There were four seconds difference between the game clock and the shot clock. THE Golden State Warriors lead with less than 24 seconds left in the game. A win over the Minnesota Timberwolves would have put the Warriors 1.5 games ahead of the tournament. The Warriors ended up losing, and the loss leaves the sixth-seeded Timberwolves with a 0.5 lead. What the game has run into is a problem they can no longer bridge – traffic.
Draymond Green and Jordan Poole fouled out – this time it was broadcast on purpose – put the Warriors in a bad spot in critical moments late. With less than a minute left in the game, the Warriors led by one after Rudy Gobert split a pair of free throws. Green had the ball at the top of the key and his chest pass was cleared by Kyle Anderson. Seconds later, Towns hit a 3-pointer to give the Timberwolves a two-point lead.
On the next snap, Poole had the ball with just over four seconds left. If the Chase Center had a financial incentive to publicize the team’s traffic woes, Poole’s face would be at every entrance.
He played well on Sunday, but his attempt at a game-winning play fell apart. It slipped while trying to pull it up On Mike Conley, he panicked and turned toward an ill-advised pass A curry that has transcended boundaries. The Warriors dropped one game and have four of their six remaining games against teams that are currently in the postseason.
Of course, as bad as their mistakes were, that wasn’t the only reason the Warriors lost to the Timberwolves 99-96. The defense is far from strong for the 2022-23 Warriors, so if they hold the team under 100 points, they shouldn’t lose.
It was unfortunate timing for the Warriors for Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to have rough shooting performances on the same night. Both shot under 35 percent from the field, and in fact Poole’s 27 points on 50 percent from the field helped keep the Warriors in the game.
A better shooting performance and the Warriors could have beaten the T’Wolves, but that’s how the jump shot works. Some nights it doesn’t fall, and this is combined with a team that has the prone to turning the ball over, disaster can strike on any play. With 73 wins in 2015-16, the Warriors had the sixth most points per game in the NBA. and was 20th in traffic percentage. This season, the Warriors are 29th in both categories. How the Warriors navigated blown possessions and shooting by playing one of the best defenses in the NBA. In 2016, they had the fifth best defensive rating in the league, and last year’s champion team finished the regular season first in this category. A defense this strong can compensate for an offense that turns the ball over less often than just the Houston Rockets
Sunday was the night Gary Payton II made his 2023 Warriors debut. He played just over 15 minutes in his return from an adductor injury and appears primed for a role starting in the 2022 postseason. Defensively he was excellent for them last season and on the one night he was on the court, they held a surging team to under 100 points — though Anthony Edwards was playing in his first game since spraining his ankle last Sunday.
One of the few times this season you didn’t need a shootout to win. Instead of the game a cliffhanger that the Warriors lost control of at the most inopportune time.