Wolf Den: Phoenix Suns at Minnesota Tonight

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Al 2.jpg 
Al Jefferson (above dunking) is most decidedly better than nothing. A linchpin of the Minnesota Timberwolves' move-him-or-lose-him trade of All-World Kevin Garnett to the Boston Celtics in the summer of '07, Jefferson came into his own last season, his first as a T-Wolf. 

The 6-10 center/forward played in all 82 games (unheard of), providing a wicked low-post presence and a night-in/night-out double-double threat (this year, he's averaging 22 points per game and a hair under 10 rebounds). With the exception of potential breakout star Randy Foye, the Wolves' fine (if injury-plagued) second-year guard, there ain't too much around Jefferson at this point, but Suns fans well remember the fits he gave Mike D'Antoni's liquid interior defense last year.

New Suns head coach Terry Porter has transformed the D into a semi-solid, but it won't be enough to stop Jefferson. Luckily for Phoenix and the rest of the league, you don't have to stop AJ at this point to beat the Wolves, 'cause they're more than likely to beat themselves, but that might not always be the case given that Minnesota also snagged two future first-round picks from Boston in the Garnett trade.

Give 'em a solid scoring forward to complement Jefferson and a consistently healthy Foye and these Wolves will be back in business. Well, since it's the T-Wolves, maybe we should just say in business.

Tip is at 6 p.m. Wednesday, November 26, at Minneapolis' Target Center. See www.nba.com/suns. TV: Channel 45 (cable 9). Radio: KTAR-AM 620. -- Clay McNear


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