Minnesota Timberwolves: 3 takeaways from Game 1 vs. Rockets

James Harden worries about getting food stuck in his beard on dates so he prefers to only eat in front of those he’s comfortable around

This is a common occurrence too with many teams around the National Basketball Association living with their bigs switching on guards in an attempt to deal with the vast number of pick-and-rolls that make up most offenses. James Harden recorded a double-double with 34 points and 12 assists.

A team looking to make an impact takes on the conference's top squad in a first-round Western Conference playoff matchup in the Lone Star State. We never got a rhythm; we never got chemistry. "He's been doing it for a while now".

Houston must extend their defense on Karl-Anthony Towns. Chris Paul's 1.02 PPP is nothing to slouch at.

"Came up short", Butler said.

The Rockets have emerged victorious in all four matchups against the Timberwolves this year, including a nine-point victory in their last matchup.

Minnesota seems to be healthy with their main players.

On one hand, the Wolves didn't play their best ball and were close late in the game.

While Minnesota's starting five could put a scare into Houston, the Rockets' far superior depth should give them the advantage in this series. Andrew Wiggins scored 18 points to lead Minnesota. They may get punched in the mouth (so to speak) but it may make the team better going forward.

"It's whatever (Thibodeau) wants", Rose said. The question now becomes: Do the Wolves have a chance at upsetting the Rockets in the first round. If you're Minnesota, there's no coming back from that.

Minnesota led by a basket after a jump shot by Towns with about two minutes left in the quarter. Harden flexed each bicep twice while peering down at the muscles after the shot before making the free throw.

As for the Houston Rockets going into the playoffs as the number one seed in the league, Harden couldn't be more excited.

The Rockets' leaders have a lot to prove this postseason.

The Timberwolves are winless at the betting window in their last four games against the Rockets but have covered the spread in five of their last seven games in Houston. He got off to a great start, and it continued all game long, as he finished with 27 points and 10 rebounds. Houston are renowned for their huge ratio of 3-point shooting which saw them average 42.3 long-range attempts per game in the regular season. D'Antoni said there was a chance he could return for Game 2, but that he would know more in the next couple of days.

I just don't see the Wolves being able to do that because it would require their becoming a team they haven't been in the other 82 games this season.

Paul on tying a season-high with six turnovers: "I think the worst thing was the turnovers". Trading a first for Payne was a bad idea at the time and only looked worse and worse over time. The Rockets are tied for 6 in scoring defense as they allow 103.9 points per game. The Rockets are just 13-8 without him (52-9 with him). Totals 35-80 23-28 101. Trevor Ariza and P.J.

Harden is enjoying another monster season to the tune of 30.4 points, 8.8 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game through 72 appearances.

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