Boston at Minnesota
8:00 P.M. ET
Boston: 97.4 points/100 possessions (23rd)
Minnesota: 103.3 points/100 possessions (T-8th)
Boston: 100.3 points allowed/100 possessions (10th)
Minnesota: 99.0 points allowed/100 possessions (9th)
Probable Timberwolves Starters:
Ricky Rubio (PG), Kevin Martin (SG), Corey Brewer (SF), Kevin Love (PF) & Nikola Pekovic (C)
View From The Opposing Bench: A Wolf Among Wolves
Thumbnail: The Celtics are in Minnesota to begin their first three-game road trip of the season, and it’s ladies’ night at Target Center. Oh yes, it’s ladies’ night, and the feeling’s right. Oh yes, it’s ladies’ night. Oh, what a night… Take it, Kool & the Gang:
The Timberwolves are hosting their first “Ladies Night Out” game of the season, so the house should be rocking as the Celtics try to snap their two-game losing streak. This is the third SEGABABA for both Boston and Minnesota on the young season. While the game is in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, the Celtics might be able to bring back the magic from last Saturday in Miami. Not only have the 2013-14 Celtics already shown that they can grind out a victory in this type of situation, but the Wolves are also 0-2 on no rest this season.
Although the Wolves struggled in the first quarter on Friday, they still own the league’s best numbers in the first 12 minutes. Their 33 points and +7.7 scoring differential per first quarter this season are by far the highest in the NBA in 2013-14. The Celtics cannot afford to get off to a bad start because that would severely decrease their chances at winning on Saturday. At home this season, the Wolves are 4-1 when leading after one quarter and 3-0 when leading at the half.
Jared Sullinger, who has made eight of his last nine shots in the first half, needs to continue his strong offensive play. His career-high 26 points on Friday were the most points scored by a Celtics player in a game this season, so it will be interesting to see how he follows up the impressive performance. In addition, the Celtics are much in need of him to keep up his rebounding. His eight rebounds against the Trail Blazers tied his season-high, but Portland outrebounded Boston by 13 boards, which is the Celtics’ worst rebound margin at home this season.
Prediction: The Celtics may be heavy underdogs for this contest, but we have seen this team fight back on several occasions this season. Boston keeps it close, but Kevin Love, who has had a fantastic start to the season, and the Wolves prove to be too much. Unfortunately for the Celtics, the feeling is not right on ladies night.
Timberwolves 102, Celtics 99
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