The Golden State Warriors’ struggles have even reached Oracle Arena, where the club enjoyed great success last season. However, Golden State appears set to catch a break, because the Minnesota Timberwolves can’t seem to win anywhere.
Trying to avoid a third straight loss, the Warriors look to deal the Timberwolves their sixth consecutive defeat when the teams meet Tuesday night.
Golden State (2-5), going through a period of transition after losing point guard Baron Davis to free agency and shooting guard Monta Ellis to an ankle injury this summer, has dropped consecutive games for the second time this season.
Playing at home hasn’t helped the Warriors. They’re 1-2 at Oracle Arena, allowing 106.0 points per game, after going 27-14 there last season.
Ellis, the Warriors’ top returning scorer from last season at 20.2 points per contest, is sidelined for at least the first 30 games. With Davis having departed for the Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State has an inexperienced starting backcourt in C.J. Watson and Kelenna Azubuike.
The Warriors have also been without Corey Maggette (hamstring) the past three games and Al Harrington (back) for the last two. The starting forwards, though, are making progress and may be available for this contest, according to the team’s official Web site.
Harrington’s situation, however, is more complex. He reportedly wants to be traded due to differences with coach Don Nelson, and Golden State may be using his injury to buy time in order work out a deal.
Stephen Jackson has been left to carry most of the scoring burden. Though averaging 22.3 points, he’s shooting 37.8 percent from the floor and has turned the ball over a team-worst 27 times.
“We are a wounded team right now,” Jackson said following a 115-108 loss to Sacramento on Sunday night. “I have been getting doubled since the season started and more since guys got hurt and are not on the floor. I can’t be frustrated right now because it can be a domino effect for the whole team. I’m just trying to stay positive.”
Jackson had 15 points and six assists while Andris Biedrins led the Warriors with 16 points, 18 rebounds and five blocks. Biedrins, a fifth-year center, seems to be blossoming after a slow start to his career.
Picked 11th overall in the 2004 draft, Biedrins is averaging 17.3 points and 14.1 rebounds.
A matchup with Minnesota (1-5) gives Golden State an excellent opportunity to gain some confidence. The Timberwolves haven’t won since beating Sacramento 98-96 in their Oct. 29 opener, and the Warriors went 3-1 against the Wolves last season, averaging 107.3 points.
Timberwolves big man Al Jefferson, selected 15th overall in 2004, has also taken time to develop but has become one of the league’s top all-around players. He isn’t getting much help, though.
Jefferson finished with 27 points and three blocked shots after starting 3-for-10 from the field against Portland on Saturday night, but Minnesota lost 97-93.
“If we play with this kind of intensity and effort every night then we are going to be all right,” Timberwolves coach Randy Wittman said. “They’ve got to be able to see that. It’s just as simple as that.”