Date: Jan. 25, 2009
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Detroit record: 24-19
Minnesota record: 16-27
Detroit probable starters:
Minnesota probable starters:
Spread: Detroit -1
Outlook: The Timberwolves started the season 2-9. Then they crushed the Pistons 106-80 in November. Here’s what Minnesota power forward Al Jefferson told The Star-Tribune:
“After that game, I knew we could do it,” he said. “I was just surprised, really surprised that it didn’t happen sooner. We beat a team like Detroit like that on their home floor and then we come back and play like we never played this game before in our life.”
The win didn’t quite turn their season around, as two games later, they began a 13-game losing streak. But Minnesota has since found its way. The red-hot Timberwolves have the NBA’s best record in 2009 (10-2).
The Pistons, on the other hand, have lost seven of nine. Tonight’s game offers a chance for them to avenge their largest-ever loss to Minnesota, so maybe that will wake them up.
If Detroit is going to win, it will have shore up its interior defense, which has been pretty weak lately. Jefferson is having an All-Star season (22.6 points and 10.2 rebounds), and Amir Johnson needs to slow, not necessarily stop, him.
The Timberwolves’ resurgence has also been due to several players performing slightly better than they had earlier in the season.
Rookie center Kevin Love is a rebounding monster. Randy Foye has played much better since moving to shooting guard from point guard. And Sebastian Telfair has proven to be a capable point guard.
Detroit has to find to take away a couple of Minnesota’s weapons and make just one or two Timberwolves try to beat the Pistons.
There will not be a live blog for tonight’s game.