Golden State Warriors vs Minnesota Timberwolves Tuesday, March 19th, 2019.
The Golden State Warriors will travel to Minnesota for a Tuesday night game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Once again, the Warriors are the class of the Western Conference and despite a strange season for them, they are 47-21.
They are first overall in the West one game above the Denver Nuggets. They are 5-5 in their last 10 games and are on a two-game winning streak having won their first two games of a four-game road trip.
This matchup, with the T-Wolves, will be the back end of back to back road games as the Warriors face the Spurs in San Antonio on Monday night. The Warriors are 23-11 overall this season on the road. Kevin Durant is listed as day to day and did not play for the Warriors on Saturday against the OKC Thunder.
The Timberwolves are a team that essentially will miss the playoffs. It's not official yet but they are in 10th in the West with a 32-38 record which is 8.5 games back of the L.A. Clippers who hold down the 8th and final playoff spot with 12 games to play.
The Timberwolves are 23-10 at home but have lost their last three games all on the road.
Expected Starting Lineups
Golden State Warriors’ Starters:
Warriors' head coach Steve Kerr will likely start G-Stephen Curry, G-Klay Thompson, F-Draymond Green, F-Andre Iguodala, and C-DeMarcus Cousins.
Minnesota Timberwolves’ Starters:
Head coach Ryan Saunders will start with G-Tyus Jones, G-Josh Okogie, F-Andrew Wiggins, F-Dario Saric, and C-Karl-Anthony Towns.
Expectations and Prediction:
The Golden State Warriors will likely be without superstar Kevin Durant who is listed as day to day with an injury. However, The Warriors are 5th in field goals made, 1st in field goal percentage, 6th in 3-point attempts made, 3rd in 3-point percentage and first in blocked shots and assists.
Both Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant are putting up MVP like numbers with both averaging 27+ points a game. With an average of 29.1apg as a team, it might be surprising to see the Warriors being led by Draymond Green with 7 per game. Stephen Curry and Durant average 5+ assists per game. It's clear the Warriors move the ball extremely well.
The Warriors are a little less proficient defensively. While they are 1st in blocked shots at 6.4, they are giving up 9.9 offensive rebounds per game which is in the bottom third in the NBA.
The Warriors do average 34 plus 3-point shots a game so the Timberwolves need to to be alert and guard the perimeter well. It may be hard to do as the Warriors have several shooters who can hit three’s from way beyond the three-point arc.
The Minnesota Timberwolves will likely face the Warriors without both Jeff Teague and Derrick Rose both out of the line up with injuries. One major concern for the T-Wolves is Andrew Wiggins.
After raising his scoring average to 23+ points per game in his third season, Andrew Wiggins is now averaging 17 points per game. He has regressed and it's affecting the T-Wolves win-loss record.
The T-Wolves average 112ppg and give up 113ppg. In other words, if Wiggins could rediscover the form that saw him record 23ppg in 2017, The T-Wolves would average 118ppg which is plus 6 what they do now and plus 5 what their opponents score.
With Jeff Teague and Derrick Rose out of the lineup, the T-Wolves also need to make up 22 plus points per game with their absences. Josh Okogie averages just 7.3ppg and he's only 37% from the field shooting wise.
This game most likely comes down to Golden State’s players focus in game 70 of a season in which they rank 1st in the Western Conference. The Warriors are probably just itching for the playoffs to start so they can defend their championship.
The game may also come down to whether or not the T-Wolves have the heart and drive to make a final push to claim a playoff spot. Since coach Ryan Saunders took over the team, the Minnesota Timberwolves are 13-17.
They are also catching Golden State in game two of a back to back set of games. Injuries to Teague, Rose, and Durant could also affect the outcome as all three are listed day to day. Expect the Warriors to take the win by 7 points.Published 19 Mar 2019, 00:30 IST