. Not only did he fall flat on his face, but the other four guys in the top 5 that year (LeBron, Melo, D-Wade, and Bosh) are stars in the league now.

But TCWiR is gonna be happy today. Any chance I get to give Chuck the advantage has to happen.

Advantage: Rockets

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Bench:

T-Wolves: Jonny Flynn, Ricky Rubio, Wayne Ellington, Martell Webster, Wesley Johnson, Anthony Tolliver, Kosta Koufos, Nikola Pekovic

Rockets: Aaron Brooks, Courtney Lee, Jordan Hill, Chase Budinger, Patrick Patterson

Advantage: T-Wolves since Rockets bench has been awful as of late

Injuries:

T-Wolves: Milicic questionable, Pekovic questionable

Rockets: Brad Miller out

Prognosis: Probably bad

Rockets vs Timberwolves preview

Canis Hoopus