The Timberwolves (7-6) will visit the Staples Center tonight, and meet the Lakers (6-8) for the second time this season. Minnesota won the previous game between those two by 14 points on their home floor. Minny`s subs outscored their Los Angeles counterparts 36-19 in that game, while Kobe Bryant finished with “only” 28 points and was a non-factor in the fourth quarter thanks to Trenton Hassell and Minny`s stingy zone defense.
Last night the Lakers handled the Jazz in OT (105-101) while both Bryant and Odom logged more than 44 minutes and two other starters around 38 minutes to get there. So, playing a day-to-day game is going to be a real hard task for the Lakers as Kwame Brown, Devean George and Slava Medvedenko are still out with injuries. They simply have no fresh meat to throw against the Wolves tonight.
The Wolves should be fresh after coming off two days of rest since their last game. After starting the season 0-4 on the road the Wolves broke through on the road with a quality victory against the Cavaliers. By beating a club that had won all six of its home games, the Wolves proved that they can play on the road. If Hassell keeps Bryant below 30 points once again, it should be enough for the Wolves to pull away here. As the Wolves have advantage named Kevin Garnett at low-post and deeper team we see this game as a struggle for the Lakers.
L.A is a bit better shooting team, but expect Minnesota to rely on their defense and rebounding by spoiling their opponent`s shooting rhythm down. At the low post Mihm cant match KG`s energy and will be over-rebounded and over-scored. Hassell and Jaric are good enough to slow down tired Bryant. Medium stakes 5/10 for this one.
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