By: Santiago Archieri
On Saturday night, the Minnesota Timberwolves take a trip to Miami to face the Heat on the road. After cooling off, the Heat are looking to go back to their winning ways as they get a first look at number one overall pick Andrew Wiggins and the rest of a young Timberwolves squad.
The Timberwolves are no team to sleep on. They are 2-2 heading into Orlando for a Friday night match, and their two losses have come against very good teams. The Bulls handed the Wolves a one point loss, and the Grizzlies beat them by only four. However, their wins have only been by 7 and 8 against the Pistons and Nets.
One major problem for Miami will be the rebounding, as the Wolves rank sixth in the league with nearly 46 boards a game, which is 7 a game more than Miami. The Heat, who are still having defensive woes, will also be facing a strong Wolves offense. Minnesota has scored 100 or more in two of their four games– averaging 100.3 points per game in the season.
Coming off two straight losses, Miami will be looking to bounce back in front of their home crowd. In their three wins, Miami has averaged 109.3 points per game, but in the past two losses, the Heat have averaged a subpar 90 points a game.
Bosh and Wade have been producing very well so far this season. Wade had one ugly game against the Sixers, but other than that, he has been looking good out on the floor. The key is having a third and fourth man to step up and pick up some of the load. Wednesday night’s loss marked the first time all season that a third player did not score double digits for Miami, a night in which Wade and Bosh combined for 48 points. It was an ugly shooting night for Miami, going 4 of 22 from beyond the arc and shooting 39% from the field. This is coming after a loss against Houston in which Miami was able to knock down 12 three’s.
Minnesota will provide another step in Miami’s growth as a team. The Heat need to mold Josh McRoberts into the rotation once he is healthy, Chris Andersen will be coming off an injury soon, and Danny Granger is going to be seeing some playing time once he is set to go. There is a clear distinction between how Miami plays during their three wins and their two losses. It is still very early in the season, but now is a great time for Miami to grow some team chemistry. It will be interesting to see how this team responds after two crushing losses in back to back nights.