MINNEAPOLIS -- The Sixers have lost eight games in a row on the road and they’ll look to break that streak tonight when they visit the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center. The Sixers will be without rookie Michael-Carter Williams again, as he recovers from a sore knee/skin infection. It will be the eighth game MCW has missed this season and the Sixers are 1-6 without him so far.
Here are some keys tonight for the Sixers against the T-Wolves:
* Limit the amount of damage done by Kevin Love: The 6-10 forward leads the league in double-doubles with 19, but that doesn’t begin to tell the story of how dominant he can be. He is a very good three-point shooter, can handle the ball and is an above-average defender. He will get his points and rebounds, but that has to be it if the Sixers hope to win this one.
*Don’t let Nikola Pecovic muscle his way to a big game: The monster center is a bull against the Sixers and demands double teams when he gets the ball down low. Problem is, that leaves outside shooters open and Minnesota has many capable ones. Someone is going to have to have some one-on-one defensive success against Pecovic.
* Slow Kevin Martin: The sleek guard has been the top scorer in four of the team’s last five games. He and love form one of the top scoring duos in the league. There has to be a hand in his face at all times.
* Catch Minnesota off guard: The Timberwolves play four of their next five games on the road and are just coming off a win in Detroit. This could be a down game for the home team, although they usually play well at the Target Center. Still, looking past the Sixers wouldn’t be all that surprising.
*Get some scoring from the shooting guard: New starter Hollis Thompson and reserve James Anderson have been struggling of late and there is no scoring relief at that after those two. If either can provide some offensive spark, the scoring load on the rest of the team gets a bit easier to carry.