Minnesota Timberwolves (22-24) vs. Golden State Warriors (18-24) at ORACLE Arena
If the Golden State Warriors finish better than 24th in the NBA this season, they have to give their 1st round draft choice to the Utah Jazz. To that end, they traded Monta Ellis and +/- All-Star Ekpe Udoh for Andrew Bogut, who hasn't played a game since January, and Stephen Jackson's corpse (which they later flipped for the corpse of Richard Jefferson). They have also kept Stephen Curry out of the lineup with a "sprained ankle".
Given that the Warriors are not-so-subtly trying to lose games in order to keep their 1st round pick, you would think that the Wolves should be able to get a win tonight. Of course, in the Spanish ACL Era of Timberwolves basketball, wins are never easy. After finally breaking the .500 barrier, the Wolves are now two games under and have lost to New Orleans and Sacramento over the past week and a half (in addition to some better teams).
Teammates are fighting, toes are being stepped on (literally, in the case of Michael Beasley) and Wolves' fans are left shuffling their iPods to make sense of everything.
Nate Robinson, doing what he does best: helping his team lose games.
Projected Starting Lineups
C: Darko Milicic vs. Andris Biedrins
PF: Kevin Love vs. David Lee
SF: Wesley Johnson vs. Dorell Wright
SG: Martell Webster vs. Klay Thompson
PG: Luke Ridnour vs. Nate Robinson
Another Golden State shooting guard the Wolves could have drafted. His 44% 3PT percentage would look good on the Wolves right about now.
Last 5 Games
Golden State Warriors (4th in Pacific, 8 1/2 gms behind LAL; 13th in West, 4 gms behind 8th seed)
Sun, Mar 11: Win at LA Clippers 97-93
Tue, Mar 13: Win at Sacramento 115-89
Wed, Mar 14: Loss vs. Boston 103-105
Fri, Mar 16: Loss vs. Milwaukee 98-120
Sat, Mar 17: Loss at Utah 92-99 (OT)
Minnesota Timberwolves (4th Northwest, 12 1/2 gms behind OKC; 11th in West, 2 gms behind 8th seed)
Sat, Mar 10: Loss vs. New Orleans 89-95
Mon, Mar 12: Win at Phoenix 127-124
Thu, Mar 15: Loss at Utah 105-111 (OT)
Fri, Mar 16: Loss at LA Lakers 92-97
Sun, Mar 18: Loss at Sacramento 99-115
Stephen Curry's ankle joins a long list of suspect injuries, including Kevin Garnett's injured right quadriceps at the end of the 2006-07 season.
Golden State Warriors:
Andrew Bogut - Out 2 to 3 months with a broken left ankle
Stephen Curry - Out indefinitely with a sprained right ankle
Michael Beasley - Probable with a sore left toe
Nikola Pekovic - Questionable with a sore left ankle
Ricky Rubio - Out for the remainder of the season with an injured left knee
What happened to this version of Anthony Tolliver? Where did he go?
- Anthony Tolliver stats from last year and this year
'10/'11: 11.5 pts, 7.8 rebs, 2.2 asts (per-36), 13.3 PER, .585 TS%, .115 WS/48
'11/'12: 6.8 pts, 5.7 rebs, 0.6 asts (per-36), 6.1 PER, .455 TS%, .040 WS/48
- Five Timberwolves' players are performing better than John Hollinger's preseason PER projections: Derrick Williams (+0.92), Anthony Randolph (+2.21), Malcolm Lee (+5.08), Nikola Pekovic (+6.56) and Kevin Love (+9.52).
- Kevin Love has the fourth-highest usage rate amongst PF/Cs in the NBA, behind DeMarcus Cousins, Dirk Nowitzki and Andrea Bargnani
- The Wolves are currently in the midst of a three-game losing streak. It is their third streak of 3+ losses this season. Last season, they had 9 streaks of 3+ losses, and in 2009/2010, they had 8 of them. In each of the last three seasons, the Wolves have had a losing streak of 13 or more.
- Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry have accounted for 28.9% of the Golden State Warriors' points this season (1194 out of 4125). Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio have accounted for 33.4% of the Wolves' points this season (1512 out of 4517).
I'm sure disagreements like this happen many, many times between teammates during the course of an NBA season. But it just doesn't seem very 'Minnesota Nice'.