Warriors at Timberwolves (8pm ET Thursday, TNT)
The Golden State Warriors left another victim by the side of the road last night, beating the Memphis Grizzlies 100-84, and are now off to a franchise-best 9-0 start. This result actually showed huge progress for the Griz, who lost to the Warriors by 50 (!) just 10 days ago. In addition to being undefeated, the Warriors are second in the league in scoring and first in point differential, 3-point shooting percentage and opponent’s 3-point shooting percentage. They are, in short, a nightmare. And this despite the fact that head coach Steve Kerr is still out, recovering from back surgery, and former top assistant Alvin Gentry set sail for New Orleans, leaving the team under the guidance of 35-year-old Luke Walton. Steph Curry’s defense of his MVP award continues to breeze along, as he’s averaging 31.9 points, 5.8 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 2.67 steals, which would make even you look like a decent coach. If you don’t think Curry is in league with Satan, watch these two shots from last night and think again:
The Minnesota Timberwolves have to be happy with the way their season has progressed thus far, as they sit at 4-3, despite a 104-95 loss to the Hornets on Tuesday. They’ve already logged quality wins against the Bulls and Hawks, and head coach Sam Mitchell has kept the team focused in the wake of the sudden death of his predecessor, Flip Saunders, who passed just days before the start of the season. Weirdly, they are undefeated on the road, while they have yet to win at home. Reigning Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins is averaging 19.8 a game, his fellow #1 pick and heir apparent Karl-Anthony Towns is averaging a double-double, and passing machine Ricky Rubio is averaging 9 assists and 2.3 steals.
>Clippers vs. Suns (10:30pm ET Wednesday, TNT)
The Los Angeles Clippers come into this contest limping, having lost 118-108 to the Dallas Mavericks last night, as Dirk Nowitzki went off and Chris Paul was off. Nowitzki scored 31 points to go along with 11 rebounds (both season highs), while Paul scored 11 points on 2-for-11 shooting, though he did drop 11 dimes. The Clippers are now 5-3, good for third in the West.
The Phoenix Suns are coming off a desperately needed 3-day break, following consecutive losses to Detroit and OKC that dropped them to 3-4, as they fell 5 spots in ESPN’s power rankings, all the way down to 23rd. They’re shooting just .428 from the floor and .705 from the line, and they’re near the bottom of the league in assists and blocked shots. Weirdly, Suns opponents have also been terrible from the free throw line, making just 65.9 percent. A big part of the Suns’ problem, though hardly their only one, is the play of guard Brandon Knight, whose turnover-to-assist ratio of 1.29 is the second worst of all qualifying point guards. When you’re almost as likely to pass the ball to the other team as to a teammate with an open look, it makes life difficult.