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Steph is out, but the line in this game doesn't give enough respect to the season Golden State has had and the pieces they still have on the court. NBA expert Jonathan Macri is here with his predictions and picks for Sunday night.
ANALYSIS

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Golden State Warriors Prediction: No Curry, No Problem?

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Golden State Warriors Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

When: Sunday, January 16, 8:00 pm ET

Where to Watch: NBA League Pass

Click Here for Timberwolves vs Warriors Odds

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Golden State Warriors Line Movement

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Timberwolves vs. Warriors Prediction

The inevitable cycle of an NBA take: Someone will start out as underrated, eventually make their way to overrated, flop back and forth a few times, and finally level out somewhere in between.

Example A would be this season's Golden State Warriors. After starting this season with just two losses in their first 20 games thanks in part to one of the easier schedules in the league, they went from being slept on to being preemptively crowned as 2022 all in a matter of weeks.

Since then, things have leveled off and the Warriors are just 13-9 in their last 22 games. Even with the return of Klay Thompson, there has been a drop in the level of respect they're getting. That drop off reached its nadir after four losses in five games in the last few weeks, culminating in a 19-point loss to the Bucks in Milwaukee.

With that loss, the pendulum seems to have swung too far in the wrong direction. They entered their next game against the Bulls as 2.5-point underdogs and responded 42-point thrashing of the best team in the Eastern Conference. Even with Chicago losing Zach LaVine in the middle of this one, the Warriors had clearly proven their point: take us lightly at your own risk.

Now, they're giving more than four points in a game for just the fourth time this season, but not to one of the league's powerhouses. No, they're dogs against a team that is two games below .500 after dropping two straight. Yes, this game is in Minnesota, but the Wolves are just 9-12 against the spread in their own building with a negative margin against the spread.

The caveat, of course, is Steph Curry, who will miss this game with a hand injury. He has been Golden State's engine all season long, and without him, they have been outscored by 2.7 points per 100 possessions. This is somewhat unchartered territory as well, as the Warriors have only been without their leader for three games, two of which have been losses.

The difference now is that Klay Thompson, who is still limited to just above 20 minutes per game but is looking like himself more and more, is back. Those 20-some-odd minutes might not be enough to offset the loss of Curry against a top team, but against the Wolves, who have a middle of the road, 14th ranked defense over their last 15 games, it will be fine.

Throw in the perpetually underrated Draymond Green, who is perhaps the frontrunner for Defensive Player of the Year, plus the rest of Golden State's cast, all of whom are healthy, and this is an easy decision.

Take the points on the road.

Timberwolves vs. Warriors Pick

Article Author

NBA

Dean of Knicks Film School, host: KFS Pod, co-host: Pick N Pod. There isn't much about Knicks basketball that Jonathan doesn't know and he's here to break down the big games each and every week.

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