Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Golden State Warriors
|Date & Time||Friday November 8, 2019, 8:00 PM (EST)|
|TV Channel||Stream live sports and ESPN originals on-demand on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
A shell of the Golden State Warriors (2-6) team from last year will walk into Target Center on Friday night looking for their third win of the season when they take on the Minnesota Timberwolves (4-3) in the Target Center. Compared to last year, Golden State will be without Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, Andre Igoudala, DeMarcus Cousins, and Shaun Livingston. How can a team expect to compete?
To make things worse, D’Angelo Russell is expected to be a game-time decision. Russell, looking to return from a sprained ankle, has already missed three games due to the injury.
With all of the players injured or departed from last year, the Warriors are still amazingly an average offense, scoring 111.0 points per game, good for 14th in the NBA -- just better than half of the teams in the league. But the defense has been so bad, the offense really doesn’t have a chance. Golden State is 28th out of 30 teams in the NBA on defense, allowing 121.5 points per game.
After Curry, who is expected to miss more than three months after hand surgery, and Russell, who is averaging 19.0 points per game, Eric Paschall is the leading scorer with 17.0 points per game. Alec Burks is one of four more players averaging in double figures, scoring 12.4 points per game.
While Minnesota is similarly bad on defense, ranking 26th in the NBA allowing 118.7 points per game, the Timberwolves offense is elite, ranking No. 5 scoring 116.7 points per game, trailing only Milwaukee, Brooklyn, Houston, and New Orleans in scoring offense. That elite offense is the difference between Golden State and Minnesota, who are almost equally poor on the defensive side of the ball.
Despite the above .500 record, Minnesota is just 1-3 in its last four games with losses to Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Memphis sandwiched around a win at Washington. In the three losses, the Timberwolves allowed nearly 130 points per game. However, those losses were against two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference before a road loss at Memphis.
Karl-Anthony Towns is seventh in the NBA scoring 26.8 points per game to go along with 11.8 rebounds per game, also good enough for seventh in the NBA. Teammate Andrew Wiggins is also in the top 20 in scoring at 22.4 points per game. Jeff Teague and Robert Convington also score in double figures for the Timberwolves.
Golden State earned a push in its last game, entering as 17-point underdogs and holding on for a 17-point loss to the Houston Rockets. This 12-point number that the Timberwolves are favored over the Warriors might seem like a lot, but Golden State has only been within 12 points four times, and two of those were wins against the worst defense in the NBA in New Orleans and a Portland team that is off to a disappointing start to the season. The other two times were an 11-point loss at home against Phoenix and a six-point loss at home to Charlotte. Against any average defense on the road, Golden State is averaging losing by 22.5 points per game.
It’s all Minnesota in this one, no matter how many points they are giving up.