In recent years, the Warriors have shown they can dig themselves out of some pretty deep holes with Hall of Fame-level talent. In Thursday's 99-84 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, they showed just how much times have changed.
In the first game of 2020, the Wolves jumped ahead on Golden State early, outscoring the Warriors 34-19 in the first quarter, building a 22-point lead, coasting to Minnesota's first win of the decade.
The loss caps an 0-2 road trip for the Warriors, who followed up one of the most impressive games of the season against the Spurs with one of its worst in Minnesota.
Here are the takeaways from the loss:
Two nights after an impressive showing against the Spurs, the Warriors defense was dormant for much of the night. Through the first 24 minutes, the Timberwolves hit seven 3-pointers, taking a 17-point lead into halftime. All the while, the Timberwolves outscored the Dubs 42-38 in the paint.
Worse yet, the league's second-worst 3-point shooting team hit 13 3-pointers. As the Wolves threw up attempts from beyond the arc, the Warriors continued to foul jump shooters. Robert Covington scored 20 points and added 10 rebounds, cementing Golden State's bad night.
Nonetheless, the Warriors made it a game, using a 17-3 run to cut the lead to eight following a poster dunk from Omari Spellman on former Warrior Jordan Bell, but the run was too little too late.
In previous years, the Warriors could afford to dig themselves into holes, knowing their Hall of Fame talent would erase their mistakes. With the current roster, no such lapses can be corrected.
What rookie wall?
During the comeback, rookie Eric Paschall made his presence felt, finishing with 13 points and seven rebounds.
The performance was the rookie's best in a few weeks. Since his hot first month of the season, Paschall has struggled through hip and knee injuries, limiting his production. Over his last four appearances, he was averaging just 3.5 points on 38 percent from the field.
Thursday's performance was a welcome sign for a player that talked himself into the Rookie of the Year conversation in November. If he can get back to that level, the Warriors can take another step forward.
Damion Lee struggles
The two-way guard has averaged nearly 15 points over his last 10 games. That trend did not continue Thursday evening.
In 27 minutes, he finished with 10 points, on 4-of-11 shooting from the field, and ended up a minus-19.
With D'Angelo Russell out, an opportunity for scoring was there for the taking. Unfortunately, Lee couldn't deliver.