The Minnesota Timberwolves head to New York with an upset on their minds against the Brooklyn Nets. They are coming off an ugly loss against the Houston Rockets on Saturday. A night after staging an epic comeback in the fourth quarter for a 107-101 win, the Timberwolves showed no interest in showing up to play the next night.
In the Timberwolves’ win, the Rockets handed the game to them on a big shiny silver platter. They went 0-for-14 to end the game. There was a big lid on the hoop that the Rockets couldn’t find out how to remove. The Timberwolves must have thought it was going to continue on Saturday night, because they just stood around with no energy.
Minnesota regressed to 11-35 on the season with their latest loss. They’re losers in four of their previous five outings. Without that collapse by the Rockets, they’d be going into Brooklyn on a five-game losing skid. And that wasn’t so much because the Timberwolves’ defense was amazing for over 5 minutes, it was more a case of the Rockets being terrible. The Rockets managed only 10 points in the fourth quarter.
The Nets have been stockpiling talent recently, as they continue to go all-in on a championship run. They signed Blake Griffin last week, and added another big man with the addition of former Spur, LaMarcus Aldridge. The Nets don’t need Aldridge to be a hero for this team, but act as more of a depth piece off the bench. That is the perfect role for him at this point in his career.
They’re coming off a hard-fought 113-111 win over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night. That was more difficult than the Nets would have hoped, but they’re getting closer to full strength against the Timberwolves on Monday. Kyrie Irving is available and expected to play for the first time since a 28-point effort against the Washington Wizards on March 21. This was after 43 points against the Orlando Magic. Head below for our free Timberwolves vs. Nets pick on March 29, 2021.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Brooklyn Nets NBA Betting Odds:
Timberwolves vs. Nets Prediction:
With Kyrie Irving expected to be back in the mix tonight, the Timberwolves have something else to worry about in this contest. They were probably hoping that Kyrie would take another game off, but it seems like all systems are a go for him. Irving is averaging 28.1 points and shooting 52% from the field this season. His presence back on the court provides the Nets with two members of the Big 3 for the Nets.
Kevin Durant is still out, but this offense is incredibly dangerous with Irving and James Harden together. Harden is scoring 26 points per game and shooting 46.8% from the field this season. Despite Harden not playing a full season, joining via a trade later on with the Rockets, and Durant injured, the Nets have still scored at an impressive rate.
The Nets have netted an average of 119.3 points per game while shooting 49.5% from the field. 119.3 points per game is second in the league, and 49.5% leads all teams from the field. When everyone is in the lineup together, it’s hard to argue that this isn’t the best offense in the NBA. Even down Durant tonight, expect the Nets to score at will on the Timberwolves in this one.
Minnesota is 28th in the NBA with 117.2 points against per game. Teams are shooting 48.1% from the field against them, with only the Kings worse in that regard. They are also one of the worst at defending the three, as teams are shooting 38.6% from deep against the Timberwolves. The Brooklyn defense had serious issues to open the season, but they’ve steadily improved. There are certainly better defenses out there, but the Nets aren’t going to need a perfect defense to go far in the playoffs.
In their previous five contests, they’ve allowed an average of 113.6 points per game, which is respectable. At home they’ve certainly stepped it up compared to on the road. The Nets have conceded 111.9 points a game on the road. That’s about exactly what the Timberwolves have scored on the road at 111.7 points per game. If the Timberwolves match that and score 112 points, it’s unlikely to be enough to cover. A final score of 129-114 looks about right in favor of the Nets.