5:00 PM PT | Target Center, Minneapolis
TV: CSN Bay Area, FS North | Radio: KNBR 680 AM, 830 WCCO
Now that our win streak has reached double digits, it's probably fair to say we are facing tougher competition. NBA teams like to rain on other teams' parades, and a win streak is no exception. For teams like Minnesota that have been struggling lately (lost all but two of their last fifteen games, outscored by 68 over their last five, including a loss to the 76ers), the surging Warriors are surely intimidating, but also provide an opportunity at (temporary) redemption. Let's hope any such optimism is crushed after the opening quarter.
Ricky Rubio (ankle), Kevin Martin (wrist), Nikola Pekovic (wrist/ankle), Mo Williams (back) and Ronny Turiaf (hip) are all out for the Timberwolves. Here's their current starting lineup: SF Andrew Wiggins, PF Thaddeus Young, C Gorgui Dieng, SG Corey Brewer and PG Zach LaVine.
Four of those five average more than a steal per contest, with Brewer (1.9) and Young (1.6) leading the charge. Will we be able to control our turnovers, and the likely transition points that come with?
When Gorgui Dieng made his splash last year (surprise, Pekovic was injured), he showed he was capable of pulling down 20 rebounds on a good night. He's certainly someone to watch on the glass, as we don't want to give away easy second chance opportunities.
David Lee is still out, not that Draymond Green isn't filling that starting power forward slot nicely. Ognjen Kuzmic and Festus Ezeli's absences have been head-scratchers lately, not sure what's going on here. They have combined for eight minutes in the last seven games, and its hard to dig up good information on the subject. Here's hoping that the medical staff is just being cautious with both? Probably the number one concern right now, along with how David Lee will react to coming off the bench when he's back?
With the rampage we've been on, it's hard not to get excited. The feeling is pervasive amongst our players, coaching staff, owners, analysts, and fans. Some of us are eager for the Warriors to face a 'real' challenge, especially since the one Spurs matchup has left a sour taste and a sense that there are a few weaknesses that still need attention. Was Chicago a real challenge? I don't think so. They were 2-4 at home before we beat them there, and are still searching for that defensive, gritty identity with the introduction of Gasol, and Rose in and out of the lineup. Will we face 'real' challenges soon? Here's what we have to look forward to: Houston, @ Dallas, @ Memphis, Oklahoma City (four of our next five). Thankfully we have a day's rest before each of those.