Warriors at Wolves
7:00 pm CST
The Wolves finish their pre-All-star schedule tonight when the host the West leading Golden State Warriors at Target Center. The Warriors come in at 41-9 and are outscoring their opponents by a spectacular 11 points per game. They lead the league in defensive rating and are 4th in offense while playing at the highest pace in the league. That's good stuff.
They are of course headlined by their starting back court of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, who are blitzing the league for a combined 45.6 points per game, and are both shooting over 40% from three. It's a nearly impossible combination to stop, and they appear to take turns having huge games night to night.
Meanwhile, the Warriors lead the league in FG%, 2P%, and efg%, while holding their opponents to a league low efg%. It doesn't get much better than that. Defensively, they are in the top 10 in the league in both opponent's FG% at the rim and FG% beyond the arc, meaning they defend the dangerous areas of the floor as well as anyone in the league.
Andrew Bogut's health remains a key to their top notch defense, and he's been able to stay relatively healthy this season. He patrols the paint for them and keeps opponents from getting easy ones. The depth of this squad is also impressive, as they are able to bring guys like Andre Iguodala, David Lee, and Marresse Speights off the bench. Tonight they will be without Draymond Green, who is sitting with an ankle issue in advance of the long All-star break, which means Lee probably gets inserted into the starting lineup.
The Warriors have cruised past the Wolves in two meetings so far this season, both of which coming during the worst of the Wolves injury stretch, when all three of Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin, and Nikola Pekovic were out. Still, even healthy the Wolves are unlikely to be able to keep up with a Warriors team that is looking championship caliber.
To stay in this one, the Wolves are going to have to dominate the boards much the way they did in the first half against Atlanta, as well as win the turnover battle--giving easy transition baskets to the Warriors is a recipe for a blowout. Combine those things with an unusually good shooting night and perhaps the Wolves can hang around tonight.
No word on whether Gary Neal or Adreian Payne will be available for this one, but even if they are dressed, I wouldn't expect them to play.
This is the last game for 10 days, so hopefully the Wolves can leave us with some good feelings.
Here's a link to our blogging buddies over at Golden State Of Mind. Be excellent.
No pics, gifs, links to illegal streams.
Enjoy the game. Chat here. Go Wolves.