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Warriors at Timberwolves Game Thread

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The Wolves host the league leading 17-2 Golden State Warriors tonight at Target Center. It's the start of a four game home stand this week.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Warriors at Wolves
7:00 pm CST
FS North

Warrors EFG%: .541 (2nd in NBA)
Wolves Opp. EFG%: .556 (30th in the NBA)

That's pretty much what you need to know about this tilt. Much like the game on Saturday in San Antonio, it's hard to see how the Wolves can possibly stop the Warriors from scoring as many points as they want. The Warriors are 2nd in pace, 2nd in efg%, and 2nd in 3P%, while the Wolves are sieve defensively.

The Warriors of course feature the dynamic back court duo of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, both of whom are averaging over 20 a night and over 40% from beyond the arc, and those two are supplemented offensively by the resurgent Harrison Barnes (shooting 52% overall and 43% on threes) and the emerging star Draymond Green (13 a night on 38% three point shooting).

The team as a whole is 7th in percentage of shots that are three pointers, but are incredibly efficient on two point shots--featuring the 3rd highest 2P% in the league, and are 2nd in the league in percentage of 2 pointers that are assisted. In other words--they move the ball and get good looks, either from inside or outside the arc, and they play as fast as anyone in the league.

And that's just their offense. Where they have really shined is defensively, where they lead the league in both opponent efg% and overall defensive rating. Having Andrew Bogut back and healthy back stopping an array of talented perimeter defenders (Andre Inguodala in addition to the aforementioned starters) that can switch effectively has made this the stingiest unit in the NBA.

Mostly, they guard the basket. They give up the 5th lowest % of opponent shots within 3 feet, and even when teams get there, they don't convert, as the Warriors have the 2nd lowest FG% against on those shots. They also maintain top five rankings in percentage of opponent shots that are three pointers as well as 3P%. In other words, they make it tough to score where it's generally easiest to score. Still, it might mean plenty of open 20 footers--the Wolves love those!

Their one weakness so far has been turnovers--they tend to give the ball away. Not surprising given how fast they play, but it's something that the Wolves will have to look to take advantage of, as the home team remains 3rd in the league in forcing opponents turnovers. It is unlikely to make a dent in Golden State's scoring ability, but might allow the Wolves to get out on the break and get some easy baskets, something they are going to desperately need tonight, as scoring in the half court against this team is going to be a chore.

The Warriors have also gotten good play off the bench--not only do they use Andre Iguodala as a reserve, but Marresse Speights has been fantastic for them in the front court, and Shaun Livingston has done well backing up the guard spots.

No Mo Williams again tonight, which means lots of Zach LaVine. Against Steph Curry. There's a match up to relish.

Unclear if Shabazz Muhammad will go; his ankle continues to give him problems. It didn't stop him from scoring 20 against the Spurs, though, so hopefully he'll be able to get out there.

Expected lineups

Warriors

Stephen Curry
Klay Thompson
Harrison Barnes
Draymond Green
Andrew Bogut

Wolves

Zach LaVine
Corey Brewer
Andrew Wiggins
Thaddeus Young
Gorgui Dieng

Your blogging buddies for the evening are over at Golden State Of Mind. Be excellent.

No no and no.

Enjoy the game. Chat here. Go Wolves.