Thursday, 1 a.m. CT, Shenzhen Universiade Center
Where to Watch: NBA TV, FOX Sports North
After three days in Shenzhen, the Wolves will finally play a game.
Albeit, not an easy one considering it’s against the defending champion Warriors. But this should be a good measuring stick to see where the Wolves are.
A few tidbits going into the game:
- This is the first of two games for both teams in China. The second will be on Sunday in Shanghai.
- The Wolves have 10 new faces on this year’s roster. The Warriors have six.
- Expect the Wolves to play their starters more minutes in this game than they did in Saturday’s game against the Lakers. Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau has the challenge of nailing down his rotation (as much as you can this early) in just two more preseason games, and likely some sort of scrimmage to act as a fourth preseason game.
Last Time . . .
The Wolves were 1-3 against the Warriors last season. The last game came on April 4 in Golden State. The Warriors won 121-107 behind 41 points from Klay Thompson. Steph Curry added 19 points and nine assists, while Matt Barnes added 12 points.
Minnesota was led by Shabazz Muhammad, who finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds off the bench. Andrew Wiggins also added 24 points. Karl-Anthony Towns scored 21 points, while Ricky Rubio had 15 points, five assists and five rebounds.
Coming Off Of. . .
The Wolves are coming off of a 108-99 road preseason win over the Lakers on Saturday. Wing Shabazz Muhammad led the Wolves with 22 points and six rebounds, shooting 7-for-12 from the field. Taj Gibson added 18 points and nine rebounds. Towns finished with 15 points and six rebounds. Gorgui Dieng came off the bench and had the team’s only double-double, with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Jeff Teague scored 11 points and dished out nine assists, while Jimmy Butler scored 10 points in just 12 minutes.
The Warriors are coming off of a 108-102 home preseason loss to the Denver Nuggets, also on Saturday.
Curry led Golden State with 11 points. Kevin Durant and Thompson added 10 each.
Key Matchup: Jimmy Butler vs. Kevin Durant
One of the best offensive players in the league vs. one of the best defensive players in the league.
And while Durant is great offensively, he is very good defensively. And with Butler, he’s so amazing defensively, we forget about how good he is offensively.
Butler averaged a career-high 23.9 points per game last season to go with 6.2 rebounds and 5.5 assists. He was named to his third-straight All-Star game.
Durant averaged 25.1 points, 8.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game while shooting a career-high 53.7 percent from the field.
Chances are we won’t see a whole lot of these guys in this game, but it should be a taste of what’s to come between these two when they face off this season.
Warriors: PG – Curry, SG – Thompson, SF – Durant, PF – Green, C – Pachulia
Minnesota: PG – Teague, SG – Wiggins, SF – Butler, PF – Gibson, C – Towns