Golden State Warriors vs. the Northwestern Division: Predictions

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April 09, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors power forward David Lee (10) drives in against Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Dante Cunningham (33) during the third quarter at Oracle Arena. The Golden State Warriors defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 105-89 to clinch a playoff berth. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Timberwolves

2012-13 Record: 31-51 (missed playoffs)

The T-Wolves got killed by injuries last year.  Rubio took a while to get back into the swing of things following a torn ACL, and Kevin Love has been completely touch and go over the last two seasons.  When healthy, they’re top talent at their respective positions (though Love is definitely more dominant among power forwards).

Love is a floor-spacing forward with an incredible three-point threat having won the three-point competition back in 2012.  He’s a fantastic rebounder as well, and handles pretty well in addition to a decent amount of quickness.  Rubio can handle, score, and pass at a very high level.  They also just locked in their big man future with Nikola Pekovic.

 

Prediction: 2-1

The Wolves have all the offensive potential in the world, but their defensive stats betray a weakness to Golden State’s favorite weapons.  Last year, they were middle of the league in the league in defensive efficiency, stacking up against a team that was top ten in offensive efficiency.  The return of Love can’t account for that difference.  Moreover, Minnesota allowed an opposing field-goal percentage of 46.8 percent, bottom ten.  That includes allowing another, extremely important bottom ten stat: opponents three-point percentage (36.9 percent).  They’re average defensively, with a notable weakness to the Warriors’ greatest weapon.  However, Love and Rubio can win them one.

 

 

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Tags: Denver Nuggets Golden State Warriors Kevin Love Minnesota Timberwolves Oklahoma City Thunder Portland Trail Blazers Portland Trailblazers Ricky Rubio Utah Jazz

  • Josh Haslam

    Jazz did not take a hit down low, they improved greatly. Kanter and favors are an upgrade from the overvalued big al and millsap. Their defense improved astronomically but they are young. Jazz will take at least one

  • noodlekaboodle

    Jazz didn’t take a defensive hit down low. Kanter and Favors are better defensive players. The step back the Jazz took down low was on offense, not D.