The newest NBA Western Conference Player of the Week Anthony Edwards and the Minnesota Timberwolves return to the floor in San Francisco on Tuesday night for a rematch with Draymond Green and the Golden State Warriors, who will be without Stephen Curry (right knee soreness).
This time, the game will be part of West Group C action in the 2023 NBA In-Season Tournament. Both teams are 1-0 and the winner of Tuesday’s contest will be in firm control of their chances to advance to the quarterfinals.
If you want to read a comprehensive explainer of what the tournament is, how it works, and everything you need to know from a Wolves perspective, please click here.
- Who: Minnesota Timberwolves (7-2) at Golden State Warriors (6-5)
- When: 9:00 PM CT
- Where: Chase Center
- TV: Bally Sports North (Michael Grady, Jim Petersen and Marney Gellner)
- Radio: Wolves Radio App, KFAN FM 100.3
- Line: Timberwolves -1.5, Total: 217.5 (courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook)
Updated as of 1:15 PM CT on Tuesday:
- Jaylen Clark (right achilles tendon rupture rehab)
- Jordan McLaughlin (right knee MCL sprain)
- Leonard Miller (G League assignment)
- Wendell Moore Jr. (G League assignment)
- Stephen Curry (right knee soreness)
What To Watch For
Poking the Bear
It’s safe to say there were plenty of tensions that arose during these two teams’ first matchup on Sunday night.
First, Edwards absolutely destroyed Dario Šarić at the rim.
Then, notoriously dirty player Chris Paul made one of the most bogus plays I’ve seen in quite some time by deliberately going after the legs of Mike Conley — one of the most universally respected and well-liked people in the NBA — in a disgusting grift that resulted in a personal foul on Conley.
If the NBA actually cares about player safety, they would call this a Flagrant 2 with a massive fine attached pic.twitter.com/wsxN22hRZg— Canis Hoopus (@canishoopus) November 13, 2023
This is some serious bullshit. https://t.co/VJrs1jPLyI— Jim Petersen (@JimPeteHoops) November 13, 2023
Our friend Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic said that members of the organization in the locker room were “quietly very unhappy” with the play and followed up by suggesting the Wolves would send the play to the league office. As of 8:15 PM central time, the NBA hasn’t taken any action.
And to top it all off, Green, the NBA’s Instigator-in-Chief, thought it would be a great idea to talk crazy to Edwards while down 12 midway through the fourth quarter of the contest. His profanity-ridden outburst prompted a response from Edwards similar to the one he gave Jimmy Butler a couple years ago.
“Ain’t nobody worried about you, bruh,” Edwards said, cool as could be. “Hell nah, [expletive]. I promise you that. I promise you that.”
Ant proceeded to make both free throws and then score eight more points on 3/5 shooting and 2/2 from the charity stripe over the rest of the game.
Safe to say that'll be the last time Draymond Green asks Anthony Edwards what he's going to do about it.— Canis Hoopus (@canishoopus) November 13, 2023
Since Dray talked trash to Ant at 5:25 (GSW down 98-86)...
Ant has 10 points on 3/5 FG and is 4/4 from the FT line.
Ant had something to say vs. GSW pic.twitter.com/ovqcfZNLtV— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) November 13, 2023
The 22-year-old All-Star got the last laugh. He finished the game with 33 points, seven assists, six rebounds and two steals, and the Timberwolves’ sixth straight win. And on Monday afternoon, Edwards was rewarded with the NBA’s Western Conference Player of the Week (Nov. 6-12) for the first time in his career.
Considering Edwards made it clear before the season that he wanted to play the Warriors in the playoffs and explained it was mainly because “Draymond talks so much trash,” you can believe that he’ll come ready to go again on Tuesday. Especially considering Green can’t hide behind the greatness of Curry, who is out with right knee soreness.
Anthony Edwards had the Warriors game ready on his calendar pic.twitter.com/Y5tN8CyC6W— Ahmed/The Ears/IG: BigBizTheGod (@big_business_) November 13, 2023
With it being the second of a two-game series and an In-Season Tournament game with raised stakes, how these two teams respond to the emotions in the early going will be the biggest storyline to monitor. Will Rudy Gobert commit a hard foul on Paul to stand up for Conley? Will Edwards, Kyle Anderson and Co. talk more trash? Only time will tell.
But if the Wolves can come out and play defense the way they did on Sunday, it’s hard not to like their chances.
Can Any Warrior Not Named Stephen Curry Score 20 Points in a Game?
Arguably the biggest issue with the 6-5 Warriors is that no one outside of Curry has been able to score in bunches consistently, which is a massive red flag because of how easy Curry’s scoring gravity makes it for his teammates to get clean looks at all three levels of the defense. Scoring will only get tougher now that Curry won’t play on Tuesday, which means Defensive Coordinator Elston Turner can unleash McDaniels on either Paul or Andrew Wiggins.
The two-time MVP is averaging 30.7 points per game on 48.8/44.6/93.0 shooting splits, is leading the NBA in both 3-pointers made (62) and attempted (139), and ranks fifth in 3-point percentage among players with at least 50 attempts. Curry is having arguably the best start to a season in his entire career, yet the Warriors are barely treading water.
Without Curry, the Warriors will undoubtedly shoot fewer 3-pointers and thus make it tougher for them to secure offensive rebounds at the same rate (30.4%) that they did on Sunday. Golden State had 19 offensive rebound — 11 of them coming off 3-pointers — and scored 20 points off of those 19 second chance opportunities. Curry is also one of the game’s best at converting other team’s turnovers into points; Minnesota committed 14 turnovers that the Dubs turned into 20 points on the other end. While Curry doesn’t account for all of it, his activity makes those kinds of points come easier. Considering Golden State shot 38.5% from the floor and 27.9% from deep with Curry, it’s hard to like their chances against this defense without him.
Wiggins has been horrendous, averaging 10.5 points on 41.2/15.4/50.0 shooting splits and is recording more turnovers per game (1.4) than assists (1.0). Wiggins already has four games of less than 10 points; he had three such games in the entirety of his 2021-22 All-Star campaign. He has also been widely criticized by fans for showing a lack of effort, aggression and intensity on the floor so far this season. Sound familiar?
Five-time All-Star Klay Thompson has held up his end of the bargain, for the most part. While his 16.1 points on 42.6/34.7/83.3 shooting splits are down from a truly wonderful 2022-23 campaign, his scoring has been consistent; however, it hasn’t been enough. His 14.1 shot attempts per game is down from 18.1 a season ago (and the lowest since his rookie season), so that will need to come up if he wants to regain true Splash Brother form.
Jonathan Kuminga is the other Warrior capable of exploding in any type of way, but doesn’t play enough off the bench to actually do it. He scored 19 points on 9/15 shooting in the team’s In-Season Tournament win over the Thunder a couple weeks ago, but has only scored more than 12 in one other game this season.
We all know Green isn’t that guy, but Paul certainly could be, especially if he plays an increased role without Curry. But CP3 is averaging 8.2 points per game this season, more than five points below his lowest career scoring season (13.9 last year), and his 3-point shooting is a key reason; Paul is shooting just 16.2% from deep, down from 37.5% in 2022-23 and 31.7% in 2021-22. If scoring in the mid-range is his only reliable offense at this point, the Wolves’ stellar defense will make life difficult for him. Minnesota is allowing the fifth-lowest shooting percentage (38.9%) in the mid-range this season, per Cleaning the Glass.