Raps vs. Timberwolves Preview

Well, like I said before, the Wolves may not be much right now, but I like the way they look for the future. They have some solid youth, some room to spend and a generally healthy attitude. They have shown at various times during the season that they can ramp up their game and play tough, as they did in beating the Jazz Tuesday night. That’s right, the Jazz, who were winners of 20 of their last 24. The Wolves were behind in most important statistical categories, except for rebounds, where they flat out bullied and outhustled the Jazz for the dirty points. Let’s not pretend the Wolves are a rebounding machine, they’re not. They’re just about in the middle of the league when it comes to rebounding, but let’s remember, that’s also without a 7-footer and two of their tallest players being Doleac and Ratliff…yikes. The Wolves get their rebounding from good positioning and hustle, so let’s hope the Raptors are able to match them on that end.

The Raptors showed some guts in a win over the Pacers Monday night, showing the resolve that sometimes eludes the team. TJ Ford did what TJ can do, attacking with relentless speed and causing many of the Pacers to be caught flat-footed. This is what we have been talking about forever, why the Raptors need to keep both Calderon and Ford, for games like the one against the Pacers. A rare bad night by Jose, but then TJ steps it up. If you’re the opposition, you’re thinking, “Damn, we stopped their starter, but there’s another starter coming off the bench torching us now.” If we have only one guy and it’s a bad night, that Pacers game turns into a loss. Carlos Delfino also continued his strong play, showing that sometimes all a guy needs is a change of scenery, something that Primo Brezec must be in complete agreement with. I also think Primo will love the opportunity to knock some heads out there…the guy loves some contact and should be a favourite as soon as fans see him making hard fouls, not backing down and diving around the court for loose balls that he has zero chance of getting to.

Well, here’s to watching the Raptors compete inside and try to bang around with the Wolves. They should be able to outmuscle this team and that’s not something you’re going to hear very often. As promising as the Wolves look, get them down early and it’s over.

Enjoy the game.