Minnesota Timberwolves: Player matchups vs. the Rockets

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It's finally here, the best team in Houston Rockets franchise history will start their run for the ring with game one of their first round playoff series against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night.

The favorite is a ideal 4-0 against the spread in the last four meetings between these two teams.

That's according to former Boston Celtics star Brian Scalabrine, who points to the Cleveland Cavaliers' poor defensive rating this season. Minnesota's defense has struggled this year, and unless they pick it up, they could be swept by the NBA's most electric offensive team. Throughout the season, Harden made defenders' lives a living hell, using his patented crossover, stepback jumper and Euro step to rack up a league-leading 30.4 points per game.

While the Rockets fire three pointers from every position on the court, Minnesota counters with center Karl-Anthony Towns and All-Star guard Jimmy Butler. Tucker is a good enough defender to stop Jimmy Butler from going on a tear offensively.

Nothing about this game was easy for the Wolves. Also, combine the Timberwolves road scoring with the Rockets home scoring and you get 222 points per game. They may get punched in the mouth (so to speak) but it may make the team better going forward. The Timberwolves haven't been to the playoffs since the 2003-04 season. If he could switch on to James Harden for a few minutes at a time in relief of Butler, that would help.


The Pacers forced the Cavs into 16 turnovers and held them to 23 percent three-point shooting. By relying on Towns, who paced the team in points (1,743), rebounds (1,012), blocks (115) and 3-pointers (120), plus Butler in the post, Minnesota might unlock a pace that could prevent Houston from its usually lethal combo of layups and open 3s. 1 seed, host the first two games of the series. Overtime was added drama in what was essentially a play-in game.

Houston continued to play great down the final stretch of the regular season despite not having much to gain, finishing seven games ahead of the National Basketball Association champion Golden State Warriors for the best record in the West.

He went down with a knee injury in their second match-up on February 23rd, then missed the last two games between the two teams.

With Harden's prolific regular season wrapping up, the timing was right for a GQprofile. The winners will come up against one of Oklohoma City Thunder or the Utah Jazz in the semi-finals of the Western Conference.

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