The Warriors were exhausted tonight, and it showed in too many ways. The turnovers were careless, the defense was a step too late, and the body language was worrisome.
After a tough loss to the Spurs on Saturday, the Warriors came to Minnesota knowing they would be going home to a less stressful schedule in the coming week. The Timberwolves did not wanted to be counted out, though, and had a great start with Karl-Anthony Towns, Ricky Rubio, and Andrew Wiggins playing huge roles. They never went away. Missing two of their best defenders in Andre Iguodala and Andrew Bogut, the Dubs struggled to defend the Wolves' youth and energy.
The Warriors backcourt struggled tonight: Stephen Curry had his second straight bad shooting night, while Klay Thompson missed all nine of his two-point shots (he did hit all of his threes and free throws though). Instead, it was Draymond Green who made his mark as an offensive force: he led the Warriors with 24 points on 13 shots, had six assists, and snagged four offensive boards. In the age of analytics, "hustle and energy" are treated with skepticism, but make no mistake: Draymond's will to win made the difference today.
This was a game the Warriors had no fun playing, and Warriors fans had no fun watching. But as an elite team, somehow the Warriors always manage to scrape close games in their favor, as they did tonight.
Have never seen anything quite like this. Thousands of fans in early and surrounding the court to watch Steph. pic.twitter.com/RZp5spIb2l— Ryan Tanke (@ryantanke) March 21, 2016
Steph's handle just not looking tight these last 2 games. Can't shake bigs for open looks on the perimeter.— Nate Duncan (@NateDuncanNBA) March 22, 2016
Draymond Green, with probably the most illegal screen I've ever seen, right in front of referee Ken Mauer. That was a two-hand shove.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixYS) March 22, 2016
moral defeat for the Warriors, lol— shrillary tintin (@theshrillest) March 22, 2016
Felt like Draymond kinda manufactured this win— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) March 22, 2016
Steph Curry takes no mercy on rookie Karl-Anthony Townshttps://t.co/oBeyeFoVhv— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 22, 2016
Draymond Green tip-in pic.twitter.com/hPXesAX8N8— KNBR (@KNBR) March 22, 2016
No Buckets! (CSNBA) https://t.co/bTSSlMOAeO— GoldenStateWarriors (@warriors) March 22, 2016
- The Spurs lost to the Hornets tonight! After holding Charlotte to seven points in the first quarter, San Antonio gave up a 23-point lead thanks to an insanely hot Jeremy Lin. The Spurs now have 11 losses to the Warriors seven. The earlier the Warriors lock up the #1 seed, the higher the chances that the Spurs sit out their stars in one or two of the Spurs-Dubs games the last week of the season.
- Marreese Speights played some decent defense today, with three blocks and some real hustle. Needs to box out more on those boards though.
- Shaun Livingston is so valuable to this team, especially with Iguodala out. His steady presence, ball-handling, and playmaking is irreplaceable.
- Harrison Barnes, man.
- Karl-Anthony Towns is the real deal. He's another Anthony Davis.