Friday, April 12, 2024
Fantasy Guru - Baseball

NBA Preview: Brooklyn Nets (21-34) at Minnesota Timberwolves (39-17)

The Minnesota Timberwolves will try to bounce back on short rest when they host the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night in Minneapolis.

Minnesota is coming off a 112-107 home loss against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night. Anthony Edwards led the Timberwolves with 28 points and big men Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert each registered double-doubles, but Milwaukee outscored Minnesota 36-13 in the third quarter to storm to the win.

The result snapped the Timberwolves’ four-game winning streak. Now Minnesota will look to avoid its first back-to-back setbacks since dropping home games against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Jan. 20 and the Charlotte Hornets two days later.

Minnesota will face a Brooklyn squad that is looking for its first win under interim coach Kevin Ollie. The Nets lost Ollie’s debut 121-93 against the host Toronto Raptors on Thursday night.

Ollie made his presence known as the replacement for Jacque Vaughn, who was fired after compiling a 64-65 record over the past 1 1/2 seasons.

One of Ollie’s first moves was to take Cameron Johnson out of the starting lineup. The Nets used a starting five of Cam Thomas, Mikal Bridges, Dorian Finney-Smith, Nic Claxton and Ben Simmons.

Ollie also spoke openly about how he wants Simmons to drive toward the net more. Simmons did not exactly achieve that mission at Toronto, scoring only two points on 1-for-2 shooting.

Against the Timberwolves, Ollie again will encourage Simmons to do more on offense.

The Saturday game will be the second contest for Timberwolves guard Mike Conley since he inked a two-year contract extension worth about $11 million per year. Conley has provided a veteran presence in the locker room while handling most of the duties at point guard this season.

The teams will be meeting for the second and final time of the regular season.

Minnesota won 96-94 at Brooklyn on Jan. 25. Towns finished with 27 points and 10 rebounds, and Edwards had 24 points despite 8-for-23 shooting. Thomas scored 25 points to lead the Nets. Bridges had 21 points, and Claxton registered 16 points and 11 rebounds.

The Nets could have tied the game with two seconds left, but Bridges missed the first of two foul shots, and Brooklyn was whistled for a lane violation on the second.

Minnesota is 19-6 at home this season. Brooklyn is 8-17 on the road.

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