Minnesota Timberwolves: Player matchups vs. the Rockets

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Adidas basketball has today launched a new murdered-out colorway of James Harden's signature shoe, the Harden Vol.2, just days before Harden and the Houston Rockets embark on their quest for the NBA title. User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.

During the regular season, the Wolves were 0-4 against the Rockets with a point differential of -63, and in a odd twist, they lost the first three games by exactly 18 points.

Houston finished the season with the best record while Cleveland struggled in the Eastern Conference. Luc Mbah a Moute (shoulder) is expected to miss the first round, so there could be more minutes for the likes of P.J. Tucker, Joe Johnson, and Gerald Green. He made eight of 11 shots from long range, and 13 of 20 shots overall. Clint Capela has the size to rough up Karl-Anthony Towns, while PJ Tucker should do a good enough job on Jimmy Butler.

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As we can see, the players mentioned above are all part of the starting and bench rotation. After 14 years of missing the playoffs, Minnesota clinched their first playoff berth since 2004 in an overtime victory over the Denver Nuggets. The Rockets were only represented by five players in the top 100 in defensive win shares last season.

Aside from their defensive improvements, the Rockets have continued to thrive beyond the arc this season. Harden, who also had a steal in that span, capped the run with a three-pointer that prompted Minnesota Coach Tom Thibodeau to call a timeout.

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