After a day off eating turkey and all the other delicacies that thanksgiving provides, the Minnesota Timberwolves are back in action against the Brooklyn Nets, even if it isn’t late enough to fully shake off the full stomachs. The game will kick off at 11:00 am, making it the earliest start of the season.
Just 19 games into the season, this will be the second and final time that the Wolves face the Nets. The first meeting finished in a 120-113 victory in Minnesota’s favor, however the gruesome injury to young Brooklyn star Caris LeVert overshadowed a strong Wolves performance.
Brooklyn have been one of the surprise packets of a topsy-turvy NBA season thus far, and have continued to battle each night even without their franchise cornerstone. They have split their four games since LeVert went down. They might not have the most talent in the world, but they won’t beat themselves, they will scratch and claw to the final whistle.
They will also hoist up a bunch of triples. Brooklyn rank second in 3-pointers made and third in 3-pointers taken, which is a scary prospect for a Minnesota team that has historically struggled to effectively guard the perimeter. They also play at a slower pace than most of the league, another facet of their game that could worry the Wolves. Minnesota’s consecutive defeats against Memphis (30th in pace) and Denver (24th) are a testament to that.
On a good note, every passing day is more acclimatizing time for the Wolves new duo of studs. Robert Covington has fit like a hand in a glove in his four games in the Twin Cities, and Dario Saric is looking more and more comfortable each game. Karl-Anthony Towns has also been looking fresher without Jimmy Butler dragging him down like an anvil strapped to his ankle, he is averaging 20.2 points and 14.6 rebounds 55/50/86 shooting splits over the last five games.
If Minnesota can get back to playing the way they were in the opening few games of Covington and Saric’s Wolves career, they could coast past Brooklyn. However, wavering effort has long been an Achilles heel of this squad. The most important aspect of this game might just be how the Timberwolves come out after the halftime break. In their last two games they have been outscored 63-37 combined in the third quarter, which has dramatically slashed their chances of winning both tilts.
Happiness has rejuvenated the Wolves off the court, now it’s time to turn it into wins. This game is a great opportunity for that.
Expected Starting Lineups
Our friends over at Nets Daily have you covered for Brooklyn’s side of things.