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Warriors vs. Wolves Preview: Run it back

The Dubs won on Monday, and they should win again tonight.

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Minnesota Timberwolves v Golden State Warriors Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors are about to finish off their third baseball series of the season, and there’s good news: they’ve made the adjustments and won the second game in the previous two.

Both of those contests — against the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers — came after dropping the first game of the series. But this time the Dubs are going for the sweep against a lackluster Minnesota Timberwolves team.

The deets

Who: Golden State Warriors (9-8) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (4-12)

When: 7:00 p.m. PT

Where: Chase Center, San Francisco, California

TV: ESPN (available on fuboTV)

Projected starting lineups:

Warriors: Stephen Curry, Kelly Oubre Jr., Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney
Wolves: D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, Josh Okogie, Jarred Vanderbilt, Naz Reid

Last results:

Warriors: Beat the Wolves 130-108 — 3-2 in their last 5 games
Wolves: Lost to the Warriors 130-108 — 1-4 in their last 5 games

Team ratings (garbage-time adjusted, per Cleaning the Glass):

Warriors: 107.7 offense (22nd), 111.1 defense (16th), -3.3 net (21st)
Wolves: 104.6 offense (29th), 115.5 defense (28th), -10.8 net (30th)

The story

The Warriors switched up their starting lineup on Monday, replacing James Wiseman with Kevon Looney. It worked well, as it has all year — the Warriors have now outscored opponents by a staggering 51.6 points per 100 possessions in the 40 minutes that the lineup of Steph Curry, Kelly Oubre Jr., Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, and Looney has been on the floor for.

Golden State will look to keep the rhythm going with that unit, and hope that they can continue to be a dominant force. They’ll have to come out of the gates firing, and not get complacent; otherwise they won’t just risk losing, but also not improving.

Players to watch

Warrior to watch: Andrew Wiggins.

Wiggins was super solid on Monday in his first game against the team he spent his first five and a half seasons with. He had 23 points on 10-for-19 shooting and 6 rebounds, but most notable was the defense.

Defensive stats usually don’t tell the whole story, but in this case the trio of both steals and blocks that Wiggins recorded accurately portrays how he played on that end of the court.

When Wiggins plays like that, he’s a game changer.

Wolf to watch: Anthony Edwards.

The top overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft did not play particularly well on Monday, as he shot just 4-for-13 from the field and had twice as many turnovers as assists. He did, however, have the top play of the game for Minnesota, when he violently attacked the rim with a monstrous dunk.

He also shot seven free throws, and was aggressive all night. The Warriors handled him well, but Edwards aggression can cause issues for defenses, and the Dubs have been prone to fouling this year.

Matchup to watch: Kelly Oubre Jr. vs. D’Angelo Russell.

Assuming Russell returns from his quad contusion, we’ll get to see him have his reunion game against the Warriors. And if I had to guess, he and Oubre will be matched on each other when the game starts.

Both Russell and Oubre have alternated between dynamic games and disastrous ones this year, and either player can swing the game — in either direction — all on their own.

Keys to victory

  • Don’t get complacent after a 22-point victory against the same team on Monday.
  • End the first quarter leading by at least seven points.
  • One or both of Eric Paschall and Kelly Oubre Jr. put up big numbers when the second unit is on the court
  • Move the ball, find the open man, hit the three.

Grab another win, Warriors. It’s right there for you.

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