Minnesota Timberwolves @ Phoenix Suns -3.5
Like nearly every basketball writer these days, I confess to being in love with the game of Minnesota’s Kevin Love. Despite being labeled as a little too “unathletic” to ever be a legitimate star in the NBA coming out of UCLA four seasons ago, the power forward has earned back-to-back All-Star nods, and is in the conversation of best power forward in the NBA (Especially if you listen to Charles Barkley). There is definitely something special building in Minnesota, and anyone who watched the way they took apart the Clippers in the second half Tuesday night, even with Kevin Love on the bench nursing a sore back the entire second half, is starting to see that the Timberpups are more than just K Love and Ricky Rubio.
They got fantastic performances from the talented but enigmatic Michael Beasley and rookie Derrick Williams (did he ride in on the motorcycle last night?? No? That’s good… ugggh what a turrrrible dunk contest – yet I digress). The ‘non-stars’ in Minnesota are starting to evolve into terrificly capable supporting players and I am firmly convinced the T’Wolves will sneak into the Playoffs this season and remain there for seasons to come.
All those wonderful compliments said, they have their work cut out for them tonight in Phoenix. No, the Suns aren’t any good, but they do have two things going for them tonight. One, they are at home, and two, unlike the Timberwolves they won’t be playing their third game in as many days. Shame on the NBA for such ludicrous scheduling right out of the shoot; Minnesota has reason to be annoyed. However, that probably won’t help them any in the win column tonight against Phoenix. Minnesota is just 3-8 this season playing on zero days rest. I don’t have any stats for the third night of a back to back to back, because, frankly, they just don’t happen often (for good reason).
Normally, I’d have no problem taking the Wolves, especially with three points, on the road where they have been excellent this season (8-7 overall, very impressive for a non-elite NBA team). However, three games in three night, especially after two straight nights against the glamor teams in Los Angeles, is asking WAY to much of any team – even one with the young fresh legs of the T’Wolves.
I like Phoenix laying the three at home tonight, stealing a win against a better ballclub due largely in part to fatigue and scheduling.
Free Pick: Phoenix Suns -3.5