Mar. 1, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (left) controls the ball against Phoenix Suns forward Markieff Morris at the US Airways Center. The Suns defeated the Timberwolves 104-95. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Suns vs Wolves Preview: No Rubio, Some Problems


The Minnesota Timberwolves lost their young point guard for the season, which of course, is a crime against basketball. Especially considering that Kobe Bryant got bailed out on the charge he committed on that play.

And even though on most days I’d be happy if a teams star point guard would be out, but tonight I’m sad, mainly because Rubio vs Nash isn’t a battle we’re going to see for years now… Well, we might, but who knows when Steve stops pretending he’s young.

The last time the Suns met the Wolves, the Wolves were on a third game of a back-to-back-to-back. This time, they’re rested, and ready to go. However, once again, they’re coming to Phoenix to play against a team that is sizzling hot after defeating the defending champs and one of the hotter teams in the West in the Memphis Grizzlies.

So what will be the key for the Suns? Well, first off, stopping Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic, especially on the offensive glass. Both Channing Frye and Marcin Gortat have done an admirable job last time out, and this time, with limited penetration from the T-Wolves due to Rubio’s absence, the Suns will see more and more post ups for Love.

The other key is winning on the wings. The Wolves aren’t particularly good there, even though Michael Beasley and Derrick Williams have flashes of brilliance, they’re still 3-4 tweeners. Then there is Wesley Johnson who is not particularly good offensively, and Martell Webster who… Who dunks in the waning seconds of a game while his team is trailing by 3. If Jared Dudley can stay hot, with Grant Hill giving a steady contribution, the Suns should be able to get some separation. If they don’t, however, it’s up to the bench.

The interesting matchup on the bench will be Robin Lopez vs Darko Milicic. Darko is a big boy with limited skill, so is Robin. Granted, Robin is a bit quicker and  a bit less sloppy, but he’ll have to give the effort he gave against Marc Gasol, instead of regressing as he usually does after a good game.

The Suns are 7-2 in their last 9. 8-2 in their last 10 sounds much better, just saying.

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