Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

This is the life of a heavy underdog in the National Basketball Association playoffs

This is the life of a heavy underdog in the National Basketball Association playoffs

The Minnesota Timberwolves postseason fate came down to a dramatic 112-106 OT win over the Denver Nuggets on the final night of the regular season, sealing the eighth seed and a matchup with James Harden and the Houston Rockets. Houston dropped two of three to close the season, falling 96-83 on the road in a meaningless game to Sacramento Wednesday. The Rockets averaged 50.1% shooting from the floor in the four games. Minnesota got monster minutes from Derrick Rose. He'll have to be an absolute monster inside if the T-Wolves want any chance of winning some games in this series. It will be up to Jimmy Butler to stop James Harden, arguably the most exciting scorer in the league.

The likely 2017-18 Most Valuable Player torched Minnesota down the stretch. The next possession, he fed Clint Capela with an easy alley oop, an explanation mark on the Rockets' big run. Minnesota is 30 in the league in threes with eight per game and is 19 in the league in three point shooting as they've hit 35.7 percent of their attempts from downtown. The three-ball will reign supreme for the Rockets as the T-Wolves defense as a whole won't be quick enough to adjust to the torrid pace of which these Rockets shoot their three-pointers.

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No. 5: Working Wiggins: The Timberwolves enter this series having a pretty good idea of what they'll get out of Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson, Crawford, Teague and even Karl-Anthony Towns. They will have home court advantage during the seven-game series against the Timberwolves, who made the playoffs for the first time in 13 years. After a strong first quarter, Andrew Wiggins struggled in the second half.

The actual points-per-game comparison is moot because Capela is not asked to be a major scoring option in this offense and that he only needs to nail open shots and, of course, accurately throw down the plethora of lobs that are thrown to him.

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Ryan Anderson is also questionable to play for Houston and it is looking like he will not. While his contributions are welcomed by the Wolves, they're not enough. But you need to limit the damage Houston does from the 3-point line, and offensively, the Wolves should be fine. While the Game 1 loss was far more competitive than any of the team's four regular season meetings - which Houston swept convincingly - Sunday was an opportunity missed for Minnesota.

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