The Warriors began the road trip at .500. But since then, the Warriors have lost to sub .500 teams and they continue to descend further and further down the standings with each game.
Last night's loss to the Memphis Grizzlies was somewhat of a relief as the Warriors' offense seemed to find a range of ways to score, which involved great interior passing. Beneficiary of the adjustments on offense was Andris Biedrins who finished the night with 28 points on 13 of 15 shooting. The backdoor cuts that Biedrins was running throughout the night were the same ones that rookie Jeff Adrien ran, finishing with 12 points off the bench.
But defense continues to be the Warriors Achilles heel as they allowed the Grizzlies to shoot 53% from the field and equally from 3-point territory. For the season, the Warriors are allowing their opponents to shoot 47% from the field and in the last several games that percentage has rarely dipped below 50%. Opponents are also shooting 38% from 3-point land as well.
The most striking figure might be that the Warriors have accumulated 396 fouls to their opponents 295. When opponents shoot 79% from the free throw compared to the Warriors 75%, these small differentiations, eventually, can add up.
The Timberwolves, with their revamped roster, have struggled this season but have become one of the more interesting developments in the Western Conference with the rise of PF Kevin Love and F Michael Beasley.
Love, whose effort has been questioned by coach Kurt Rambis, has dedicated himself to hustling, averaging nearly 19 points and 15 rebounds a game. Andris Biedrins will have his hands full tonight, especially on the tail end of a back to back.
Michael Beasley, liberated from his catch and shoot days with the Miami Heat like Dorell Wright, has been justifying why he deserved to be the #2 pick in the 2008 draft, improving his scoring average by 7 points from last season. Although Beasley has struggled against the better teams in the West, failing to hit 20 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs in the last two games, there is no doubt that Beasley will have monster stats against the Warriors tonight the same way he did a few weeks ago with his string of 25+ point games against sub-par Western Conference teams.
Several mental mistakes plagued the Warriors in the beginning of the fourth quarter versus the Grizzlies as they closed the gap to 1 only to have that lead spread to 5 to 10 points again. The Warriors can't afford to turn the ball over as it has continued to doom them night in night out.