Things have been trending in a positive direction for Golden State this week as they are currently on a three-game winning streak. Their most recent game resulted in an impressive 120-112 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday. Meanwhile, Minnesota is on a streak of their own, winning their last two in a row including Wednesday’s matchup against the Atlanta Hawks, 125-124.
Tonight’s game will be significant with regards to the Western Conference playoff picture. The Warriors’ 39-36 record currently has them 1.5 games ahead of Minnesota who is 37-37 on the season. With Golden State leading the regular season series 2-1, a victory tonight would give them a very important tiebreaker over the Timberwolves which could be meaningful down the line.
That being said, the headlines surrounding tonight’s matchup is the return of several key players for both teams. On Golden State’s side, the big news is the highly anticipated debut of Gary Payton II. He makes his official return to the Warriors, weeks after being reacquired by the team during the NBA Trade Deadline. Golden State’s intentions were for Payton to play immediately, however, it was revealed shortly after the trade was made that he was fighting through an adductor strain which needed more time to heal properly. Evidently, enough time has passed as Payton says he feels the best he has all season heading into the big matchup.
Gary Payton II is listed as probable for tomorrow’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. pic.twitter.com/Sd4YQbJ4YY— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) March 25, 2023
Meanwhile, after welcoming back All-Star big man Karl Anthony-Towns this past Wednesday, Minnesota received more good news as their leading scorer Anthony Edwards will reportedly make his return just a week removed from a nasty ankle sprain suffered last Friday.
Minnesota’s size is their biggest advantage over the Warriors, but it’s also something Golden State has routinely exposed throughout the years. A front court of Towns and Rudy Gobert will be difficult to attack in the paint, so the Warriors’ three point shooting will play a big factor in this one. Expect Golden State to use a lot of off-ball screens and dribble handoffs with their bigs in order to get open shots and draw out Minnesota’s slower front court players toward the perimeter.
It should be a fun game. Enjoy the basketball Dub Nation. GO WARRIORS!!!
Warriors: Stephen Curry, Donte DiVincenzo, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney
Timberwolves: Mike Conley, Anthony Edwards, Jaden McDaniels, Karl-Anthony Towns, Rudy Gobert
Regular Season Game #76
Who: Golden State Warriors (39 - 36) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (37 - 37)
When: 5:30 p.m. PT
Where: Chase Center, San Francisco, California
TV: NBA TV and NBC Sports Bay Area (available on fuboTV)