By: Dan Slaubaugh
Happy Sunday, Wolves fans.
Thanks for checking in. I'm sure reading a gameday primer for a team that's lost seven of eight and is 6-17 on the year isn't the funnest thing you could be doing right now.
The sad reality is it's probably going to get worse before it gets better. Four out of Minnesota's next five games come against playoff-caliber teams.
-GOLDEN STATE (tonight)
- at Chicago (Tuesday)
- HOUSTON (Saturday)
- at Atlanta (12/21)
First up: The Golden State Warriors tonight, who will be on the end of a back-to-back after getting stomped last night in Memphis.
What: Wolves - Warriors
Where: Target Center - Minneapolis, Minnesota.
When: 6:10pm CT
Where to watch: Fox Sports North
Where to listen: 830 WCCO
What to watch for:
Motivating: It's been a struggle as of late. The team has lost seven of their past eight games and are playing with what looks like to be the weight of the world on their chests. "We can accept making mistakes - not making shots, missing the open guy", Wolves PG Ricky Rubio said, "But playing with no heart, no desire, it's just awful. Right now it's bad." Simply, this team needs to start taking pride in their play because it's their jobs. This shouldn't be an issue.
KAT: Through 23 games, he hasn't quite made that leap we all thought he'd make.
"Compared to last year, his efficiency, block rate, rebound rate and steal rate are all down. Last year, he made 43.5 percent of his jumpers, but he's dropped to just 33.8 percent this season. All that said, Towns is fully expected to bust out and be an elite player soon enough." - Rotoworld
Towns' biggest issue is on the defensive side of the ball - much like the rest of the team - which leads me to my next segment.
Defensive woes: We've written about it. Canis has written about it. Minnpost has written about it. So yeah, it's obviously a massive issue. They're currently giving up 112 points per 100 possessions, which is roughly five points worse than the league average team. The on-ball defense isn't particularly bad, it's defending as a team they are struggling with. Help-defense, getting cut on back-door screens, etc., is all part of that. The Warriors finished at 55.6% shooting last time out against Minnesota (Nov. 26). Hence, if Minnesota can't play with cohesiveness on that side of the ball tonight, Target Center will be empty midway through the third quarter.
Quick Notes (Via Twolves PR)
Minnesota's bench has bounced back to score contribute 30.4 ppg (on 51.7% shooting) in five December contests.
During the current three-game losing streak, the Wolves are being outscored by -18.3 ppg (97.0-115.3) and outshot 50.6% to 47.6%.
Over it's past eight contests, Minnesota is averaging is allowing 114.6 ppg (on 49.0% shooting).
The Warriors will be heading to Minnesota in a bad mood. That said, there's no way they're losing two in a row.
Wolves lose 113-101. LaVine finishes with 27 points. Dunn contributes 8 points and 4 rebounds.
Thanks for reading. Enjoy the game. Go Wolves.