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HHH GameTime Preview: Timberwolves visit Heat

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Into town(s) rides a man known as “KAT.”

NBA: Miami Heat at Minnesota Timberwolves Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight at 8PM EST, the Minnesota Timberwolves visit the Miami Heat, at the AmericanAirlines Arena, in Miami, Florida. This is the second time this season the two have played each other. In the first matchup, on February 6th, Miami won their 11th contest in a row with a 115-113 nail-biter to improve to 22-30.

In that game, Goran Dragic scored 33 points for the Heat on 13-for-17 shooting, including a ridiculous seven-for-nine conversions on three-point attempts. Dragic added nine helpers and a plus-17 rating in the game.He was backed by 19 points and 13 rebounds from Hassan Whiteside, 15 points, five boards and four assists from Rodney McGruder, 12 points, five assists, three rebounds, two steals and two blocks from Dion Waiters, and 11 with five assists and four boards off the bench from James Johnson. Karl-Anthony Towns led Minnesota with 35 points and eight rebounds. Andrew Wiggins scored 27 in a complementary role, and Ricky Rubio had 14 with 13 helpers.

The rim looks huge, you know? - Dragic

Miami’s last game was a 120-112 win against the New Orleans Pelicans. Goran Dragic scored 33 points with five rebounds, Hassan Whiteside scored 20 with 17 boards, and Wayne Ellington threw in 19 off the bench for the Heat win. Anthony Davis led the Pelicans with 27 points, eight boards, three steals and three blocks. DeMarcus Cousins scored 19 with nine rebounds, and E’Twaun Moore had 18 in the loss.

Everybody's talking about how far we've come and what we've accomplished. We're not in the playoffs yet.

Minnesota’s last game was a 117-104 road loss to the Boston Celtics. Isaiah Thomas led Boston with 27 points, four assists and three rebounds, Al Horford had 20 with nine rebounds and eight assists, and Avery Bradley scored 18 with four helpers and three boards to ease Boston’s path to success. For the Wolves, Ricky Rubio scored 23 with seven assists, Andrew Wiggins scored 21, and Karl-Anthony Towns had 17 with 14 rebounds and four helpers.

We took a step back today. - Rubio

GameTime: 8PM EST, AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, Florida

All-Time Heat-to-Head: Miami has a 31-to-22 edge in head-to-head combat against Minnesota, their eighth best record against any NBA opponent.

numberFire.com’s verdict: Miami is currently listed at a 66.4% Win Probability, with projected Five Stars of Karl-Anthony Towns, Hassan Whiteside, Tyler Johnson, Goran Dragic, and James Johnson.

Standings

Heat: 33-35, .485, on pace for 40-42 season. Third in the Southeast Division, 8.5 games behind the division leading Washington Wizards. Tied for eighth in the Eastern Conference with the Detroit Pistons, 12 games behind the conference leading Cleveland Cavaliers. Tied for 15th in the NBA. Last 10: W-L-W-L-W-W-W-W-L-W. Playoff Odds: 60.5%.

Timberwolves: 28-39, .418, on pace for 34-48 season. Fifth in the Northwest Division, 14.5 games behind the division leading Utah Jazz. 11th in the Western Conference, 25 games behind the conference-best Golden State Warriors. 23rd in the NBA. Last 10: W-L-W-W-L-W-W-L-W-L. Playoff Odds: 6.1%.

Probable Starters

Miami Heat
PG - Goran Dragic
SG - Rodney McGruder
SF - Dion Waiters
PF - Luke Babbitt
C - Hassan Whiteside

Minnesota Timberwolves
PG - Ricky Rubio
SG - Brandon Rush
SF - Andrew Wiggins
PF - Gorgui Dieng
C - Karl-Anthony Towns

Editorial Prediction

I try to shy away from calling it, but the last time I called a prediction correctly, the Heat went 38-44. I don’t think it was my fault....

Anyway, I predict that Dion Waiters scores 23 or more points, HW earns his 48th double-double of the season (allowing KAT to earn a double-double of his own) and Miami comes away with a 12 point win. What do you guys think?