The Golden State Warriors have Western Conference playoff seeding on the line Monday night when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves as 8.5-point favorites on the NBA odds board.
Jason’s record on his early NBA picks for 2013-14, up to April 13 inclusive:
No doubt the Golden State Warriors would have liked to grab that No. 5 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. But that possibility evaporated on Sunday night when the Warriors (+4.5 away) lost 119-117 to the Portland Trail Blazers in overtime. Stephen Curry’s 47 points weren’t enough to get the win – although they were just enough to ruin my precious NBA pick. My precious~!
At least the Warriors are going to the playoffs. The Minnesota Timberwolves are not, and they drove that point home on Sunday, losing 106-103 to the Sacramento Kings (+2 at home) despite Kevin Love’s 43 points. The Wolves have one more game to go in California before their season finale; they’re getting 8.5 points from Golden State on the NBA lines, with the total pegged at 211.
Rose, the Color of the Dream I Had
With Sunday’s loss, the Warriors (49-31 SU, 39-38-3 ATS) find themselves a half-game ahead of the Dallas Mavericks for sixth place in the West with a game in hand. A victory over the Timberwolves on Monday (10:30 p.m. ET, NBA-TV) would ensure that the Dubs stay in sixth. There are no easy first-round opponents among the top three seeds in the West, but Golden State would presumably rather play the No. 3 Los Angeles Clippers than the No. 1 San Antonio Spurs or the No. 2 Oklahoma City Thunder. The travel would be easier if nothing else.
Health-wise, we saw Golden State’s complete starting rotation in action against the Trail Blazers. However, Andrew Bogut (17.2 PER) appeared to injure his ribs during the overtime frame and had to leave the game. His status for Monday is up in the air as we go to press. Warriors head coach Mark Jackson left himself an out by resting Marreese Speights (15.5 PER) on Sunday; otherwise, the Dubs would be out of fresh bigs for the second of back-to-back games.
by the Hand of Zod
It’s a minor miracle the Timberwolves (40-40 SU, 39-41 ATS) were able to field a starting lineup against Sacramento. Love (27.0 PER) was a game-time decision with a hyperextended right elbow that had kept him out of Minnesota’s 112-110 victory over the Houston Rockets (+1 away). Kevin Martin (16.5 PER) was also questionable for Sunday with a sore right heel; he played, but was limited to two points on 0-for-8 shooting in 18 minutes.
Sadly, Nikola Pekovic (20.7 PER) was held out of Sunday’s game because of bursitis in his ankle, and the big Montenegrin looks like he’ll be shut down for the season. Chase Budinger (9.7 PER) and Shabazz Muhammad (13.2 PER) aren’t expected to see the floor again this year, either. And just to mess things up a little more, Ronny Turiaf (13.2 PER) had to exit the Sacramento game with a sore right knee after playing just four minutes. That doesn’t leave much manpower down low for Monday’s game, especially if Love is given the night off.
We’ll always have Gorgui Dieng (16.5 PER). The rookie center from Louisville has turned into a very useful player for Minnesota, putting up 12.3 points, 13.4 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per 36 minutes. Dieng was even better against the Kings with 21 points and 14 rebounds, adding four assists and sinking his first (and only) NBA 3-point attempt. It’ll be interesting to see what Dieng can come up with against what should be a compromised Golden State frontcourt. But I’m still going to have to pick the motivated Warriors in this matchup.NBA Pick: Take the Warriors –8.5 (–104) at Marathon