Two of the more disappointing teams in the Western Conference square off on Monday night when the Minnesota Timberwolves visit the Golden State Warriors.
After their strong start to the season, Minnesota has crashed quickly and fallen back to Earth and is currently on a 10-game losing streak. Karl-Anthony Towns hasn’t been able to help the cause, as he remains questionable with a knee injury.
Through 28 games, there isn’t one Timberwolves player who has appeared in every game. Several of Minnesota’s key role players are shooting poorly from the field, including rookie Jarrett Culver, Shabazz Napier and Treveon Graham.
If there is a team that gets the “I feel really bad for them” award, it is the Warriors. They’ve gone from the most-hated team to the team you feel the worst for, from five straight NBA Finals appearances to last place in the Western Conference.
Stephen Curry broke his hand in the fourth game of the season, Klay Thompson isn’t playing as he recovers from his knee injury suffered in the NBA Finals, D’Angelo Russell has missed 40 percent of their games, while Draymond Green is constantly in and out of the lineup.
Eric Paschall and Alec Burks have carried them many times this season, while undrafted two-way contract signee Ky Bowman has had to start several times.
The struggling Timberwolves are 2.5-point favorites in this one, with the over/under set at 221.5.
Trying To Snap Out Of It
Even before Towns got hurt, things had begun to go awry in Minnesota. The wins have not been coming like they are supposed to, and it hasn’t been good to see. Jeff Teague is the only somewhat consistent producer outside of Towns and an All-Star-caliber Andrew Wiggins. The Timberwolves need their other guards to start making shots, but it just has not been happening.
Still, Ryan Saunders is undoubtedly the right coach for this bunch, as he gets full effort out of everybody, whereas previous coach Tom Thibodeau could not. Give them time, and things will come to fruition.
Wiggins is looking better than he ever has as a pro because he has a coach he wants to play hard for every night. Towns looks dominant when healthy; they just need to get him back on the floor. This is a good chance to get back on track against Golden State.
Golden State Struggles
We have not seen trying times like these from the Warriors since they went 23-43 in the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season, in which Curry missed most of the games, and Nate Robinson was the starting point guard. Their win totals over the past five years have been 67, 73, 67, 57 and 58, and at 6-24 this season, things are clearly different.
But Paschall has shown flashes of being very good, while Burks has also taken a leadership role. Jordan Poole may be the most ineffective shooter ever though, shooting 25.6 percent from the floor and 24.2 percent from three (but yet 84 percent at the free-throw line).
They will have Russell and Green for this game, trying to get a win before their Christmas Day game against Houston.
Wolves Snap The Skid
The Timberwolves will finally get back into the win column in this one. I’m taking Minnesota to get the victory.
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