The Golden State Warriors are in Minnesota tonight to take on the Timberwolves and their slew of top lottery picks. Andrew Wiggins is showing improvement in his game both offensively and defensively early in the season. But with most young players there is still plenty of room for Wiggins to grow as he is ranked 173rd in Player Efficiency Rating according to Hollinger's NBA player statistics. First overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns already looks like the best player the T-Wolves have drafted (and to actually play in Minnesota) since Kevin Garnett in 1995. Towns posted four double-doubles in the first six games of his career. Only David Robinson, Dikembe Mutombo and Shaquille O'Neal collected more double-doubles than the 19-year-old Towns, who is averaging 16 points and 10 rebounds this season
The game is scheduled for a 5:00 p.m. PST tip. Both CSN Bay Area and TNT will be broadcasting the game live from Minnesota.
Last Time Out
Minnesota lost at home to Charlotte on Tuesday by a score of 104-95. Andrew Wiggins, Ricky Rubio and Kevin Garnett all did not play against the Hornets. According to Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle both Rubio and Wiggins have been upgraded to probable for tonight's game against the Warriors. Golden State remains as the only undefeated team in the NBA after defeating Memphis in the Grindhouse by a score of 100-84 on Wednesday. The Warriors are one victory away from their best start in Franchise history. According to the Elias Sports Bureau:
"The nine-game winning streak is the longest to open a season by the defending NBA Champions since the Bulls started the 1996-97 season 12-0.
The Warriors have scored 158 more points than their opponents this season. That's the fifth-largest points differential for any NBA team in its first nine games of a season, behind the 1996-97 Bulls (+170), 1964-65 Celtics (+165), 1971-72 Bucks (+163) and 1969-70 Knicks (+160)."
The Warriors (-435) enter tonight's game as nine point favorites over the Timberwolves (+365). BetOnline lists the game over/under line at 210.5 total points. Nick Kostos of CBSSports.com selected the T-Wolves as his best NBA bet of the night to cover against the Dubs at home. Golden State is 9-1 in their last ten games against a Minnesota squad that has yet to win at home this season. Lets check out some betting trends from both teams compiled by OddsShark.com:
Lines via BetOnline
Here are my picks from last night's game against Memphis:
A much needed 3-0 night gets my season average ATS picks over the .500 mark. Lets check out the Dubs match-up tonight in Minnesota.
Playing in a back-to-back is always a red flag for seasoned gamblers. But in the Warriors case they have arguably the deepest bench in all of the NBA, giving Luke Walton plenty of options if the starters come out flat. It should be noted that the Warriors scored their lowest point total of the season last night against Memphis (100 points) in a game that featured a lot of grabbing and holding.
Both the Dubs and T-Wolves have top 10 defenses in the NBA thus far into the season. Minnesota is defending the three-point shot well this season by limiting opposing teams to .307% shooting from long range. The Warriors usually find success in dominating the three point line as they are first in the league in made threes per game (11.6) as well as first in defending the three (28.6% opponent three-point percentage).
Minnesota is 0-3 at home this season. The Golden State Warriors do not give any indication that they plan on letting up any time soon. Not only are the champs in town, but it is also Andrew Wiggins bobble head night. I expect the young guns of Minnesota to be ready for the Warriors, specially with the game being nationally televised. But to give credit where it is due, the Dubs embarrassed the Grizz by 50 then traveled to their home and beat them soundly once again. I expected an aggressive Memphis team to be hungry and the Warriors walked into their gym and smacked them up side the head yet again.
There will not be a single person in the state of Minnesota (who doesn't play for the Warriors) that will be able to guard Steph Curry. The Warriors are battle tested and are playing like they have something to prove to the basketball world.