After riding an 11-game winning streak that ended with a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Spurs have had trouble finding the consistency they had to start the season, and they will need to be at their best if they want to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center.
Despite a recent slump, the Timberwolves are a team that will need to be taken into consideration in the Western Conference this year. They have good shooters, a solid point guard in Ricky Rubio and a possible MVP candidate in Kevin Love. In order for the Spurs to come out on top, they will need to get tougher in the paint. The duo of Love and Nikola Pekovic is a tough matchup for Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter, who had a lot of troubles stopping Paul Millsap and Al Horford.
While Pekovic and Love employ a different type of game in the post – Love can easily stand in the perimeter and Pekovic is a banger down low – the Spurs will need to take care of the rim and will need to be effective at rebounding. San Antonio allowed 40 points inside the paint to the Hawks, and they will definitively need to do a better job if they want to defeat the Timberwolves.
Player by player, the Spurs clearly look like the better team. However, the Timberwolves have already showed they can pull off upsets, so San Antonio will need to do a good job on both ends of the court and avoid complacency to get the win.