Suns @ Timberwolves Saturday Playoff game thread, 4-20-24 - Game 1

Hoop Head

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I wouldn't be shocked if the Timberwolves beat us easily but I'm not sure we could have asked for a better first round matchup. That might even include the teams below us in the standings.

The NBA has to be incredibly excited looking at these matchups in both conferences, but especially the brutal western conference… At least from a competitive standpoint. I'm sure they would prefer Golden State and the Lakers safely in the playoffs.

The Celtics are the clear favorites in the eastern conference and I would say probably in the finals unless Denver comes out of the west. I really hope they have to play Philadelphia in the first round . If the Play in winners are LA and Golden State in the west and Miami and Philadelphia in the east the playoffs look like they are going to be so much fun to watch.

Go Suns!!

I bet the league is happy they have the Lakers and Warriors drawing fans for the play in game. 1 of the 2 will make it in. With the Lakers vs Pelicans and Kings vs Warriors, they have big draws for both initial games and ideally they will have 1 of the 2 in the second round of games also. I actually believe the Pelicans and Kings will make it in but who knows. The Lakers will get calls and it's hard to imagine them losing 2 in a row. I'd love to see it though.

Much more exciting matchups than the East is offering. Sixers vs Heat and Bulls vs Hawks. I think Sixers and Heat both make it.


We could have rematches of both conference finals in round 1. Celtics vs Heat and Nuggets vs Lakers. Will be interesting to see that play out.
 

BirdGangThing

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by no means should we be favored but it is what it is - we did hand it to them in every game this year which bodes well for a decent series - that's kinda all im asking for is showing up to each game even if we're down - gotta get that off our backs - infact if we lose the series but play the last couple games with heart and keep it a contest - who knows

pretty excited about some playoff basketball tho
 

Raindog

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The T-Wolves are the most "paper tiger" of anyone we could have ended up playing, so I'm not complaining. It doesn't mean A) they cant beat us, or B) we won't be overconfident because we beat them every game this season and end up shooting ourselves in the foot now. At the end of the day, I still have absolutely no confidence in either betting on or against the Suns.
 

Phrazbit

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The T-Wolves are the most "paper tiger" of anyone we could have ended up playing, so I'm not complaining. It doesn't mean A) they cant beat us, or B) we won't be overconfident because we beat them every game this season and end up shooting ourselves in the foot now. At the end of the day, I still have absolutely no confidence in either betting on or against the Suns.

Agreed on all counts.

I’m also glad that Towns is back, they are worse when he plays.
 

1982baskets

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Clippers had whopped us, and same with OKC. Denver are defending champs who are on another 57 win season looking to start their "real" season. Of all the match ups, this seems the one we had the best match up with.

Take into account Rudy, how you can cheat off him defensively.
 

Cheesebeef

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Agreed on all counts.

I’m also glad that Towns is back, they are worse when he plays.
You keep saying this but with him, they were on pace for 57 wins and without him, 53. I know you made the bold claim that the Gobert trade was an abomination on the scale of the KD trade and that it would never work, but it had them at 44-19 before he got injured.
 

Cheesebeef

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I’m Looking forward to the playoffs because this is a great matchup for us and, hell, it’s the playoffs with everyone healthy. But I expect any series to be an absolute rollercoaster with “momentum” being something that simply won’t exist for good or bad with this team. They can go out and beat someone by 20 any night… or get their doors totally blown in the next.

My interest is definitely piqued though. everything broke right for us to stay out of the play-in, got the preferred matchup, will get KD some rest and we’re going into the playoffs healthy.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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It’s the healthy part that’s enormous. I doubt any of us thought we would be this healthy headed to the playoffs. I know I didn’t.

And whether I jinxed us or not just now, this crew doesn’t need a jinx to get injured. It either will, or won’t, be.

LET’S GO!
 

Phrazbit

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You keep saying this but with him, they were on pace for 57 wins and without him, 53. I know you made the bold claim that the Gobert trade was an abomination on the scale of the KD trade and that it would never work, but it had them at 44-19 before he got injured.

That win margin difference is so small that one game could flip it.

When Towns is off the court the Wolves net rating improves, their defensive improves by over 4 points. When either Gobert or Edwards are out the opposite is true. I think the “twin towers” idea is stupid. The Wolves play better when Towns is off the court, mostly because Towns cannot defend his position.

Last season those numbers were worse, but Towns was still playing in the post some with Gobert. Basically, getting in each other's way. This season they've pulled Towns further outside and they also don't give him near the play making opportunities they used to. They've improved because Towns has seen his role reduced and simplified.

Towns has also been a front runner who gags hard in clutch situations throughout his career. This season Towns has a -7.4 rating in the clutch.

They should have traded Towns when they acquired Gobert.

Side note... Durant and Beal both have negative clutch ratings this season, which isn't surprising given our well known 4th quarter struggles, -4.2 and -4.1 respectively, but Booker has a stellar +9.6. Those numbers being so far apart is a shocker. Durant had to play a lot without either of them and has been a turnover machine when left with play making responsibility, but I didn't feel like we've played well in close late games with almost any lineup. When Booker is out we've been really bad, probably because (until this recent emergence of Beal as a play maker) we didn't have anyone else who could run any semblance of an offense. The team has improved this last month partly because Durant has seen his role reduced and simplified.

I hope they stick to it but I can absolutely see Durant and Booker saying to themselves "It's playoff time, time to take over!" and them going right back to the play style that had us fearing missing the post season entirely a month ago.
 
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