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Back to the future: Warriors vs. Wolves keys revisited

How did Golden State do with their keys to victory against Minnesota?

Minnesota Timberwolves v Golden State Warriors Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors swept the baseball series against the Minnesota Timberwolves, winning the second game 123-111. But like the first game, it wasn’t super pretty.

Still, a win is a win. Let’s see how the Dubs did by revisiting their pregame keys to victory.

Avoid complacency

The key: Don’t get complacent after a 22-point victory against the same team on Monday.

The outcome: The Warriors did not play well out of the gates, but it felt more like a lack of execution — and a whole bunch of missed shots — more than complacency. The team seemed focused, and they were pretty clearly taking the game seriously.

First quarters remain a severe weak point for the Dubs, but I don’t see any reason to think complacency was the culprit here.

Grading the key: 7 out of 10.

Grab control early

The key: End the first quarter leading by at least seven points.

The outcome: I repeat: first quarters remain a severe weak point for the Dubs.

After the first frame, Golden State led just 23-21. The defensive effort was decent, but the offensive execution just wasn’t there. There were missed shots and turnovers galore.

If the Warriors can figure out how to come out of the gates firing, they can really start to do some damage.

Grading the key: 2.5 out of 10.

Second unit magic

The key: One or both of Eric Paschall and Kelly Oubre Jr. put up big numbers when the second unit is on the court.

The outcome: Oubre played the bulk of the game with the second unit. He headed to the bench just over a minute into the game after picking up his second foul, and he did the exact same thing in the second half after picking up his fourth.

But wow did he do work with the second unit. Oubre finished with 20 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block, and was hyper efficient: 7-for-9 from the field, 2-for-3 from beyond the arc, and 4-for-4 from the charity stripe. He was a difference maker, and the Warriors might have blown an easy game were it not for his play.

As for Paschall? Not so much. He managed just 4 points on 1-for-3 shooting, and had 4 fouls without grabbing a rebound.

But one out of two ain’t bad. The Warriors need big performances from their role players, and Oubre was up to the task.

Grading the key: 7.5 out of 10.

Ball movement

The key: Move the ball, find the open man, hit the three.

The outcome: The Warriors had 32 assists, and shot 15-for-34 from distance (44.1%). Those are great numbers.

I’d like to see them shoot more threes — they took 51 shots from inside the arc — but I’m not going to complain about 34 attempts when shooting well over 40%.

The ball movement played a large role in the success, as the Warriors consistently kept the ball hopping until it ended up in the right hands. It was at times sloppy, and at times ugly, but it got the job done more often than not.

Grading the key: 7 out of 10.

Good enough for a win is good enough for me.

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