- Who: Brooklyn Nets (37-29) at Minnesota Timberwolves (34-33)
- When: 7:00 PM CT
- TV: Bally Sports North (Michael Grady, Jim Petersen, Katie Storm)
- Radio: 830 AM WCCO
- Line: Wolves -4.5 | Total: 226.5 (courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook)
startin' the weekend off right.— Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) March 10, 2023
Wolves vs. Nets
7pm CT, @TargetCenterMN
Preview » https://t.co/wXD7NA0n5K pic.twitter.com/8ZIi5oL3Oc
- Garza - Two-Way Contract
- Nowell - Left Knee Tendinopathy
- Ryan - Two-Way Contract
- Towns - Right Calf Strain
- Ben Simmons - Knee/Back
Minnesota @Timberwolves Status Report in advance of tomorrow’s game vs. Brooklyn:— Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) March 9, 2023
Garza - Two-Way Contract
Nowell - Left Knee Tendinopathy
Ryan - Two-Way Contract
Towns - Right Calf Strain
What to Watch For
The Timberwolves are 3-3 since the All-Star break, flashing new-found chemistry in the backcourt, some pick-and-roll success with Mike Conley and Rudy Gobert, and a rise from Nickeil Walker-Alexander. However, issues of inconsistency and — most recently on Tuesday — sputtering offense have each reared their head once again, a good encapsulation of the 2022-23 season thus far.
The Nets will play their third game in four days, and will suit up Friday night after losing to the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night in Milwaukee. Cameron Johnson, Spencer Dinwiddie and Nic Claxton will all make their return to the court after missing Thursday night’s contest.
Continued Mike Conley/Rudy Gobert Chemistry
Although still an offensive work in progress, Rudy Gobert has looked good offensively after the break. He’s averaging 14.8 points, including a 22-point effort against the Clippers.
With some additional time to get situated, Mike Conley also seems to be getting more comfortable with his new team. He scored 24 points in a win against the Kings, a season high scoring total. He followed it up with a 6-point game, shooting 1-for-6 from the field in Minnesota’s last outing against the Philadelphia 76ers, a game in which nearly everyone but Anthony Edwards struggled.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker’s Continued Rise
Since joining the Wolves, NAW is shooting 48% from deep on 3.5 attempts per game. It’s a tremendous addition of shooting to the rotation, especially considering he’s stepped in as a perimeter defender as well. His energy gives the team Austin Rivers-esque defense, while also providing spacing, a gift for Chris Finch.
In a game that features Spencer Dinwiddie, Mikal Bridges and Cam Thomas, NAW will surely be tasked with maintaining the Nets’ perimeter threats.
Mikal Bridges’ Ascent to Stardom
The former Villanova Wildcat is averaging 25 points per contest while wearing a Nets uniform, shooting a blistering 49% from 3-point range on five attempts per game.
Known as an elite role player during his time in Phoenix, Bridges has stepped into a scoring role in Brooklyn, posting five games of 30 points or more in the team’s last nine games.
He’ll likely be guarded by Jaden McDaniels, who mirrors Bridges as a long, agile two-way player. It will certainly be a matchup to watch all night, as McDaniels continues to create an All-Defense Team bid.
Gauntlet of Wing Defenders vs. Anthony Edwards
Friday night surely won’t be an easy outing for Edwards, with Bridges, Royce O’Neale, Johnson and Dorian Finney-Smith staring him down from the other side of the court.
The Wolves will need a scoring punch — a tall order — from the rest of the team, including Naz Reid.
Minnesota ranks No. 22 in the league in offensive rating, and will depend on their role players to complement Edwards’ output until Karl Anthony-Towns returns to the lineup (whenever that may be).