RECAP: Warriors 146, Timberwolves 105 - There's no I in TEAM

Boxscore

Preview/ Game Thread (1150+ Comments)

We have to be sure to not get carried away with tonight's game. All that we've established is this:

Western Conference Power Rankings (updated)
14. Golden State Warriors
15. Memphis Grizzlies
16. Minnesota Timberwolves

I'm not trying to take anything away from the Warriors, they played dominant, amazing basketball tonight. I'm just worried that the success is more a result of the opponent and that the Warriors won't consistently play with this level of effort and intensity.

 

Hit the jump for some more thoughts.

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Can we play the Timberwolves for 82 games?

All the things that the Warriors had done the last 2 games against the Clippers and Kings are what the Timberwolves did tonight, but much worse. I mean it was ugly. Heck, Canis Hoopus, the SB Nation Twolves blog, started writing their recap with 1:50 left... in the 3rd quarter!

Like I said in the preview, there's not a whole lot to like on this Twolves team. I never got the sense that any of these players had ever played together before. There was zero chemistry on the floor.

  • Guards turned the ball over a lot: Flynn 6 TO's, Sessions 4 TO's, Pavlovic 4 TO's, Ellington 3 TO's.
  • Lazy passes: There was no zip on the ball. Just a lot of lob passes and passes to the wrong side of the man.
  • Guys not coming to the ball when passed to: You have to come and meet the ball when someone's passing you the ball. The Twolves players just stood and waited for the ball to get to them.
  • There was no sense of urgency. They looked like they had given up midway through the 2nd quarter.

 

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T.E.A.M. - the acronym for success

This wasn't all about the Twolves sloppy play. It was actually more that the Warriors finally decided to play with some life.

Teamwork: It was amazing. It was as if they had the most amazing practice sometime between the Kings game and this one where they learned how to play with each other. All 10 Warrior players seemed to know where everyone else was going to be on offense. They moved without the ball and even looked to set each other up. Tonight made it seem like they actually want to play with each other.

Effort: The guys were all over the floor tonight. You could just see the difference. They played with energy, life, and passion. Players were making things happen on offense and defense just by staying active. They were in the passing lanes all night as well as putting pressure on the guards while doubling down on the big men. Check out this stat: leading rebounder for the Warriors? Monta Ellis with 10.

Assists: The ball was zipping around tonight. The Twolves defense never got comfortable as the Warriors moved the ball with ease - 36 assists to just 12 turnovers. 15 for Jack compared to just 3 turnovers. Even Corey Maggette passed the ball. Corey Maggette! If he's passing the ball, you know something is going right. Seriously though, props to Maggs for 11 points in 10 minutes. But I digress. The Twolves D had something to do with the excellent ball movement, but the Warriors put forth a major effort to move the ball around.

Minnesota: Clearly the most important ingredient for another team's success.

 

 

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Miscellaneous Thoughts

  • One thing that worries me: How did Brian Cardinal block Monta Ellis on a fast break layup? Is the ankle 100%? Will it get back to 100%? There's no reason Brian Cardinal should be blocking your shot on a fast break.
  • The Warriors are only 2 games under .500. Yessss.
  • Kelenna Azubuike was ridiculous tonight. 31 points on 13-19 shooting. He couldn't miss in the first half.
  • I liked what I saw from Anthony Randolph tonight. It was probably his best game of the season. He attacked the basket under control and didn't try to do too much.
  • Acie Law with 5 steals 12 minutes? I like his hustle. He really works hard out there.
  • Morrow had a good shooting night but there's still something lacking about his game. He tends to disappear at times and his defense can still use a lot of help.
  • Like I said, this game was against the Twolves which proves almost nothing. The Warriors played great, but they have a lot to prove. They'll get their chance to prove it with the upcoming road trip without Andris Biedrins (out 2 weeks). @ Indiana, @ New York, @ Minnesota, @ Cleveland, @ Boston, vs Portland, @ Dallas, @ San Antonio, vs LA Lakers. Before anyone gets too optimistic, let's see how the Warriors look after this tough stretch of the schedule. 

 

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Sorry ladies, it's not Kelenna Azubuike. I'm going with Stephen Jackson.

Damn impressive game from Jax tonight. He was Steve Nash-like with his passes. The 15 assists in 3 quarters weren't simple passes. It wasn't a bunch of passes to Anthony Morrow standing wide open. He was threading the needle to the big men as they rolled through the lane. He was able to drive into the lane and create for others on the floor. And what was even better, he didn't force any shots tonight. I'm not sure what was going on, but he really increased his trade value tonight.

 

 




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