When the Warriors walk into Target Center on Friday, they’ll do so under circumstances they have not experienced in seven years.
Their record (2-6) is inferior to that of the Timberwolves (4-3).
Like many other teams, Minnesota will be seeking retribution against the team that has beaten it in 28 of the last 35 meetings. Pregame coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 4 p.m., with tipoff scheduled for 5:10.
While the Warriors -- who will benefit from the return of D’Angelo Russell -- are committed to reloading, the Timberwolves are hoping to find a measure of success. They have reached the postseason only once since 2004, when Kevin Garnett, then 27, was voted league MVP.
[RELATED: How to watch Warriors vs. T-Wolves]
The current Timberwolves, anchored by center Karl-Anthony Towns and guard Andrew Wiggins, might be buoyed by the results of their last game against the Warriors, when they posted a 131-130 overtime win last March 29.
Warriors fans remember that game for several controversial calls, along with Stephen Curry’s postgame comments, when he referred to official Marat Kogut as the “MVP” of the game.
F Glenn Robinson III
F Eric Paschall
C Willie Cauley-Stein
G Jordan Poole
G D’Angelo Russell
F Josh Okogie
F Robert Covington
C Karl-Anthony Towns
G Andrew Wiggins
G Jarrett Culver
Warriors: G D’Angelo Russell (right ankle sprain) is listed as probable. G Stephen Curry (left hand fracture), G Jacob Evans III (left adductor strain), F Draymond Green (left index finger sprain), F Kevon Looney (neuropathy), F Alen Smailagic and G Klay Thompson (right ACL rehab) are listed as out.
Timberwolves: F Jordan Bell (right shoulder sprain) is listed as questionable. G Shabazz Napier (right hamstring strain) is listed as doubtful. G Jeff Teague (illness) is listed as out. F Keita Bates-Diop and C Naz Reed are on assignment in the G-League.
Warriors: The return of Russell gives the Warriors two -- two! -- point guards, as Ky Bowman can expect 12-16 minutes off the bench. There will be instances when Bowman plays PG while Russell slides to SG ... It will be interesting to see how the Warriors defend Towns, a 7-footer who may be more comfortable launching triples than planting himself on the block. Expect the Warriors to stick to their three-man rotation, with Omari Spellman and Marquese Chriss following Cauley-Stein ... Expect Robinson to get the bulk of the minutes against the 6-8 Wiggins, who is the tallest shooting guard in the league ... Poole is 21-of-21 from the line. The last Warriors rookie to make that many in a row, at any point of a season, was Klay Thompson in 2011-12.
Timberwolves: With Teague (and possibly Napier) out, Minnesota becomes appreciably bigger in the backcourt. Wiggins (6-8) and Culver (6-7) started Wednesday at Memphis, with mixed results. They combined for 45 points but lost by 21, as the Grizzlies’ duo of Dillon Brooks and Ja Morant combined for 57 ... Towns, who leads the team in 3-point FG percentage (46.7) could be in for a monster game. The natural matchup, in terms of length, pits him against former college (Kentucky) teammate Cauley-Stein. Towns, however, has enough of an offensive repertoire to pose a huge challenge against any of the Warriors’ big men ... The most dangerous scorer off the bench is ex-Blazer Jake Layman, who can shoot the 3 and is averaging 8.9 PPG.
Officials: Tony Brothers, Tre Maddox, John Butler.