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Wolves at Warriors: Star Power

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Jimmy Butler is a game-time decision. If he goes, six All-Stars will be featured tonight.

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Timberwolves (31-19) at Golden State Warriors (38-10)

9:30 PM CST

TNT

The team is on a road back-to-back against a daunting Warriors team after losing to the Blazers last night. In the third quarter last night, a raining hellfire of threes built a lead too big to overcome for the Wolves. Given the Warriors talents, the Wolves will have to guard against something similar tonight.

Jimmy Butler was out for his third straight game, and the defense suffered immensely because of it, something they avoided for the most part in the two wins without him. He is desperately needed tonight against a healthy Golden State full of All-Stars.

This game will feature half (6) of the West’s contingent of players that were selected to the All-Star game. According to ESPN, Steph Curry chose Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns to be on his squad while Kevin Durant was drafted by LeBron James.

You can see why these two teams were picked to spread the brand to China this preseason, though that may have been decided before Butler arrived.

The first matchup between these two in the regular season was a lot like last night’s game. It was close at halftime, but then the Warriors put up 44 in the third and never looked back, eventually winning 125-101 at Oracle.

What can you really say about matching up with this team? Hopefully Butler can go, and the Wolves can find that pesky defense during their recent stretch where they went 12-3. It’s hard to get the Warriors off of their game but they’ve been a little hot headed this season.

KD and Green are the top two in technical fouls this season, mired in controversy with regards to the referees. Durant was ejected in their last game against the Knicks and fined for postgame comments about the refs. You have to think he’ll try to be more level-headed tonight.

Jamal Crawford is probable to play, and the team could use any firepower from deep in a game like this.

I really hope Butler plays, because even though the Warriors are likely to win, I want to see the team prove they can hold their own against them. If the Wolves stay at the four seed, or even drop to fifth, they could see them as early as the second round in the playoffs.

I know, it’s been a long time since the postseason has even been a discussion, but it’s still fun to think of a seven game series with one of the best teams of all time. It could be great experience for Towns and Andrew Wiggins, and even Butler who has yet to ever face them in the playoffs.

In the end of this one, I think Golden State will end up beating the Wolves as they get hot from deep. One can hope for an ejection, that would definitely help the team’s chances, but don’t count on it.

Prediction: Warriors 118, Wolves 109. Wiggins will posterize Pachulia.

Projected Starters:

Wolves:

Jeff Teague

Andrew Wiggins

Jimmy Butler

Taj Gibson

Karl-Anthony Towns

Warriors:

Steph Curry

Klay Thompson

Kevin Durant

Draymond Green

Zaza Pachulia

Our blogging buddies are over at Golden State of Mind. Be excellent.