There’s no better occasion for a mediocre team to feel good about itself than a home game against the worst team in the conference without its best players. Two such games, against the same team, is a gift from the remedy gods.
That’s what the Warriors had Monday and will have again on Wednesday. These are perfect opportunities to experiment, and coach Steve Kerr might as well be wearing a lab coat.
Sensing an easy mark in the woeful and wounded Timberwolves, Kerr debuted a new starting lineup, the first unforced change of the season, with rookie center James Wiseman moving out and sixth-year veteran Kevon Looney moving in. The coach also altered his rotations, turning to shooter Mychal Mulder in the first quarter instead of the second, if at all.
The results were tolerable but decidedly unexceptional, a 130-108 win that required some late flame-throwing by Stephen Curry – 15 points in roughly three fourth-quarter minutes – to finish a game in which the starters should have been able to watch the entire fourth quarter.
“We got off to a really good start, so that was what I was hoping for,” Kerr said. “Defense was really good those first six minutes . . . we got up 15 or 17 points. It’s just much easier to play from ahead when you set a tone right away.
“I wasn’t particularly pleased with the rest of the game. I thought we…