January 18, 2020 | 11:01 pm
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The Baseline: Troubled T-Wolves and NBA Christmas

The Christmas spirit is taking over in the NBA as the league takes center stage with a five-game slate. But first, the Baseline boys have some coal to pass out for a team that looked promising to begin the year. On this week’s episode we discuss:

The Breakdown:

  • The Timberwolves losing streak has them plummeting in the West after a hot start.
    • Despite Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns having career seasons, Minnesota is still in need of a roster overhaul.
    • Is coach Saunders to blame? The team ranks in the bottom third of most traditional stats during this streak with defense being the true Achilles heel.
    • How will the team address the point guard concerns as they try to move on from Jeff Teague?
    • Is Wiggins actually the team’s most valuable trade piece? Would a move to get D’Angelo Russell, a known friend of Towns, improve the Wolves?

The Drop:

  • Christmas Day Games
    • Boston Celtics vs Toronto Raptors: With Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol and Norman Powell out for the Raptors the Celtics should be ready to send a message, but Toronto’s never quit nature should make this game competitive regardless.
    • Milwaukee Bucks vs Philadelphia 76’ers: As the Sixers move through the season, questions about their legitimacy as contenders linger. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons hope to get a win against a Giannis Antetokounmpo team that hasn’t missed a beat since starting the season.
    • Houston Rockets vs Golden State Warriors: The only intrigue here is how many points will James Harden go off for as the hobbled Warriors get an unwarranted national audience.
    • L.A. Clippers vs L.A. Lakers: Cal is tired of the talk of these two teams already but all eyes will be glued to watch Paul George and Kawhi Leonard take on the LeBron James and Anthony Davis as both teams will have all their stars available.
    • New Orleans Pelicans vs Denver Nuggets: Without Zion Williamson, the Pelicans have been a lost cause despite Brandon Ingram‘s breakout season. Nikola Jokic and company deserve this shine but as the day’s last game versus an inferior opponent, many fans may choose to snooze.

Coast to Coast:

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