By: Zach More
It's the one that we have all been waiting for, well maybe not, but we know it's a game Thibs had circled. It can be assumed that Thibs thought the situation going into this game would be different. The Wolves have struggled all season, but especially as of late, losing three in a row and four of their last five. Could this be the game that changes the season around? The Wolves players will be playing for Thibs in this one knowing this win would mean a lot to him.
What: Wolves at Bulls
Where: United Center - Chicago Illinois
When: 7:00pm CT
Where to watch: ESPN
Where to listen: 830 WCCO
What to watch for:
Thibs connection: I will be curious to see how the fans and his former players react to his return. It is known that his players and fans liked Thibs more than the Bulls front office did due to some differences of opinion. I believe he will get a nice standing ovation before the game when he is announced and receive some love from the players he coached, then everything will go back to normal and there will be basketball to be played.
Backcourts: Will there be a little extra motivation for anyone in this game? On draft night LaVine/Ricky were rumored to be going to Chicago and Butler coming back in Minnesota. I am not sure if that would have any impact on anyone but different things push people differently. Even if there is no extra motivation, it will still be a fun match-up to watch. Ricky-Rondo, LaVine-Wade, Wiggins-Butler, this game will be full of fun match-ups.
Defense: Thibs and his players are saying that they are seeing improvements on the defensive end game by game. If this is the case it is very hard to see. The Wolves are letting up 107.3ppg while Chicago is scoring 103 per game. If the Wolves can limit Chicago's runs, and not allow open looks at 3's they have a good chance at being able to keep this Chicago team under points.
The Wolves are only forcing 9.0 turnovers per game during their current four-game losing streak.
Tonight's game concludes a two-week run that has seen the Wolves play six of eight vs. the Eastern Conference.
With the Mavericks' win last night, the Wolves are now tied for the worst record in the NBA.
With the way the Wolves have been playing as of late, I hate to say it but I do not see them winning this game. The Wolves have just been having too many defensive miscues lately and with the way Chicago can attack the rim and their use of the pick-and-roll - two areas the Wolves struggle with - I see Chicago winning this game 108-100.
Thanks for reading. Let's hope I'm wrong. Go Wolves!