Golden State Warriors (20-4) at Minnesota Timberwolves (6-17)
How to watch?
Date: Saturday December 11, 2016
Location: Target Center — Minneapolis, Minnesota
Time: 4:00pm PST
TV: CSN Bay Area Radio: 95.7 THE GAME
“Last night took an L but tonight I bounce back.”
The Golden State Warriors are looking to answer an embarrassing showing against the Memphis Grizzlies with a signature “bounce-back” win against the Minnesota Timberwolves, but will they have gas in the tank to beat a young and athletic team at home?
Against the Grizzlies, Steve Kerr rested Andre Iguodala to reduce mileage on the vets but also in anticipation of today’s matchup, and ZaZa Pachulia and Kevon Looney were out due to injuries. The Warriors are playing their fourth game in five nights, all on the road, on the second leg of a back-to-back.
Additionally, factor in that the team left Memphis late last-night and has an early start time against a hungry Minnesota team that hasn’t played since Friday. The Timberwolves were one of only two teams to beat the Warriors at home last year, and though they have struggled out of the gate under coach Tom Thibodeau, they matchup well with the Warriors, and Karl-Anthony Towns is one of the premier young talents in the league.
Minnesota has lost their last three games, but like the Phoenix Suns or Milwaukee Bucks, they always manage to “get up” for their games against the Warriors, especially if they have homecourt. The Warriors won their last matchup against the Timberwolves 115-102 at home, without Draymond Green.
Kevin Durant became the first Warrior ever to finish a game with at least twenty-five points, ten rebounds, five assists and five blocks, while Stephen Curry had the game-high 34 points. Zach Lavine scored a team-high 31 points, with five three-pointers made.
Athletes are often ascribed the trait of being a “competitor” in meaningless, cliched fashion, but there is no denying that the Warriors are a competitive bunch. It’s important to not discount the effect rest, or lack thereof, plays in the team’s performance, but the Warriors will be drawing on a countervailing source of motivation, the embarrassment of the Grizzlies loss.
One potential bright side to last night’s drubbing is that the starters didn’t log too many minutes. Despite the confluence of scheduling and travel factors stacking the deck against the Warriors, expect a statement win tonight.