Wolves Head to Golden State Friday with Jimmy Butler Drama Growing

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, November 1, 2018 2:33 PM UTC

Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018 2:33 PM UTC

The Minnesota Timberwolves start a tough five-game West Coast trip Friday night with a visit to the defending champion Warriors on ESPN. We think Jimmy Butler will play.

Minnesota (4-4 SU, 4-4 ATS) at Golden State (8-1 SU, 5-4 ATS)Friday, 10:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)Free NBA Pick: OverBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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We all know that All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler wants out of Minnesota, but the Timberwolves haven’t yet imploded with any strife regarding Butler’s very public wishes. Coach/president of basketball ops Tom Thibodeau doesn’t want to deal Butler, but owner Glen Taylor has promised Butler he would be moved then the Wolves got a deal they liked.

Things got weird Wednesday, though, when the Timberwolves hosted Utah. Butler and fellow starter Jeff Teague both sat for rest. However, one report stated that Butler was sitting in protest for not being traded yet. Then, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said it was a planned rest day for Butler for maintenance and that Butler would travel with the team to Oakland and plans to play Friday vs. Golden State.

"Because my body is hurting and I don't want to go out there and risk an injury, people make stuff up?" Butler said in a text to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols earlier Wednesday. "What are they going to do when I show up and hoop on Friday?"

If things go sour on the court, this could get ugly. And things could start to go sour for Minnesota as early as Friday against the Warriors in the first meeting of the season between the teams. That’s because the Dubs could easily go 0-5 on this West Coast trip as they head to Portland, face both L.A. teams and then much-improved Sacramento.

(Hey, how about the Warriors getting Butler? They freaking have five other All-Stars. What’s a sixth? Hey Thibs, here’s Jordan Bell, Damian Jones and two second-round picks. Know the Dubs’ luck, Minnesota would say yes. I’m aware that wouldn’t work under the salary cap, but you get my drift).

The Timberwolves are 6-25 vs. Golden State this decade but have managed to win one game in the series each of the past three seasons. They have just one victory in their past seven in Oakland, though (April 5, 2016). Kevin Durant averaged 33.5 points vs. the Wolves last season, while Klay Thompson was at 24.7 and Steph Curry at 23.5. Karl-Anthony Towns averaged 26.0 points and 13.0 rebounds vs. the Dubs. Butler played in one game and had 11 points.

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Derrick Rose tallies a CAREER-HIGH 50 PTS in the @timberwolves victory! #AllEyesNorth #ThisIsWhyWePlay pic.twitter.com/L4U2XvTv2l

— NBA (@NBA) November 1, 2018
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Retro Rose!

While the Butler saga could have completely overshadowed Minnesota’s game Wednesday, it was shoved to the background temporarily when Derrick Rose looked like his former MVP self when he scored a career-high 50 points in a 128-125 win over the visiting Jazz. At 30 years and 27 days old, Rose became the oldest former MVP in NBA history at the time of his first career 50-point game.

It was the fifth 50-point game in franchise history. Rose was 19-for-31 from the field; he’s not getting close to that many shots with Butler and Teague in the lineup. I do believe Butler plays because it’s a national TV game against the champs, and Butler has an ego. Teague also should play, which puts Rose back in a reserve role. Shoot, I bet Rose doesn’t reach 10 points Friday.

Meanwhile, the Warriors’ Thompson is a slacker! He was incredible Monday night in a blowout win in Chicago with 52 points and an NBA single-game record 14 made three-pointers in just 27 minutes. All he could do to follow that up Wednesday was 18 points (1-for-4 from deep) in a 131-121 win over New Orleans. Curry was the hot one with 37 points, while Durant had 24.

Golden State has scored at least 120 points in each of the last six games. Long way to go to match the franchise record of 12 straight 120-point games was set by the 1961-62 Philadelphia Warriors.

  • Over is 8-3 in Timberwolves last 11 overall.
  • Over is 5-0 in Warriors last 5 overall.

The Dubs are No. 1 in the NBA in scoring (125.0), while the Wolves are 27th in allowing 118.5. How does this not end something like 130-120 in favor of Golden State? Take the ‘over’ for a Friday NBA betting pick.

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