It’s going to be a tough weekend for the Timberwolves who will visit both Dallas and Northwest Division rivals Oklahoma City Thunder in the coming days.
Taking on OKC on Sunday December 1, Minnesota will want to avoid slipping to any further defeats after what has been a mixed start to their campaign. The Timberwolves have already gotten the better of Kevin Durant’s Thunder this year with a 100-81 victory exactly a month previous but if you fancy a flutter on the NBA don’t expect them to be coming out on top this time around.
Small Forward did a great job on keeping Durant quiet in their first game but the Minneapolis team have been in free-fall the last few weeks with just two wins in seven despite having one of the league’s form men in Kevin Love. Having not won in their last two, heavy defeats in Houston and Indiana have left them fourth in the Northwest Division and a good few wins outside the play-offs.
They will be boosted however by the signing of Luc Mbah a Moute. The Cameroonian Forward joins The Wolves from Sacramento who received Derrick Williams in exchange and will be reunited with his former college frontline teammate Kevin Love.
Known as one of the best defensive players in the league it is hoped the 27-year-old will solidify the team that are currently giving away 100 points per game. Of course this will take time. It’s unlikely Love and Moute will be able to instantly pick back up from their college days but once settled into his new team, it could help end their current dismal run.
OKC on the other hand are unbeaten in four and have proven their mettle by coming back from back-to-back defeats by beating the Bucks and Nuggets in the space of three days. Their recent performance against the Jazz on Sunday evening was moved their home record to 6-0, their best since the Seattle Sounders days, whilst the 73 baskets conceded was the fewest they’ve allowed through their defence all season.
That will worry the side that have only won two from eight on their travels, and with Kevin Durant leading the points averages they will need another all-star performance from Love to even get close to OKC’s total.
For fans who enjoy betting on basketball, results across the years have fared pretty evenly, the result will probably come down to which of the star men perform. It’ll be an exciting face-off between Love and Durant. Durant is averaging 28.6 in a season where he has regularly surpassed 30 in a game, including a staggering 38 just over a week ago. Meanwhile Love is also proving to be a contender for MVP. He was the key-man in the last match up and has consistently been shooting plus-20 as well as averaging 13.8 rebounds per game.
It may be too much for the man who has carried the Timberwolves so far this season however, especially against a team who have just put in their best defensive performance of the year. And with Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka working some serious plays in recent weeks, expect a Minnesota win to be beyond them.