“What an incredible display by our guys defensively,” said Coach Doug Collins about last night's 77-71 win over the Spurs. "I’ve never been more proud of them. That was a grind-it-out type of game.” "Grind it out" was one way to put it, sure. San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich saw it a ittle differently: “I think it set offensive basketball back a decade or so," quoth Pop. Bad offense or good defense, it was incredibly impressive how the Sixers stuck with the Spurs all game, and that they made the plays necessary down the stretch to escape with a victory--even if you did kind of get the feeling that if they played ten times, San Antonio would've won seven or eight of 'em.
Anyway, visiting the 13-39 Timberwolves in Minnesota, one of the worst defensive teams in the league, one gets the feeling that "grinding it out" will not be particularly necessary on either side. For better or worse, there will be points tonight.
Minnesota has had an interesting season, certainly, mostly notable for their young team's incredible ability to lose close games (putting even the Sixers' early late-game woes to shame) and for the statistically remarkable play of power forward Kevin Love. Now officially an All-Star after being named an injury replacement for David Stern, Love is averaging a league-best 15.9 boards a game while also scoring over 21 a game and shooting an unconscious 44% from beyond the arc. Against a relatively weak-rebounding team like the Sixers, don't be surprised if K-Love runs somewhat amok.
8:00 tip from the Target Center. Props to Jrue Holiday last night for being the one player on the court with the ability to hit shots (9-14 for 27 points)--good to see that he hasn't completely disappeared since being moved off the ball by Doug Collins. Let's keep that up tonight then, Jrue.