Basketball Insider

Thunder Preview: Looking for Revenge Against Minnesota in Back-to-Back

Thunder Preview: Looking for Revenge Against Minnesota in Back-to-Back

The Thunder travel to Minnesota and seeking revenge against the Timberwolves.

 

Oklahoma City is 0-3 against Minnesota who are on a five game win streak. 

The Timberwolves are coming off an overwhelming victory by beating the Trail Blazers 124-81. Totaling 30 points off turnovers, dominating the paint 48-to-28 and recording 67 boards Minnesota was the absolute aggressor. 

 

All Gas No (Fast) Breaks 

The Timberwolves can run anyone out of the gym in terms of pushing the pace. They lead in the NBA in pace of play and use that to their advantage in the fast break. Averaging 14.8 fast break points per game, Minnesota is fifth in the league. 

The Thunder experienced it first hand in their previous matchup. Scoring 21 points in the fast break, as opposed to OKC’s 11, the Timberwolves superior pace of play was on full display.

Terrible Turnovers

Imposing their quick pace on opposing teams allows for Minnesota to force teams into making mistakes. They forced Oklahoma City to commit 23 turnovers in their most recent contest which the Timberwolves converted into 27 points.

Keeping the turnovers to a minimum will be crucial for the Thunder.

“The level of rhythm we allowed Minnesota to get into against us, you know when you allow a rhythmic team like that to get into a rhythm then the threes are a foregone conclusion,” Head Coach Mark Daigneault said.

Bench…Where Ya At?

With the plethora of injuries OKC is handling their bench has dwindled to only four players. Also three of those players have spent the majority of the season with Oklahoma City’s G-League team, the Blue.

Against Minnesota their experienced showed when the Timberwolves out-scored the Thunder’s bench 74-18. This was a poor shooting night for the team as a whole but the bench specifically shot two-of-16 from deep and six-of-24 from the field.

Although in Oklahoma City’s loss to Utah, the bench’s impact had improved. Especially Olivier Sarr, using his size underneath the rim he finished with 11 points on four-of-nine shooting. The whole secondary rotation shot 46 percent from behind the arc. 

 

Notable: Thunder guard Aaron Wiggins has returned to the rotation and did not seem to miss a beat in his first game back from injury. He shot five-of-eight from the field and totaled 11 points against the Jazz. 

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