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Game Preview #55: Nets at Wolves

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Basketball continues amid chaos in Minnesota.

Sacramento Kings v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images

Before I start any basketball-related talk, I strongly encourage you to read Josh Clement’s emotional piece from earlier this morning, if you haven’t done so already. As a contributor here at Canis Hoopus, I find it difficult to spend time writing about a game as opposed to the very real issues of racial injustices that continue to plague our country. I can also respect those who choose to set their boundaries accordingly and engage in basketball discourse here, or even yearn for NBA games as some sort of escape from the tragedies that continue to unfold day after day.

With that said, please continue to learn, educate, mourn, vent, reflect, and most importantly help those who may be less privileged than yourself. Check on your Black and African American family members, friends, co-workers, and community members. #BlackLivesMatter


Game Info

Who: Brooklyn Nets (36-17) at Minnesota Timberwolves (14-40)
When: 3:00 pm CST
TV: Bally Sports North PLUS
Radio: 830 WCCO AM Radio


Game Preview

With the Wolves having nothing to play for and the Kings (according to Vivek) having everything to play for, that means both teams will likely do the opposite of what they should do, as they have all season. The Timberwolves are now toeing the perfect balance between winning just a few games to keep the fan base engaged for the remaining quarter of the season, but still losing enough to preserve their bottom 3 record. The Wolves will try to take advantage of this back-to-back in Sacramento to build their first winning streak since opening the season 2-0. They are fresh off an ass whooping in Los Angeles where they were down 38 points at one point. The Clippers had their way with the Wolves to the tune of 21 three pointers on .500 3P%, as Minnesota fans and brass continued to pout “Why does every team seem to hit a buncha 3s against us? It really feels like just bad luck and variance where the other team is just on...” to no avail. The Wolves give up a league-worst .395 3P% among many other league-worst defensive ratings.

Oh wait, what’s this? I’m being told the Sacramento Kings are also not good at defense. With a league-worst 118.3 DRtg, and by a good margin, I don’t think much defense is going to be played tonight (again). The immovable object meets the unstoppable force, as they say. In their previous meeting, Wolves fans were treated to the unexpected return of D’Lo, but an even more unexpected efficient shooting night (by his standards) pouring in a team-high 25 points on just 19 shots in 24 minutes of play. In an ugly game where the Kings led most of the way thanks to De’Aaron Fox and Harrison Barnes getting whatever they wanted (Combined 52 points on just 30 FGA), Sacramento went full KANGZ (Am I doing that right?) in the 4th quarter, getting outscored 34-24. Terence Davis and Delon Wright EACH ended up taking more shots in the 4th quarter than Fox and Barnes did... combined. Sneaky tank job, or just bad coaching? That’s the very same question that Wolves fans asked on a nightly basis until our failson was finally dismissed. Have ya’ll not gotten there yet?


Injury Report


Predictions

  • I fully expect the Kings to improve from their 9 for 36 three point shooting performance from their previous matchup. Buddy Hield, who somehow didn’t hit a trey in the double-digit win against the Marvin Bagley-less Mavericks, should get loose for about 10 3PM. Yep, freshly inspired by his 1.0 version, Steph Curry 2.0 will post 33 points tonight.
  • Starting center Hassan Whiteside will casually stroll to 20 points and 13 rebounds while looking completely disinterested the entire time. Except for the one time he’s going to dunk on Juancho Hernangomez and flex on him like he just climbed Mt. Gobert. 10 of his rebounds will come flat-footed.
  • Future Sacramento Kings coach, David Vanterpool, will focus all of his energy on limiting De’Aaron Fox tonight. The paint shall be packed and he’ll see tons of bodies all night, finishing to a hard-earned 12 points. After the game, Kings and Wolves Twitter will go wild over a long conversation that DV, Fox, and KAT will have on the court after the final buzzer sounds. Is Fox joining his Kentucky Wildcat brethren in Minnesota? Or is DV and KAT heading westward???
  • Hield, Harrison, and Hassan, which I will creatively dub “Triple H,” will be the only thing going for the Kings tonight. Ricky Rubio, the true king of the 2009 draft (Nope, I haven’t let that go yet), will drop a 30-point triple double tonight. You heard it here first.
  • Anthony Edwards outduels Tyrese Haliburton... again? Will’s original bet that Ant will outpace Tyrese in PER gets a little bit more interesting tonight.
  • KAT will put up a beautiful 20-8-8-5-6 stat line. A 5x5 if you will. KAT’s running up teams... 5 times 5 is 25... F*CK THIS PLACE! (Sorry, I had to)