Programming note: Timberwolves-Warriors coverage starts tonight at 7:00 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, and streaming live right here.
OAKLAND -– The toast of the NBA for most of this season, the Warriors suddenly find themselves in the unwelcome position of adjusting and resetting in hopes of re-establishing their identity.
That's what happens when the team with the best record in the league is uncharacteristically sluggish during back-to-back losses in Los Angeles.
Help is on the way, or appears to be. The Warriors (23-5) return home Saturday to face the woebegone Timberwolves (5-22), who are afflicted with the double whammy of doom: Too many injuries and too much youth.
They look like an easy target for a Warriors team trying to shake itself back to being the best team in the league.
Warriors by 17.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Klay Thompson vs. Andrew Wiggins -- Wiggins has been inconsistent, as one would expect of a rookie, but the overall No. 1 pick has led Minny in scoring more often than any of his teammates. Having moved from small forward to guard, he'll get a load of Thompson, who relishes confrontations with heralded youngsters.
Draymond Green vs. Thaddeus Young -- Young is a solid power forward who has not been as effective as was expected when he was acquired from the 76ers. Still, he demands attention. He'll get plenty of that from Green, who is coming off of a wholly unsatisfying performance against the Clippers.
KEYS TO VICTORY
1) Bring the intensity -- The Warriors are plenty displeased with their past two games, and ought to be in the mood to come home and take it out on a hapless visitor.
2) Rediscover defense -- The Wolves are saddled with a roster of youngsters learning how to play at the NBA level. They miss a lot of shots, especially when contested.
3) Emerge intact -- The Wolves are competing for the ignominious title of "worst team in the league." The Warriors need to get through this one without another injury.
Warriors: 7-3. Timberwolves: 1-9.
Warriors: C Andrew Bogut (chondromalacia and bone edema) and C Festus Ezeli (sprained left ankle) are listed as out.
Timberwolves: G Ricky Rubio (sprained left ankle), G Kevin Martin (fractured right wrist) and C Nikola Pekovic (sore right foot, sprained right wrist) are listed as out.
The Warriors have won 15 of the last 18 meetings – and seven of the last 10 in Oakland – while winning or splitting the annual series in each of the past nine seasons.