Golden State Warriors vs Minnesota Timberwolves Preview: Will Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry's Struggles Continue?

Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

Did you know Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson can shoot? Me neither!

Warriors (4-4) vs Timberwolves (5-3)

Tip-off: 5:00pm

TV: CSN Bay Area HD | Radio: KNBR 680

Blog Buddy: Canis Hoopus

In an epic clash between playoff contenders, the seventh-seeded Warriors head into Target Center in Minneapolis to take on the fifth-seeded Wolves.

Go take a peek at the standings. If the season ended today, we'd be headed into the playoffs for the first time since upsetting the Dallas Mavericks in the "We Believe" year. And I'm sure the Dubs would have no trouble dispatching the San Antonio Spurs this time as well.

There were several factors that were in question coming into the season. They were Andrew Bogut's ankle, Stephen Curry's ankle, defense, ankles and ankles.

Little did all of us know that this would happen.

Season Age Tm Lg G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2012-13 22 GSW NBA 8 8 282 44 123 .358 20 57 .351 16 21 .762 6 30 36 19 5 3 20 23 124
Career NBA 74 37 1890 362 841 .430 131 325 .403 95 112 .848 30 167 197 152 54 23 123 178 950
Klay Thompson's season statistics provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/16/2012.
Season Age Tm Lg G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2012-13 24 GSW NBA 8 8 291 46 124 .371 17 52 .327 27 32 .844 5 31 36 43 16 0 27 23 136
Career NBA 188 182 6408 1224 2616 .468 389 895 .435 454 506 .897 120 646 766 1085 316 47 562 570 3291
Stephen Curry's season statistics provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/16/2012.

That's at least 10% less than what we thought Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson was going to shoot this year. Perplexing.

Hard to pinpoint the issue from a fan standpoint because we really don't know what's going on in the huddle. It'd be easy to blame simple terrible shooting that's flukish from a small sample narrative, but there are external factors that can cause this trend to continue.

Coach Mark Jackson's rotations and offensive sets aren't really helping much. In the last game against the Atlanta Hawks, the Warriors played extended minutes with Richard Jefferson, Carl Landy, Jarrett Jack, Draymond Green and Andris Biedrins on the floor at the same time. Not sure what that lineup excels at, to be frank.

Simple pin-downs wouldn't hurt, as I've yet to see consistent cross-screen or stagger screen action throughout a game. Making matters worse, the same issues with Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry are starting to bubble as Curry can't seem to create enough on the dribble to find shooters like Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson. Klay does seem unselfish enough to fit in eventually.

Maybe Andrew Bogut is the key, as he is an excellent passing big man. But he's busy trying cutting-edge ankle injections simliar to Kobe Bryant. So I fully expect 38+ minutes and 27.9 points per game when Bogut returns sometime in the distant future.

Back to the game, it appears that the Wolves may be without Nikola Pekovic, Brandon Roy and JJ Barea. This isn't including players that are already out: Chase Budinger, Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio.

So we get to see a combination of Greg Stiemsa, Lou Amundson, Luke Ridnour and Josh Howard. Yup, that Josh Howard. This Josh Howard.

Players to watch on Wolves

Alexey Shved and Andrei Kirilenko. One guy we know and he can ball out. AK-47 can still defend, pass and shoot well enough to be one of the top forwards in the game.

The other player is Alexey Shved and there are many similarities to his game to Ricky Rubio's. Right down to the exquisite passing and subpar shooting. Look for a couple plays where he sees the play develop before the defense does and drop a dime to a player. Preferably

Derrick Williams, for the Warriors' sake.

Player to watch on Warriors

One player I've been enamored with this season is the Latvian Legend (stuff no one says) Andris Biedrins. He's played well in the little time he has got on the court, grabbing rebounds and moving quick on defense and showing active hands. Beans still has issues finishing the ball because of his fear of shooting free throws. But there's definite progress in the past three games and it'll be interesting to see when he pulls off his first post move of the season. Remember this?

So sit back and enjoy a game between two playoff teams. Standard Warriors stuff.

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