It is impolite to talk about death, but sometimes a hard truth is better than a soft sugarcoating of reality.
So let's say this: The Timberwolves beat the Warriors at full strength on Sunday, such as that is for a Golden State team that has Stephen Curry and an extremely mediocre supporting cast.
Curry sat out Tuesday's rematch with a minor injury, leaving Golden State no better option but to pick a fight early, get two of their aging core players ejected, and hope that it lit a spark under the rest of their team.
It worked, until it didn't. The Wolves won again and were simply better both nights — once with skill, once with grit, but both undeniably.
The Wolves are ascending, having won seven consecutive games including the first three of a daunting road trip. To what heights we don't know yet, but this does seem to be a team with its best days ahead of it.
The Warriors? The hard truth is that they look washed up. Klay Thompson and Jaden McDaniels getting into a little skirmish early in Game 2 after McDaniels locked Thompson down (5 of 16 shooting) Sunday is one thing, but Draymond Green putting Rudy Gobert in a headlock is quite another, even for someone with a knack for clown behavior like Draymond.
It was the desperate act of a dynasty in decline, as I talked about on Wednesday's Daily Delivery podcast.
The former Wolves brain trust nailed the 2020 draft, which netted both Anthony Edwards No. 1 overall and McDaniels late in the first round. Wolves boss Tim Connelly is enjoying a much smoother Year 2, with trades for Gobert and Mike Conley Jr. paying off big.
The Warriors botched the same draft, taking James Wiseman No. 2. Their two lottery picks in 2021, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, are OK role players but nothing more in Year 3.
Curry has remained brilliant even at age 35, but Green and Thompson have not aged as gracefully and nobody else has given a hint that they want to be part of a new Big Three. Coming into Tuesday's game, only one Warriors player other than Curry had even topped 20 points in a game this season.
It surely hurts because the Warriors were set up for an extended run of dominance had they made better decisions over the last few years.
Instead, here they are: No better than a fringe playoff team, and certainly worse than a Wolves team that has easily surpassed them, left to rage against the dying of their dynasty.
Here are four more things to know today:
*Austin Martin was added to the Twins' 40-man roster on Tuesday. Depending on the always questionable health of Byron Buxton, and factoring in a dramatically slashed Twins payroll, I think you can expect to see a lot of Martin in center field in 2024.
"This guy has always had a knack for hitting," Twins president of baseball operations Derek Falvey said recently. "My personal opinion is I think he's a really good center fielder. It's a natural thing for him. I think we're probably going to focus our efforts a little more on that."
*There will be more Twins talk on Thursday's podcast with Star Tribune beat writer Phil Miller.
*For all of the Joshua Dobbs mania and recent love for Kevin O'Connell, the Vikings' defense has been the better side of the ball for the better part of this year. How they manage without Jordan Hicks will be a big question going forward.
*Kirk Cousins and Danielle Hunter are two of the top five 2024 NFL free agents, per ESPN. If Cousins doesn't stay in Minnesota, Atlanta might be a fit.