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Warriors vs. Timberwolves preview: Golden State seeks to break out of their preseason malaise

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The Warriors seek to avenge their recent defeat as the China games continue

Golden State Warriors v Minnesota Timberwolves
The Warriors look to get on track
Photo by Zhong Zhi/Getty Images

How to watch

Date: Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017

Time: 4.00 A.M. PST – welcome to my world!

Location: Mercedes Benz Arena, Shanghai, China

TV: NBATV

Radio: 95.7 The Game

Team records:

Warriors: 0-2 (everybody panic!)

Timberwolves: 2-0

Last meeting: Timberwolves 111, Warriors 95

Projected starters:

Warriors: PG Stephen Curry, SG Klay Thompson, SF Kevin Durant, PF Draymond Green, C Zaza Pachulia

Timberwolves: PG Jeff Teague, SG Jimmy Butler, SF Andrew Wiggins, PF Taj Gibson, C Karl-Anthony Towns

Injury report:

Warriors: Nick Young (doubtful)

Timberwolves: Justin Patton

Key Matchups: Towns vs Draymond, Jimmy Butler vs #ChinaKlay, Jamal Crawford vs Nick Young

As the Global Games continue, the Golden State Warriors enter Shanghai in full preseason mode. Last time out sloppy passing and turnovers turned a promising start into a loss. Conditioning remains a problem so look for Steve Kerr to keep pushing the minutes for guys, especially since there is only one preseason game left after this.

Some pro tips for watching

For those of you in the Bay Area, a 4am Sunday morning tipoff time for a preseason game may not seem the most appealing prospect. Of course for the young and alive of course this may well be the perfect after-party fare.

But those of us who, shall we say, are of a more distinguished vintage, there’s a couple of pro tips I’ve amassed from watching games that start early. Being 8 hours in the future is not exactly light years ahead, but it does mean games often tip-off around 3.30am where I am…

If you want to watch every second live then either go to bed early and set an alarm, or at least take a nap. This is the preferred method for games of genuine importance such as the NBA Finals or a particularly juicy match-up.

For your more regular games, better to get up a bit later and watch on league pass with your morning beverage. You get the added bonus of skipping through the timeouts. But keep off the social media if you want the element of suspense.

Key things to look out for

Ever since Karl-Anthony Towns ate up a parade of Warriors big-men — including Draymond Green — to put a scare in our chase for 73 wins, I’ve been fretting about the future Wolves. If anyone’s going to knock us off in a few years they’ll need the kind of talent that gives us fits. And Towns is a problem.

In preseason we may not see so much of Towns and Green matched up against each other, but it’s worth looking out for how the Warriors defend this beast. Last time out they did a pretty good job, holding him to 5-15 shooting.

Jimmy Butler and Klay Thompson is also an intriguing matchup. The two are frequently discussed as the premier two-way shooting guards in the league.

This year they will likely be competing for an All-Star slot, and given the player movement across the league it’s ever fiercer in the West. I’m hoping this turns into a budding rivalry over the season now they will face each other several more times a year.

However in this game Butler is going up against #ChinaKlay, and we all know #ChinaKlay is the GOAT.

Can Nick Young emulate Jamal Crawford?

It being preseason, the game will feature plenty of the benches. The Wolves bench is led by one of the premier bench gunners, and perennial sixth man of the year, Jamal Crawford.

Earlier in his career he was seen as a bit of a gunner, but Crawford has carved out a really nice niche in the NBA bringing a jolt of energy when he steps onto the floor.

In recent years the Warriors haven’t quite had that. Warriors favourite Mo Buckets and was the closest we got. That’s why the Warriors signed Nick Young, in a move that raised some eyebrows.

It’s very early days, but so far, Nick Young has not impressed. Coming into camp out of shape was not a great sign. Though, in fairness, he hadn’t played since March as the Lakers tanked to get themselves a prime-time slot on the LaVar Ball show.

But once Swaggy P has entered the game, he’s looked, well, pretty Swaggy. There’s been a fair amount of chucking, and far too much isolation-dribbling. Perhaps the lineups he’s been in, without as many creators, have encouraged that, but there’s definitely some work to do to integrate him into Warriors ball. Missing time hurt will set the process further back.

The comparison with Javale McGee’s resurrection last year has been made plenty enough. But the difference is that Javale was almost out of the league, and so entered training camp in great shape, determined to provide value to the team and fit into what the Warriors were trying to do.

At the moment Nick Young is just doing Nick Young. Can he get on track and develop into a Jamal Crawford valuable jolt of bench energy? Or will he ride the pine behind future Hall of Famer Patrick McCaw and others? Time will tell.

Bonus ball

Finally, I can’t write about a Warriors-Wolves match-up without giving a tip of the hat to our leader and fantasy presedential candidate, Steve Kerr. After all, who wears the great North like this?