Ta da! I've done it. I've attained the Platonic ideal of blogging simplicity. Everything you need to know about tonight's game between the Lakers and the Minnesota Timberwolves is contained in the title above. Yes, there will be a game, and yes, the Lakers will win.
The Timberwolves are not a dangerous opponent. They are a poorly coached, unmotivated, nonfunctional, stench-ridden opponent. It is not important that the Lakers take this game seriously. They could approach this game with all the seriousness of a 2:00 a.m. beer pong tournament, and they'd still win. They could spend the hour before the game literally playing beer pong, and they'd still win.
This is not a trap game. This is not a game we need to worry about the Lakers possibly overlooking. This is not whatever other clichés sportswriters might trot out to convince you there's a story here beyond the obvious one. The opponent is Minnesota. The Lakers are going to win.
How stomach-churningly awful are the Timberwolves? Let us count the ways. They've lost 11 straight and 17 of their last 18. The Lakers have more victories just this week than the Wolves have in the last 40 days. Starting this past Sunday, Minny has dropped three road games by a combined 74 points. On Tuesday in Phoenix, they gave up a brain-melting 1.48 points per possession to the Suns. Their loss the following night in Utah, by a mere 22 points, seems modest in comparison.
See where I'm going with this? Right now, the Timberwolves are the worst the NBA has to offer. The New Jersey Nets try to compete every now and then. But Minny? Perish the thought. They're done. Suffering through blowout after blowout while struggling to implement the Triangle offense with a poorly assembled roster has crushed their spirit. They want this season to be over with. It's possible they don't even know what city they're in. If they were to face New Jersey today on a neutral court, the Nets would absolutely be favored.
I can't believe the timing of tonight's game is coincidental. The league office knew that the attention of hoops fans would be focused on the NCAA tournament. No one really wants to watch the NBA right now. May and June belong to the Association, but March belongs to the college game. I have to think the schedule gnomes looked at the calendar and said to themselves, "Selves, there's no point in wasting a marquee Laker game on a March Friday night. Let's just slot the Timberwolves in. The world will thank us."
Will tonight's game at least be entertaining? It will not be. It might if the Lakers were the sort of team to rain down 150 points on a downtrodden, overwhelmed opponent, but we know they're not. They'll do just enough that the outcome is never in doubt, they'll shower off the stink, and that'll be that. We're not going to see Kobe Bryant score 82 points or Andrew Bynum dunk 14 times. Those things would be possible if they played 40 minutes tonight, but they won't. We're more likely to see career highs from Adam Morrison or Didier Ilunga-Mbenga.
My big hope for tonight's game is that no one gets hurt. Mostly I'm thinking of myself. I hope no one at the sports bar tries to hurt me when I demand they put the Timberwolves on one of the TVs. Please pray for my safety.
Usually we wrap up these previews with a stat box providing in-depth data about the two teams. In this case... I mean, let's be honest. There's no point. The Lakers are really good, and the Wolves are one big FAILsmear on the league's tighty-whities.
So instead, you get Sunglasses Bunny.
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