With every game mattering for the standings, it was a loss the Warriors could ill afford, and it reflects pretty poorly on where the team is with just nine games remaining in the regular season.
You would think that a 126-114 loss to a bad team means the Warriors didn’t do they things they should have done. You’re probably right. But just to make sure, let’s revisit my preview and see how they did with their pregame keys to victory.
Hold Minny’s guards to inefficient nights
The key: Hold Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell to inefficient scoring nights.
The outcome: The Warriors did pretty well here with their former teammate. Russell, who has recently been playing off the bench, had just 7 points on 3-for-11 shooting (though in a bout of morbid humor, his replacement, the usually low-scoring Ricky Rubio had a highly-efficient 26 points).
Edwards, on the other hand, torched the Warriors. The rookie got wherever he wanted on the court, and finished with 25 points on 10-for-19 shooting. The No. 1 overall pick has impressed this year, but efficiency hasn’t always been his strong suit — against the Warriors, it emphatically was.
Grading the key: 4 out of 10.
Get going early
The key: Jump out to an early lead.
The outcome: Oof.
The Warriors did get out to a very early lead, as it was 14-7 in favor of the Dubs after a few minutes. And then that dissipated, and dissipated, and dissipated a little bit more. By the time the buzzer rang at the end of the first quarter, the Warriors were already trailing by double digits, 35-25.
So I guess they did jump out to an early lead, in the technical sense. Sure wasn’t what I had envisioned, though.
Grading the key: 3.5 out of 10.
The key: Score in transition.
The outcome: The Warriors had just 8 fast break points. That is a very small number of fast break points.
The problem, as I mentioned in the recap, is that the Warriors got stuck in a very unproductive middle ground. They didn’t commit to small ball, as evidenced by the tiny transition number. But they weren’t big enough to play traditionally, as evidenced by Minnesota having 23 more rebounds than Golden State.
It didn’t work.
Grading the key: 1 out of 10.
Not much else to say, really.