The Warriors are playing the 7-28 TWolves in Minneapolis tonight. In their last meeting the Warriors won by 41 points, at home. Should be a cakewalk, right?
Not so fast. There is something very difficult about playing in Minnesota in mid-December. Particularly on a back to back.
And the Wolves are now back to full strength, with the return of Kevin Love. Love has been absolutely beasting on the boards this season, to the tune of 12.3 a game, in only 32 minutes. Anthony Randolph, on the other hand, has been mysteriously absent from the boards since his return to his “natural” position. Even the diminutive Kenyon Martin chewed him up and spit him out last night.
Focus on Randolph v. Love. I hate to say a particular matchup might determine the game, but if Randolph can’t control his man the Warriors will be in an uphill struggle in this game. The league has seen a blueprint for how to beat the Warriors in the last two games: Storm the offensive boards, and get to the free throw line by taking the Warriors small guards to the rack.
The Warriors big men, led by the completely healthy Randolph, have failed to step up to defeat this blueprint. Either with their rebounding or their shot-blocking. Is this the night they turn it around? On a road back-to-back in the icy North? I have my doubts.
Stephen Curry had a breakout game last night. Can he sustain it? With the little three lost in space, it is imperative that Curry remain aggressive, and cement his place in The Big Three.
Curry will going up against another rookie point guard tonight, Jonnie Flynn. Flynn was taken one pick ahead of Curry in the draft. If nothing else is on the line in this battle of cellar dwellars, you can bet that Curry and Flynn will put it on the line, for pride.
The Wolves are -2.5 home favorites in this game. A slap in the face to Warriors pride. I am turning my cheek. Pick your poison.