Preview: Golden State Warriors (32-23) @ Minnesota Timberwolves (20-32)

The Warriors are coming off a home win against the San Antonio Spurs where ESPNation and the NBA fashion fanboys were all atwitter about their women’s basketball jerseys. Harrison Barnes is shown here modeling the yellow and pinstripes — obviously, prior to Friday’s game. Judging by his 7 points on 1-8 shooting, I assume he didn’t enjoy playing in them as much as he appeared to enjoy modeling them.

Warriors probable starting lineup:

PG Stephen Curry

SG Klay Thompson

SF Harrison Barnes

PF David Lee

C Andris Biedrins

To be fair, Barnes is averaging 7 points on 27% shooting over the last 5, so he was struggling before the Spurs/jersey game.

But it’s not just Barnes who has been struggling lately. Bogut is out with another back issue (tell it to the Bucks), but the Warriors have dropped 6 of 10 and fallen to the 6th seed as they limped into and out of the All Star break before Friday’s win over the road-weary Spurs.

While the Jazz and Rockets sit 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 games behind them, the Lakers are 5 1/2 games behind them with the 9th seed. The 2nd-best 3-point shooting team in the league could get a little tight down the stretch.

That 3-point proficiency is in no small part due to Steph Curry’s 44% shooting (on the season).

6th man of the year candidate Jarrett Jack plays a lot of crunch time minutes and handles the ball a lot for the Warriors, allowing Curry and Thompson to spot up and let fly.

Carl Landry has averaged 16.5 points against the Wolves this season. (Carl freaking Landry, everybody. Seriously.)

The Warriors allow 101 points per game, good for 25th in the league. So if the jumper aren’t falling…

Wolves probable starting lineup:

PG Ricky Rubio

SG Luke Ridnour

SF Andrei Kirilenko

PF Derrick Williams

C Nikola Pekovic

The Wolves front line should be well rested as Derrick Williams and Nikola Pekovic didn’t really make the trip to Oklahoma City. It was nice seeing Rubio try and will the Wolves back late and J.J. Barea played some inspired ball (even making Greg Stiemsma appear useful), but Russell Westbrook’s physical exploits won’t be on display against Golden State.

Steph Curry has always appeared to have the cool smugness of a Dukie. I know Davidson is his alma mater, but the attitude he brings to the court the few times he has matched up against Rubio will make this game entertaining. Whether the Wolves starting power forward and center decide to bring it this evening or not, you know the point guard matchup will entertain.


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Tags: Golden State Warriors Minnesota Timberwolves Pregame Preview

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