I have waited almost a year to drop this tweet. It’s so awesome I have saved it for this moment.
Part of me wants to end the preview right here. However, I guess there’s a basketball game tonight.
The Rockets will be missing Trevor Ariza and Gerald Green after both were suspended for two games following Monday night’s secret tunnel adventure. That hurts their wing depth tremendously, especially since Luc Richard Mbah a Moute just recently returned and showed so much rust in the Clippers game offensively.
For Houston, I guess there’s some good news tonight in the return of James Harden. The Beard is back after missing only a couple of weeks due to a hamstring injury. The Rockets went 4-3 in that time and started to find their identity with CP3 running the helm full-time. Alas, I’m sure the Rockets would rather have both of their All-Star guards.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are much improved this season, mostly down to the addition of Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague, and Taj Gibson. Tom Thibodeau brought a couple of his former players to help his current squad.
Minny came off a 5-game homestand with a 5-0 record, blowing out pretty much everyone in their path like the Cavs and OKC. Then they went into Orlando and were outplayed by the Magic in the fourth quarter en route to a 108-102 defeat.
Minnesota is an incredible 23-6 against Western Conference foes. That’s...incredible. Golden State is 20-6. Houston fans probably wish they were in the East all the time, but especially tonight when they see Minny’s 6-11 record against the lesser conference.
The Rockets will have to watch out for the aforementioned Wolves, as well as Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. KAT in particular feasted on the Rockets last season.
This one won’t be easy, but if Harden really is 100% then the Rockets have a chance. Still, it’s likely we’ll see the defense struggle even more than usual since Ariza is able to plug so many holes for the Rockets. Either way, expect a good one.
Tip-off is at 8:30pm CT on THE WORST NETWORK ON TELEVISION (tnt)