Miami Heat: Predictions for LeBron James' Birthday Bash Against T'Wolves
LeBron turns 27 today, and before he heads out to the Minnesota night clubs to celebrate, he will start off his birthday bash with a stellar performance against the struggling Minnesota Timberwolves.
It's amazing to think about all the things that LeBron has accomplished, both on the court and off, at the young age of 27.
I know the Minnesota Timberwolves would love to spoil LeBron's birthday by handing him and the Heat their first loss of the season, but that's not going to happen.
Here are five last-minute predictions for LeBron's birthday bash against the Timberwolves.
LeBron and Wade Will Shoot Their First 3-Pointers of the Season
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In a shocking turn of events, both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have yet to shoot a single three-pointer in their first three games. It appears to be working, with the Heat running out to a fast 3-0 start. When asked on Tuesday if he still remembered how to shoot three-pointers LeBron laughed and said, "Yeah, I do." LeBron will back up that up against the Timberwolves by jacking up at least one three-pointer tonight.
I know people say, "If it aint broke don't fix it," but there's just no way that LeBron and Wade will make it out of this game without attempting at least one three-pointer between them. LeBron attempted at least one three-pointer in each of his two games against the Timberwolves last year and Wade attempting three three-pointers in his final Timberwolves match up.
LeBron and Wade will each jack up at least one three-pointer in the Heats matchup with the T'Wolves. Jacking up three-pointers is just part of the game.
Kevin Love Will Be Held to 19 Points and 9 Rebounds
Kevin Love is having a pretty impressive start to the 2011-12 NBA season. He is averaging 26.5 points and 16.0 rebounds per game so far this year, but he won't be able to produce at that level against the MIami Heat.
In Love's two games last year against the Heatles he averaged 19 points and 6.5 rebounds per game, and that is what the Heat will hold him to this year in his first game against them. Kevin Love is an extremely solid NBA player, but he will struggle tonight against the Heat and the defensive pressure of Udonis Haslem, Joel Anthony and Chris Bosh.
The Heat will keep Love from earning his third straight double double of the season by holding him to only 19 points and 9 rebounds.
Ricky Rubio Will Dominate Mario Chalmers on Both Sides Fo the Ball
Ricky Rubio has had quite a solid start to his NBA career. In his first two games Rubio has averaged 6.0 points, 5.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game. The most impressive part of Rubio's production is that he's proved to be a smart offensive player, earning himself a shooting percentage of 66.7% on the year so far.
Rubio is also taking care of the ball, only averaging 1.5 turnovers a game. Rubio is going to match up nicely against the Heats starting point guard Mario Chalmers, who is prone to turning the ball over with a season average of 3.0 per game, and even turning the ball over 6 times against the Celtics.
Rubio will outplay Chalmers, he will end up with more production in each of the following categories, points, assists and steals. Rubio's production at the end of the night will look something like 10 points, 7 assists and 3 steals.
Chalmers being outplayed by Rubio will continue the "Norris Cole needs to start" talk in Miami., making for a nice story line.
LeBron Records First Triple Double of the Season
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I know I said that LeBron will record his first triple double of the season against the Celtics and he fell short of that, but I won't be wrong twice about LeBron's first triple double. The main reason why LeBron will be able to record his first triple double of the season is because there are no defenders on the Timberwolves who can hang with him.
In his two games against the Timberwolves he recorded an average of 23.5 points, 11 assists, but he only managed an average of 3 rebounds. That will change this year, and LeBron will prove that in his first matchup against the T'Wolves. LeBron will push around Kevin Love and Michael Beasley to grab 10+ boards, earning himself the first triple double of the year.
I know a lot of people will think this is insane to say, but LeBron will outproduce Kevin Love on the glass. Love will only grab 9 rebounds while LeBron will grab at least 10.
LeBrons stat line prediction: 27 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists.
Miami Heat Move to 4-0 with a Single Digit Win over the Timberwolves
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The Miami Heat will undoubtedly move to 4-0 against the young and struggling Timberwolves, who are currently 0-2 on the year. Much like the Heat's game against the Charlotte Bobcats, the Heat will play down to the competition and allow the Timberwolves to stay close for much of the game.
The Heat played with fire on Wednesday by letting the Bobcats hang around, and while it won't be that close of a game the Heat will still struggle to close out the T'Wolves. Unlike their last game, the Heat will not trail more than two times in the game, always playing from ahead.
The Heat's bench will out produce the Timberwolve's bench which will prove to be the ultimate difference maker in this matchup. The Heat will move to a formidable 4-0, while the Timberwolves continue to falter, moving to an 0-3 record.
Final Score Prediction: Miami Heat 111 Minnesota Timberwolves 104.