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  1. #1
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    Game 31: Phoenix Suns @ Minnesota Timberwolves, Saturday, 12/29/2012 6 MST / 8 EST

    .. @


    (11-19)_______@_______(13-13)




    Location:Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
    Time:6 PM MST / 8 PM ET
    [B]Channel:Check Local Listings






    Projected Starting Lineups









    Luke Ridnour - Alexy Shved - Andrei Kirilenko - Kevin Love - Nikola Pekovic






    Sebastian Telfair - Shannon Brown - Jared Dudley - Luis Scola - Marcin Gortat


    Preview:

    Things were supposed to be easier for the Minnesota Timberwolves with the return of Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio. But with Love trying to find his shot and Rubio still playing limited minutes, the team is struggling.

    A home game Saturday night against the sputtering Phoenix Suns would seem to be a good chance to get back on track, but the Timberwolves have lost 10 of 11 in the series and the last six played in Minneapolis.

    Minnesota (13-13) has lost four of five and badly needs Love to right himself. Love, who missed the season's first nine games with a broken right hand, actually shot better from 3-point range last season (37.2) than he is currently shooting from the field (35.5). He is also hitting only 22.5 percent of his shots from long distance this year.

    The two-time All-Star played one of his worst games Wednesday as Minnesota suffered an 87-84 home loss to Houston. Love scored seven points on 3-of-14 shooting, missed all seven shots from beyond the arc and matched a season worst with five turnovers. It was the fourth time in six games he shot less than 30.0 percent.

    "It's just something he's going to work through and play through," coach Rick Adelman told the team's official website. "You know, he's really important in the way we play. He's making shots that open things up for everybody, especially (Nikola Pekovic) inside, so it's just something he's got to work through."

    Love isn't too concerned with his cold spell.

    "People are meant to get out of slumps," he said.

    Wednesday's game also marked the sixth time the Timberwolves have lost a contest in which they led entering the fourth quarter. They led by as many as 14 in the third but shot 35.3 percent in the final frame while committing five turnovers. Love hasn't helped matters in fourth quarters, averaging 3.4 points and shooting 30.4 percent.

    "I think every game we've played, we've been in, and we've had a chance," Adelman said. "But we have to learn how to finish games some time."

    Rubio has played in five games since returning from a torn ACL suffered last season and is averaging 4.2 points and 4.0 assists in 18 minutes as he re-adjusts. Adelman said he is currently limited to 24 minutes a game.

    The Suns (11-19) have lost four in a row and seven straight road games with Friday's 97-91 setback at Indiana. Phoenix's already middle-of-the-road offense (97.1 ppg) has struggled of late, averaging 89.5 points and hitting 25.4 percent of its 3-point shots during the losing streak. It is also dealing with its own fourth-quarter issues, averaging 19.0 in the final period.

    "It's becoming a similar theme every night," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. "We start out great and then we get down and we have to fight all the way back."

    Point guard Goran Dragic -- leading the team in scoring (14.1) and assists (6.2) -- is questionable after sitting out Friday with a bruised hip, back and wrist he sustained Wednesday against New York. Sebastian Telfair started in his place, scoring a season-high 19 points with six assists.

    Saturday will mark forward Michael Beasley's first game against his former team after Minnesota declined to make him a qualifying offer in the offseason. He averaged a career-high 19.2 points for the Timberwolves two years ago but flamed out last season, playing a career-worst 23.1 minutes.

    Beasley's tenure with Phoenix hasn't started much better, as he's averaging career lows in points (10.5), rebounds (3.7) and shooting percentage (37.8).

    Source: ESPN

  2. #2
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    Gonna miss this one live but will watch it taped later

  3. #3
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    at almost every game preview i always see, "but against the struggling Suns, they hope to reverse the tide" or "against the sputtering Suns the streak is expected to continue" or something to that effect. 8-)

  4. #4
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    Ehhh only thing I'm hoping for is that Brown, Dudz and Gortat have monster games in a losing effort to raise their value.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdm692 View Post
    Ehhh only thing I'm hoping for is that Brown, Dudz and Gortat have monster games in a losing effort to raise their value.
    second that!

  6. #6
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    This will be the first time I watch a complete Suns game this season. How has Gortat looked defensively? I still like the Dragic signing, but your wings are horrid. Despite all that, the Wolves for some reason play to the level of their competition, as many young teams do, so this should be a good game regardless.

    If you want the ultimate, you've got to be willing to pay the ultimate price. It's not tragic to die doing what you love.

  7. #7
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    Gortat is up and down. According to him he "lost his hunger" for the game because he played for Poland in the off-season. The wings are aite except they are all role players nothing more. Beasley started the season with an injury to one of his fingers in his shooting hand and never found the touch(also being misused IMO). Dragic might still be out I'm not sure. Overall we going for that #1 spit. . .in the lottery .

  8. #8
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    I just want these nail biting games to stop! were better off losing to get that #1 pick

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye15 View Post
    This will be the first time I watch a complete Suns game this season. How has Gortat looked defensively? I still like the Dragic signing, but your wings are horrid. Despite all that, the Wolves for some reason play to the level of their competition, as many young teams do, so this should be a good game regardless.
    they're gonna suck too then

    i heard Love is still struggling with his shots and Rubio is still not 100% but the way the Suns are playing, should be a win for the Wolves tonight. not selling my team short, we simply suck right now

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrescoLovesSuns View Post
    I just want these nail biting games to stop! were better off losing to get that #1 pick
    Love the sig . Only thing missing is Dragic and either Chandler or OJ(of course Beas at PF).

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocky4104 View Post
    they're gonna suck too then

    i heard Love is still struggling with his shots and Rubio is still not 100% but the way the Suns are playing, should be a win for the Wolves tonight. not selling my team short, we simply suck right now
    Love has had like 3 strong shooting games, the rest mostly garbage. And its affecting his effort on defense now, he is moping. He will break out of his slump eventually, but we just played a Rockets team that has zero ability to defend PF's, and he was like 3-17. So whatever.

    Yeah, Rubio's timing and confidence aren't there yet, but that was expected. He will get better and better. Still not sure why Adelman isn't utilizing him in PnR's more, instead having him defer the ball off in the halfcourt. If there is one way to make Rubio non-existant on offense, its to play him off the ball.

    If you want the ultimate, you've got to be willing to pay the ultimate price. It's not tragic to die doing what you love.

  12. #12
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    Love probably came back from his injury too soon. The bones in his wrist may have healed but he clearly has no touch with that hand.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye15 View Post
    Love has had like 3 strong shooting games, the rest mostly garbage. And its affecting his effort on defense now, he is moping. He will break out of his slump eventually, but we just played a Rockets team that has zero ability to defend PF's, and he was like 3-17. So whatever.

    Yeah, Rubio's timing and confidence aren't there yet, but that was expected. He will get better and better. Still not sure why Adelman isn't utilizing him in PnR's more, instead having him defer the ball off in the halfcourt. If there is one way to make Rubio non-existant on offense, its to play him off the ball.
    Send Adelman a package with a video of the Nash led suns and tell him the following " Imagine that Rubio is Nash, Ak47 is Marion, Love is Stat(better shot and rebounding) and Pek is Gortat. Now make the Wolves do the same" .

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye15 View Post
    Love has had like 3 strong shooting games, the rest mostly garbage. And its affecting his effort on defense now, he is moping. He will break out of his slump eventually, but we just played a Rockets team that has zero ability to defend PF's, and he was like 3-17. So whatever.
    we'll take him off your hands then -- for Gortat! he is great!

  15. #15
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    good game for scola!

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