WHEN: Friday, November 2nd, 2018 7:30 p.m. PST
WHERE: Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA
WATCH: ESPN, NBCSBA, FSN+
LISTEN: 95.7 The Game
BUDDY BLOG: Canis Hoopus
Warriors: Shaun Livingston (questionable, foot injury), DeMarcus Cousins (out, Achilles rehab)
Timberwolves: Tyus Jones (right foot soreness), Jeff Teague (bruised left knee) questionable
I’m feeling pretty good about the October that the world champion Golden State Warriors just put up.
They went a legit (although not perfect, thanks to a Denver Nuggets two point victory) 8-1 for the month. In addition, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green gleefully burned nightly to figure out their brightest selves. Their dominant performance for the month literally triggered longtime Dubs’ hater Nick Wright to refer to the defending, reigning, back-to-back world champions as those “annoying ass Warriors!”.
Anyways, the champs are plenty satisfied in showcasing the learned lessons of multiple years of battle-tested continuity, in addition to smoothly transitioning to the “Post-Patrick McCaw” bench era.
Jonas Jerebko going full Warriors tonight -- flung up five 3s in 13 minutes, hit two, just yelled at the ref for a technical and also busted out this behind the back gem pic.twitter.com/hJvATXdMeu— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) November 1, 2018
Jonas Jerebko and Alfonzo McKinnie have traded “Golden Sidekick” awards over the past few games and both are playing with the confidence that emerges from being supported by a brilliant coaching staff and confidently patient teammates.
Per Phil Barber of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat:
(Warriors head coach) Steve Kerr wasn’t always sure it would develop like this.
“The first week of camp he was brilliant, and we were so excited,” the coach said of Jerebko. “And the next week, I think he hit a wall and he was kind of running in mud a little bit. I think it more just the physical toll of training camp and traveling and playing games. So his last week of camp was not that impressive. The game that really kind of seemed to catapult him was the Utah game.”
“JJ” is shooting 51% shooting from the field, and nearly 48% from three-point range (11-for-23). He hit 54% from distance in road games in the five road games. He’s also using effectively his body as a battering ram to free the Warriors orbiting shooters; he’s a tough, high-IQ hooper.
But did he buy his mom a house and then ball out in their home city the same night though? No sir, that would be his younger teammate, Alfonzo McKinnie.
With these two leading the bench fray, the Dubs’ reserves are averaging 41% shooting from beyond the arc, good enough for 6th highest in the NBA. The bench also averages the least threes attempted per game by any group of reserves at 6.7, with the Philadelphia 76ers and the Houston Rockets atop that list at around 16 attempted per game.
Curiously, Jerebko and McKinnie combined to shoot 19-of-38 (50%) from deep in October, while the rest of the champs’ bench shot 6-for-22 (27%) during the beginning of pumpkin season.
Let’s see how all this trends now that the Dubs have nailed the first level of the game that is this season’s road to the three-peat. The second level will commence with the visiting of the hurtling asteroid that is the Minnesota Timberwolves: the most dramatic team of 2018 basketball.
The sordid tale of the Minnesota Timberbulls
Tom Thibodeau’s epic quest to recreate his snakebitten Chicago Bulls teams of the early 2010’s has turned in the most predictable, macabre, Frankenstinian drama of recent basketball history. His best player, prodigy center Karl-Anthony Towns, is losing control of the franchise’s heart with uneven performances in the shadow of the disgruntled All-Star, Jimmy Butler.
Butler’s miraculous personal story and penchant for energetic heroics have turned him into a bulletproof figure in this tale. He ruined his first practice after missing training camp by bullying Towns and the rest of the Wolves, including screaming at their front office.
I can’t believe I just wrote that Butler is bullying an entire franchise.
Yet Butler seems to be the most media savvy on the team, as he has quietly made himself into the only sympathetic figure despite a situation HE created by making trade demands. He’s a dangerous two-way force through the melodrama, averaging 22.5 points on 50% shooting, 48% from the arc.
Butler may be the team’s hardiest player, and Towns may have the highest ceiling, but resurrected former MVP Derrick Rose is clearly the team’s heart right now. His 50 points and game saving block against the NBA hipsters-approved Utah Jazz shook the entire league. His fall from grace has been well documented, but through the injuries and the off-court issues, he somehow summoned a performance that struck a chord throughout the NBA.
For those who may not be aware: this was the 1st time DRose faced the Jazz since it got him in the Cavs’ makeover & then waived him. Imagine what it felt like for an ex-MVP to be dumped by a franchise that many players, like it or not & recent success aside, see as a last refuge.— Ric Bucher (@RicBucher) November 1, 2018
The Rose that grew from concrete.— Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) November 1, 2018
Butler didn’t play in that last tilt due to “general soreness”.
So Jimmy Butler is going to question the toughness of Towns & Wiggins--- then rest bc of "general soreness" for the second time this season???— Justin Termine (@TermineRadio) October 31, 2018
Meanwhile, Jimmy Butler who is under contract sits with “general soreness” https://t.co/Kxog5YwMDY— Darnell Gilet (@dgilet1) November 1, 2018
Butler seems to be quite intent on playing tonight against the world champions in Oracle. The Timberwolves have a LOT of raw physical talent, and already have wins over the Jazz and the Indiana Pacers, two teams that made noise in the playoffs last season. If the Warriors play with their food, the Wolves are more than capable of making them pay.
Gold-Blooded Prediction: A thirsty Rose ignores a surly Butler down the stretch of a competitive battle and the amused Warriors explode for a gold-blooded knockout that gets someone in Minnesota either traded or fired.
Warriors 125, Timberwolves 114