Game 65 Preview: GSW vs MIN, and Utah's playoff picture

Golden State Warriors (22-41) vs Minnesota Timberwolves (26-38)

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Last game: Minnesota: W (!!!), 91-80 vs Detroit, Golden State: L, 99-96 vs Houston

Lets be honest: I really wanted a picture of JJ Barea and Nate Robinson.

Let's be honest: I really wanted a picture of JJ Barea and Nate Robinson.

The Wolves, with nothing left to play for but pride, defeated Detroit on Thursday, ending a dreadful April losing streak. Nikola Pekovic was solid, scoring 23 points on 10-17 shooting, while the Wolves blew out Detroit for three quarters. The Pistons made a run in the 4th behind Will Bynum’s 17 points, but the Wolves’ lead was too much, and they closed out Detroit.

Golden State, to the horror of their fan base, stayed with the Rockets for much of last night’s game against the Rockets before successfully losing. Despite the absence of DavidLeeNateRobinsonAndrisBiedri-
nsDorrellWrightandChrisWright, the Warriors were competitive throughout, getting 24 points from Klay Thompson and 19 from Brandon Rush off the bench.

The Key Questions

#1. Please for the love of everything, just make the regular season stop.

If I wanted to watch the D-League, I’d travel an hour north to see the Sioux Falls SkyForce. It’s depressing to see those same players when I fire up League Pass every evening.

#2. Will Kevin Love be back?

He’s a possibility, but does anyone honestly want to see him on the floor? Why WHY would we want to see him jeopardize his own health to play in a garbage time game that means nothing to Minnesota? Let Anthony Randolph continue to earn a contract for next year. You know, from some other team.

#3. Hindsight is 20-20, but does anyone else wish Minnesota had picked Klay Thompson instead of Derrick Williams?

I know, I know. This is an illogical premise because at the time of the draft, Williams was the clear second pick behind Kyrie Irving. But Thompson is shooting the ball confidently, making 42% of his threes (Wes Johnson, for reference, is hitting 30%), shooting an eFG% of .525 and generally playing like a decent wing.

Hey Golden State: could we interest you in Anthony Randolph?

The Key Matchups

Mickell Gladness. (I had to look up how to spell his first name). Jeremy Tyler (hahahaha). Charles Jenkins. These guys started for Golden State against Houston. If Minnesota doesn’t win, it’s because their starting lineup will likely include Martell Webster and AR-15. I can’t bring myself to break down these matchups for you. I’m sorry.

Instead, Utah! The Jazz owe their first pick to Minnesota if Utah makes the playoffs. Here’s a breakdown of what’s going on.

  • The Jazz moved into 8th place in the Western Conference with a dramatic overtime win over Orlando last night, while Phoenix fell to the Nuggets. The Jazz have a one game lead on the Suns.
  • Phoenix owns the tiebreaker between the two teams.
  • Both teams have two games left, including one head to head matchup on Tuesday. Neither team plays until Tuesday. With a win, Utah clinches a playoff berth. If Phoenix wins, they move back into 8th place going forward.
  • The last game of the season for Utah is against Portland.
  • Phoenix ends its season against San Antonio, which could be tough (if San Antonio has something to play for) or easy (if the Spurs rest everyone).

Simple enough. Conventional wisdom dictates that the Jazz should have the inside track on the playoffs at this point. But two things have been made abundantly clear about the Basketball Deities this season: they absolutely detest Minnesota and Steve Nash is an Immortal. So knock on every piece of wood and keep your conscience clear.

The Outlook

It really depends who is playing for which team. Watch this game at your own risk.

Game starts at 6 pm on League Pass.

About Jonah Steinmeyer

Been a Wolves fan for probably way too long to be considered a sane human anymore. An avid golfer in my free time.