The Golden State Warriors are headed to Minnesota to take on Karl-Anthony Towns and the Timberwolves. Both teams are coming into this game off of a loss. The Warriors lost the front-end of their back-to-back to the Spurs in San Antonio on Monday night. The T-Wolves lost to James Harden and the Rockets on Sunday evening by 15. Both teams are looking to get back on track in this spot, but they will still have to do so without some key players. The Warriors do not expect to have either Andre Iguodala or DeMarcus Cousins back for this game, which hurts a lot in this matchup with a team that is mainly reliant on wing and post scoring. The Wolves will be without Robert Covington and Jeff Teague. Derrick Rose and Luol Deng are both listed as doubtful, so I do not expect to see either of them as well.
Warriors Seeking Bounce Back
The Warriors had picked up two key wins over the Thunder and the Rocket before stumbling in San Antonio. They even won those two games without Kevin Durant after a horrible loss to the Suns while at full strength. This stretch of unpredictability only confirms my stance that this team really doesn’t care what happens some nights and I think that has caused some drama. For years now, this team can show up without much passion behind their play and still kill teams. I think this lack of passion has increased and teams have gotten better, which has led to more careless losses like the one we saw against the Suns.
We have seen Steph Curry do less on the court with Cousins coming into the fold, so I expect him to get a little more usage without Cousins in this game. KD has the better matchup in Andrew Wiggins, so I think it is possible we see a big scoring game out of KD and more assists than usual for Steph here.
Minnesota Been Interesting
The T-Wolves have constantly dealt with craziness all season long. They started out the season with all of the crazy Jimmy Butler stories that eventually led to him being traded for two good role players. They have also been plagued with constant injuries since the trade. We have seen Covington, Teague, Wiggins, Jones, Rose, Deng, and Towns all miss multiple games due to injury within the last 2 months, which is really hard for a team to deal with, especially a team with two young cornerstones, a mid-season hire at head coach, while trading away an All-Star.
Karl-Anthony Towns has been absolutely tremendous throughout all of the injuries, as he has really taken on a bigger role in the offense. We see him put up monster double-doubles each and every night and I think we will see that again here. In Monday’s game, we saw Andrew Bogut start for Boogie. If we see that again, I suspect Towns will abuse Bogut outside of the post and then take any one of Bell, Looney, or Draymond into the post and have his way there as well.
If the T-Wolves want to stay in this game, they will need big time performances from Wiggins and Tyus Jones. Jones is a really solid NBA player that is often hesitant to call his own number. He is a great on-ball defender and he should make Curry’s night a little tougher than normal. I think Wiggins and Jones probably need to get to about 40 points combined for the Wolves to keep up with the Warriors in this game.
Golden State Rocks Minnesota
I expect to see a relatively fast-paced game in this spot, as the Warriors should look to increase their tempo without Cousins on the court. The T-Wolves should be a slower team running through a big man, but they actually rank middle of the pack when it comes to pace. The Warriors are -6.5 point favorites in this spot and I think that is an overreaction to their loss last night. I expect the Warriors to win this game by double digits and cover this spread pretty easily tonight.