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Some people call them old, some people call it experienced; Warriors vets are peaking
Golden State hoping the team reset holds up on the road against Wiggins' old team
The Golden State Warriors are 1-9 on the road, and 9-1 at home this season. They’ve won four of their last five games, and seem to have begun to find that championship poise that has served them so well in the past. With their perfectly balanced 10-10 record, there’s a natural reset point here. A new trajectory with a more focused rotation pattern and a team that understands what they are, and are not.
Now it’s time to take the show on the road and see if these new vibes hold up under pressure.
WHO: Golden State Warriors (10-10) at Minnesota Timberwolves (10-9)
WHEN: Sunday, November 27th, 2022 // 12:30pm PDT (← early game)
Old Warriors are redefining what “peak” means
There’s a couple of different elements that go into an athletes peak portion of their career. The hardest and cruelest of these is the body. Time is already hard on us fragile humans, and it only gets worse for guys that run, jump, and crash into each other for a living. So that’s where most of the career trajectory attachments are. Once the body breaks down, that’s pretty much it.
But the equation has been changing. Better nutrition, and better understanding of the importance of rest and recovery have helped athletes like Tom Brady, LeBron James, and yes, even Stephen Curry extend their peak.
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably also been watching. Curry has been putting up a season as good as any he ever has - which is really saying something because of who we are talking about. This season, Curry has his highest assist rate since 2015 and his lowest turnover rate ever. After shooting his lowest three-point percentage (38%) last season (we are ignoring his injury-shortened 2019-2020 season), Curry has skyrocketed back up to 44.5% from deep this season - the fourth best such mark of his career; and it’s on an 11.7 attempts per game, which ties his second-most threes.
This is as much as Stephen Curry has ever done, and he’s doing it all as well as ever.
There’s a mental element to a players peak too. And this is the aspect where both Curry and Draymond Green have excelled, allowing them to maintain or even improve on their games year over year.
With some well publicized development timing issues affecting this roster, Golden State has steadied the ship by leaning on their core more. With Curry leading the charge, the rest of the mainstays have all stepped up and have begun to carry the rest of the roster towards success.
The season started off rough. An extremely rocky start, some lagging development, and a roster that has been cobbled together around the edges of some significant salary constrictions.
But since then, the Warriors - as they have done so well with the core of Curry, Green, and Thompson - have figured it out. It’s a .500 team now, playing for playoff seeding, but at least now there’s no question about identity.
Thanks again for everything, Timberwolves!
There’s a special relationship between the Golden State Warriors and tonight’s opponent. Most immediately, they were the trading partner that brought Andrew Wiggins to San Francisco (along with the pick that became Jonathan Kuminga) in exchange for D’Angelo Russell.
Before that, they were kind enough to draft not one, but two point guards ahead of Steph Curry, allowing the Warriors to swoop in and change the franchise forever. Seriously. Thank you!
Unfortunately, the franchise fortunes in Minnesota have been stuck in the same quagmire since Kevin Garnett’s departure all those years ago. After drafting the electric young guard, Anthony Edwards, the Timberwolves made an extremely unorthodox move over this past offseason and brought in Rudy Gobert. But much like things went in Utah, the value of an elite post defender is limited because of his offensive deficiencies and a league that pulls everyone out to the perimeter eventually.
Edwards still has the flashes of excellence, but things are a little weird in Minnesota right now.
Thankfully, it’s not our job to figure things out for the Timberwolves!
With the Warriors looking better at home, the next item on the agenda is to start picking up some road wins. A ferocious Wiggins dunk or two, some all around Warriors excellence, and a daytime win sounds about right.