Gameday Q&A with Dave from TWolves Blog

The San Antonio Spurs look to shake off the loss to the lowly Los Angeles Clippers as they face the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.

The last time these two teams met, it was a thrilling overtime victory for the Spurs who were down double-digits at one point.

To talk about the game tonight, I once again turn to a fellow blogger here at Bloguin, Dave from TWolves Blog — the best Timberwolves blog on the Internet.

To check out the Q&A I did for his blog for tonight’s game, click HERE.

In this Q&A Dave gives his take on the game, what went wrong for the Wolves in the last game against the Spurs, takes credit for Tim Duncan’s recent play, and much more.

Jeff: The Timberwolves had the Spurs on the ropes in their last meeting. What went wrong for the Wolves against the Spurs?
Dave: Not to make sour grapes here, but the Wolves really should have won that last game. Wes Johnson’s “foul” on Gary Neal shooting that three (WHY HIM???) at the end of game was an officiating atrocity. Other than that, we can’t stop fast guards like Parker and BatManu. We just can’t. And of course, they both carved us up. And you guys shot a ton of free throws. Other than those things, the Wolves basically did everything right…

What did the Wolves do right to put a scare in the Spurs during their last meeting?
… continuing on, the Wolves limited the Spurs shooting (39% from the field, and 10 of 32 from three point land!), kept Duncan in check (he looked like he was on the decline ;-), as well as out-rebounded and out-shot the Spurs. One honestly could not have asked for a better effort from the Wolves. I certainly did not in a billion years see that coming, against the then 12-1 Spurs.
Beasley struggled, but Love and Darko (huge stud!) had their way with the Spurs bigs. I think I predicted that beforehand, but I was still mostly shocked to see how well our guys played against yours. Wes Johnson also played a good game too. That rookie has potential. He’s no “Franchise Guy”, but he’ll be a solid piece for years to come.
In your recap of the last meeting between these two teams, you wrote: “Duncan. Man, he’s just not the same. He’s still good of course, but not what he once was.”

Please do not say you are one of those who count out Tim Duncan. Did you not see his triple double against the Golden State Warriors and would you like to retract that statement?

I will take full credit for reverse cursing Duncan into remembering who he was. How about that? Ha!
Go look at his boxscores before the Wolves game, and then after. He really turned it on. Or maybe he just need a little while to get into the flow of the season? That could be entirely possible as well.

Enough about the last game, let’s focus on the game tonight. Seems the Wolves can hang with the Spurs, what adjustments should the Wolves make in this game?
We just need to defend Parker and BatManu and prove that our guards all don’t have a bunch of sand stuck in their you-know-what’s.  I fully expect Love and Darko to play well again, as I like the match-ups of the bigs.
Basically… stop Manu. He’s a beast.

What is the key matchup in tonight’s game and your prediction. 
I guess I’d have to say Darko. Just because the team plays so much better when the offense is (effectively) flowing through him in the post.  If he can put up a line similar to last game AND limit Duncan again, I like our chances to make a game out of this.  Notice, I didn’t say the Wolves would win. It’s in San Antonio. We have won 1 road game in like the past 300 days or something. The Wolves will not win.
Our December schedule is brutal. We could go win-less this month.
Wolves 95 – Spurs 107.

Gameday Q&A with Dave from TWolves Blog

The San Antonio Spurs look to extend their 11 game winning streak to 12 as they face the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight at the Target Center.

To talk about the game tonight, I turned to a fellow blogger here at Bloguin, Dave from TWolves Blog the best Timberwolves blog on the net. Why is it the best? Because only Dave at TWolves Blog could add a picture of coach Popovich not being so humble in the Q&A I did for his blog for tonight’s game. Check it out HERE.

Now check out Dave’s answers as he gives Project Spurs his take on the game, the Spurs hot start and much more.

Jeff: Aside from Kevin Love, Michael Beasley and surprisingly Darko Milicic, who else has been playing well for the Wolves?

Dave: Ummmm… well… to be honest, you about listed everyone of note on our team that is playing well.  Hey man, after all we are only 4-11.  (On pace for 21 wins though, watch out NBA.)  Telfair and Ridnour are playing decently enough to man the PG position with Flynn out (take your time returning please), and if you could combine Telfair and Ridnour into one player, then we might actually be onto something there.  Wes Johnson has played surprisingly well in spurts, and his defense is pretty good because he gives 110%, understands defensive concepts, and is disruptive/effective.  He has the tools to be a good NBA defender down the road. Corey Brewer plays well for like 10 minutes at a time off the bench and…. yeah, that’s it.

Kevin Love has been beasting in Minnesota. The 31-31 night. Insane. However, it’s going to take a lot more than Kevin Love to take down the Spurs. What are the Wolves’ keys to victory?

Hahahahahaha “Wolves keys to victory.” That’s funny! But, I’ll play along. 

First off, we need to contain Parker and Manu.  The problem here is that our guard/wing defense is just downright atrocious (well, our entire defense is, but especially so against quick PG’s and wings.)  Parker is having a damn near historic season for a PG, so this could be problematic.  And a healthy Manu is dangerous as well.  Do all NBA fans know how great Manu is?  I don’t think they do.  He seems underrated to me.  Take a second and look at the numbers Manu and Parker are putting up, and then go look at the fact that the Wolves are giving up a league worst 110 points per game.

I like our bigs (Love/Darko/Tolliver/Beasley) against yours (Duncan/Splitter/McDyess/Blair) more than I like our wing matchups.  So we need to focus our offense around these guys, and try to exploit any advantages we may have against SA here. 

Assuming the above keys don’t work, then just hope and pray that Beasley can score 60+ points tomorrow.  Sigh.

Looking from the outside-in, what do you think is the reason for the Spurs hot start to the season?

Health (specifically Parker). More familiarity with each other and the system (specifically Jefferson). Improved pace and scoring. You guys are playing unlike anything Duncan has been a part of before.  The question is, can you sustain it all season long?

What match-up should Spurs and Wolves fans keep an eye out on tonight?

Not Tony “The Tiger” Parker vs our PG’s, because that will be just plain embarrassing for us. Not Blair vs Love, because they are both short and fat. Not Duncan vs Darko, because Duncan bores me. I like Darko A LOT, but he’s not exactly Mr. Highlight Reel on the court.

Can we just force the coaches to make Beastley and BatManu guard each other? Because that would be awesome. That’s what I want to see. They are two of the best left-handed pure scorers in the league, and probably the best players on our respective teams (Tony Parker and/or Duncan may have something to say about that, but bare with me here.)  Beastley is a terrible defender, so Manu will do all kinds of electrifying and crazy things. And our team sucks, so Beasley will have to do all kinds of electrifying and crazy things for the Wolves to have any semblance of a chance.

OK come on, do you really think the Wolves have any shot at beating the Spurs tonight?

No. 0.00% chance.

What’s your prediction for tonight’s game?

Wolves 99 – Spurs 118.