The Warriors beat the Timberwolves Monday night 109-104. We’ve got the detailed recap here but here are three quick-thoughts to chew until the team returns to Oracle Wednesday night against the Clippers.
- Steph Curry might need some rest
When you think of how absurd the pace Curry’s been delivering at all season, it’s not the least bit surprising to see a slippage in play with the finish line in sight. It’s up to Steve Kerr to decide if Curry is fatigued enough to sit down.
And the argument to sit him might make more sense than you think.
The last two games Curry has shot 10-of-35 from the field (28.5 percent) and he’s averaged just 16.5 points. A third game in a row like this against the Clippers would be startling, almost like a cry for help. All shooters go through cold slumps, but this will feel more like Curry thudding against a brick wall.
More noticeably, he’s been a tad sloppy with his handle and hesitant to pull his jumper from anywhere — his calling card. I think he and Kerr realize how exhausting carrying the torch as the world’s athletic symbol of dominance each night has become. I think a slight case of mental fatigue is setting in.
Of course Curry will want no part of a minutes reduction. He’s too competitive and doesn’t ever want to seem weak toward his teammates or the rest of the NBA. And, oh, the elephant in the room: Curry wants to be the guy who broke Michael Jordan’s record for wins. The number 73 has a nice ring to it.
The Warriors have to take into consideration how long and grueling the playoffs are going to be. If there’s anyone who can convince him some extra time on the bench will pay dividends, it’s Kerr. Golden State’s coach knows the lasting impact of fatigue in basketball, especially it’s ability to thwart three-point jump shooters. Resting Curry entirely on Sunday against the 76ers also might make the most sense — giving him a breather and letting other bench players like Ian Clark get some shine. But the bench is also missing three key pieces as it is.
With a commanding four game lead over the Spurs, the Warriors must decide how badly they want 73 regular season wins — which no doubt will come into play as they meddle with this — versus how badly they want a second NBA championship.
The bottom line: Golden State needs the freshest Curry they can get.
2. Not losing back-to-back games all season will be one of basketball’s greatest feats
There is no topping 73 wins. The No. 73 will become an iconic win total plastered on t-shirts and mugs to remember a trail blazing NBA season — one that’s reignited passion for the league nationwide. But not have ONE losing streak in an 82 game span is robotic. The Warriors really should’ve lost Monday to the Timberwolves. Not only were they outplayed, they had to play Minnesota’s brand of basketball in the paint. The persistence and determination of this team cannot be highlighted enough. It’s not just all fancy highlights and Vines on the Twitter. They can grind.
3. It’s scary to think what Draymond Green could do on another team
Scoring has never been Green’s lynchpin, but he keeps proving if the Splash Brothers are sputtering, he’s capable enough of steering the ship to safety. He did against Minnesota with 24 points and 9 rebounds. And it may not always look pretty, Green cumbersomely Euro-stepping past bigger forwards, or hustling for a tip-in right before the half. It doesn’t matter how: Green is the tenacious barking bully other NBA teams have not been able to figure out how to contain. Games like this one against the Timberwolves make me believe Green could be a 20 points per game guy in another city — hopefully a reality the Warriors never have to face.
SOURCE: Kevin Jones, KNBR