The Wolves could play a part in the Western Conference Playoff picture by defeating the Warriors tonight. After Golden State plays Minnesota they will have the Thunder, Lakers, Spurs and Blazers to close their year out. With only a game lead on the 7th seeded, lighter scheduled Rockets — Phoenix (twice), Sacramento, Memphis and Lakers — the Warriors have a fight on their hands for the 6th seed and the right to avoid either the Spurs or Thunder.
Warriors probable starting lineup:
PG Stephen Curry
SG Klay Thompson
SF Harrison Barnes
PF David Lee
C Andrew Bogut
Barnes has scored double figures in 5 of the last 7 games, but more than 11 only once (16 against the Wizards 2 weeks ago). Against Utah Sunday, Barnes and Bogut (who is limited by a bulging disc in his back) both sat in favor of Carly Landry (10 points, 7 rebounds) and Jarrett Jack (7 points, 6 assists) as Utah fought for their playoff lives while the Warriors lost 90-97.
Golden State shoots almost a full 10% better from 3 than the Wolves, 40.1% to 30.3% — yet they attempt the 13th most in the league (1,525) compared to Minnesota’s 23rd (1,350).
Wolves probable starting lineup:
PG Ricky Rubio
SG Luke Ridnour
SF Andrei Kirilenko
PF Derrick Williams
C Nikola Pekovic
Limiting Landry and defending the 3 would do wonders for Minnesota’s chances. Rubio v. Curry is one of the league’s matchups most fraught with implications of what could have been if Syracuse hadn’t gone into 6 overtimes against UConn and hypnotized David Kahn into drafting on the strength of that game, a smile and handshake. The hole in the Wolves lineup is still looking to be filled and Curry will attempt to provide the highlights to, erm, highlight it.
The last time the Wolves played in San Francisco, Barnes did this to Pek…
Pek seeks to continue his roll out West tonight.