The similarities between these two teams are a little odd, all of the similarities I'm referring to, however, are statistical...
Minnesota is currently on a 3-game losing streak.
Golden State is currently on a 3-game losing streak.
Minnesota is 4-6 in their last 10 games.
Golden State is 4-6 in their last 10 games.
Minnesota is currently averaging 98.2 points per game.
Golden State is currently averaging 98.2 points per game.
Minnesota has lost 24 games this season.
Golden State has lost 24 games this season.
Minnesota is 10-12 on the road (will be playing in Golden State).
Golden State is 10-12 at home.
I hope I'm not the only one who feels this is strange! Beyond what we have listed above, these are two different teams in different situations.
Minnesota is currently 22-24 on the year. Golden State is currently 18-24 on the year. If Minnesota continues to struggle these two teams may have more in common. Minnesota is quickly slipping out of the Western Conference playoff picture. With Golden State's trade of Monta Ellis for an oft-injured center and with Stephen Curry having missed quite a bit of time with a sprained ankle as the Warriors are contemplating 'shutting him down' for the season.
Before the deadline, the Golden State Warriors traded Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh and Kwame Brown to the Milwaukee Bucks for Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson. The next day, Golden State traded Jackson to the San Antonio Spurs for Richard Jefferson and a pick.
By trading away Ellis for an injured center that may not even be able to play for the remainder of this season, most assume the Warriors have given up on, playoff hopes this season. Especially with Stephen Curry's lingering ankle problems. Wright said after the trade that he was mad and basically said "So, what have we given up on the season."
Minnesota has struggled against the Golden State these past few seasons. Minnesota has actually dropped 6 of the last 7 meetings. However with the W's trading away Ellis, that could spell, good news for the Wolves as he's averaged 22.3ppg vs. Minnesota the past two seasons. This is the first matchup between these two teams this season.
It's no secret Minnesota has been slumping as of late. They've lost 5 of their last 6 games and they're hoping to avoid their second four-game losing streak of the season. I hoped Minnesota would be able to get back on track vs. the Kings last night in Sacrmento, clearly that wasn't the case! Here's the recap of that one. I won't speculate that a matchup against the Warriors is something that could get Minnesota back on a winning streak and back into the playoff picture.
Tensions have run high for Minnesota during these past couple weeks. In fact, during the game vs. the Kings yesterday, during a timeout, a couple of TWolves teammates got into an argument and had to be separated. During a timeout, J.J. Barea walked over to Kevin Love and said something that clearly 'got under his skin'. Love immediately jumped up and it was clear you could see he was yelling, Martell Webster actually had to step in between the two. Here's the video on ESPN: Emotions Run High in Wolves' Loss. Following the game, Kevin Love had this to say, "It's frustrating, but nothing personal against J.J. I think we were both frustrated and took it out on each other when we should have took it out on the other team. So both of us made mistakes and both of us feel bad."
Minnesota is DESPERATE for a win!
The Warriors' last game was against the Utah Jazz. The result? A 92-99 overtime loss to the Jazz. For Utah, Derrick Favors started in place of Al Jefferson (who was attending his grandmother's funeral) he stepped up with 23pts & 17reb and helped put away Golden State in the overtime by scoring 4 of the first 6 points for Utah. Nate Robinson led the charge with 19pts, Lee added 18pts & 7reb, Thompson had 17pts and Wright had 13pts & 10reb.
Minnesota may be without Nikola Pekovic, once again. He sat out Sunday night vs. the Kings due to a sore ankle. Minnesota believes he'll be available and able to play, though he'll likely be a gametime decision. Michael Beasley re-injured his big toe and had to wear his flip flops after the game because he couldn't get his shoes back on due to the swelling. There's a chance he won't be able to play tonight... For the Warriors, they'll likely be without Stephen Curry with a sprained ankle, which would be a fourth straight game. Newly-acquired Andrew Bogut is also out with an ankle sprain and hasn't played as a Warrior, yet.
Because of those injuries, these are likely the matchups we can expect: Ridnour--Curry or Nate Robinson, Webster--Klay Thompson, Johnson--Dorell Wright, Love--David Lee, Pekovic or Darko or Randolph--Andris Biedrens.
The Minnesota Timberwolves' biggest concerns, is if Pek is unable to play, there's some question to who would start at center in his place. Darko Milicic started in place of Pek vs. the Kings but played only 6 minutes (all in the first quarter). Anthony Randolph saw extended minutes for the first time in a long time and had 10pts & 9reb. Randolph vs. Biedrens is a terrible matchup and you don't really need Darko's defense against the W's center, because Biedrens isn't going to drop 20 on you...ever (I really hope he doesn't explode for 20 now that I've said that).
That's all for now. Tonight's tip is set for 9:30pmCT and a full gameday recap can be found on this site following the final horn. Until then, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!