The Warriors, once 22-3, are now 22-5 heading into Saturday night’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Just how concerned should Golden State be? They’re a huge favorite on the NBA betting lines.
The Minnesota Timberwolves Can Win Because…
They're facing a team that is struggling at both ends of the court. The Warriors have lost consecutive games, which is bad enough, but what’s worse is that Golden State has lost these games in very different ways. The Warriors gave up 115 points to the Lakers on Tuesday night, and then they scored only 86 points on Thursday against the Los Angeles Clippers. The Warriors showed no defense in one game and no offense in the other. That has to concern head coach Steve Kerr, since coaches like to think they can correct one problem. When there’s clearly more than one problem, it’s hard for a coach to fix everything all at once.
There’s something else which should worry Golden State, and that is the fact that when the Warriors first lost back-to-back games on Nov. 9 and 11, they played two quality teams, Phoenix and San Antonio. Phoenix is not an elite team, but it is a lot better than the Los Angeles Lakers, who ambushed Golden State a few days ago. It should be seen as a source of worry that the Warriors were so lost against a Laker team whose fan base wants it to tank the rest of the season in the pursuit of a high draft pick. This is the worst Golden State has played all season, so Minnesota could have a chance if the Warriors continue to languish.
The Golden State Warriors Can Win Because…
They are the far better team, and more specifically, Minnesota is the far inferior team. The Timberwolves have been so bad that they have won only one game since Nov. 28. They are 1-12 over the past month and have been crushed on defense. Minnesota has allowed at least 100 points in nine of its last 10 games. The Timberwolves have failed to score 100 points in seven of their last eight games. They allow 109 points per game, which is the second worst mark in the NBA behind the Los Angeles Lakers, who give up 109.2. Golden State averages 107.4 points per game, and even though the team scored only 86 on Christmas against the Los Angeles Clippers, it should feel that it can do pretty much whatever it wants against the Timberwolves’ defense; so think about it when you're looking over the NBA odds.
Another few stats that are worth following: Minnesota has a negative per-game point differential of 10.6 points, which is second worst in the league behind Philadelphia, which checks in at minus-11.3. The Timberwolves are also 2-11 on the road, while Golden State is 10-1 at home. There’s really not a major betting trend to recommend Minnesota beyond the Warriors’ two-game losing skid.
The Warriors don’t lose to bad teams at home and considering they’re fresh off a disappointing loss on Christmas Day, they’ll be looking to get back on track here. Although it’s a huge line, take the Warriors with your NBA picks.
NBA Pick: Golden State -16 at 5Dimes