Scouting Report: Wolves (7-6) vs. Nets (3-8) | Nov. 22, 2013
Scouting Report: Wolves (7-6) vs. Nets (3-8) | Nov. 22, 2013
Timberwolves vs. Nets | 7:00 PM — Target Center
Where to Watch: Fox Sports North
Where to Listen: 830 WCCO-AM
The Brooklyn Nets made it clear they were all in during the offseason.
The Nets are currently 3-8, which puts them in last place in the Atlantic Division out East.
That is not good for Jason Kidd and crew. Is Kidd the point guard of this team, you ask?
Nope. Almost immediately after retiring from the New York Knicks last season, Kidd was named head coach of the Nets. That wasn’t the only big move the Nets made, though. They also traded future assets in order to get veterans Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry. Former Wolves forward Andrei Kirilenko also signed there in the offseason.
To be fair, injuries have played a factor with Brooklyn’s struggles.
Like Washington earlier this week, the Wolves will be dealing with another team desperate for a win. Those teams are very dangerous, as was found out the hard way. But it looks like Minnesota is desperate for a win as well after dropping two straight games and falling to ninth place in the Western Conference this week.
Friday night would be a good night to get back on track.
Nov. 22, 2013
The two teams last matched up on Jan. 23 last season at the Target Center. Brooklyn came away with a 91-83 win thanks to 22 points from center Brook Lopez. Both Joe Johnson and Deron Williams pitched in 18 points, while C.J. Watson (now with Pacers) led the bench with 14 points. Coincidentally, Kirilenko led the Wolves with 15 points while shooting 6-of-10 from the field. Luke Ridnour (now with Bucks) added 13 points. Dante Cunningham, Chris Johnson (no longer in NBA) and J.J. Barea combined for 37 points off the bench. The Wolves were without Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Love.
Minnesota got to the free-throw line just six times, which canceled out them shooting 45.8 percent from the field. The Nets were 11-of-16 from the free-throw line.
Minnesota won the first game in the two-game season series on Nov. 5, 107-96, in that memorable 22-point second-half comeback at the Barclays Center.
This Week’s Results
The Wolves are coming off of a 102-98 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday at the Target Center. Kevin Martin did his best late, scoring 15 points in the final quarter, but his 28 overall points and 10 rebounds weren’t enough to boost Minnesota.
Pekovic finished with 20 points, while Corey Brewer added 17. Despite shooting just 2-of-14, Love nearly had a triple-double, finishing with 10 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. Six of those assists came in the finals quarter.
The Wolves shot just 5-of-22 from the 3-point line while LA was 12-of-24.
Previous to that, the Wolves split two games against the Boston Celtics and the Washington Wizards. The Wolves beat Boston on Saturday, 106-88. On Tuesday, though, the Wolves fell 104-100 on the road to the Wizards.
The Nets are coming off a loss as well, falling on the road to the Charlotte Bobcats 95-91 on Wednesday. The big news was guard Deron Williams and an ankle injury that took him out of the game after playing just 13 minutes and 20 seconds.
Backup center Andray Blatche led the Nets with 25 points and seven rebounds. Joe Johnson scored 19 points, while Alan Anderson scored 16 off the bench. Pierce added 12, but was just 3-of-11 from the field. The Nets were outrebounded 41-36.
It was the team’s third consecutive loss.
On Saturday, they fell 110-103 on the road to the Nets before losing 108-98 at home against the hot Portland Trail Blazers.
What To Watch: Kevin Love vs. Kevin Garnett
Kevin Garnett, of course, was Minnesota’s first real face of the franchise. We could list off his accomplishments and records with the club, but we’d be here for a few hours. I’m sure you have things to do on this Friday morning.
While it’s been almost seven years since the Wolves traded Garnett to the Celtics, Minnesota fans still remember his 2004 MVP trophy. Or his string of All-Star game appearances ranging from 1997 to 2007. Or maybe his days with Stephon Marbury.
Regardless of what they remember, those days are over.
Forgive me, because you’ve heard this more than a few times in the last few years I’m sure... There’s a new Kevin in town.
While both players are power forwards and are fantastic rebounders, that’s about where the similarities end. Love can stretch the floor and is having a career year, averaging 25.4 points, 13.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. If he’s not at the prime of his career, it’s scary to think what he’ll be like when he is.
Garnett, at 37 years old, is understandably on the backend of his career – and it shows. The future Hall of Famer has logged more than 48,000 minutes. This season his production has noticeably taken a hit. Garnett is averaging 6.6 points and 7.8 rebounds per game while shooting a career-low 34.1 percent from the field. He’s also playing just 22.7 minutes per game, which is a career low as well.
But against his former club, something tells us there will be some extra motivation.
Garnett played in just one game against the Wolves last season as a member of the Boston Celtics. He scored 18 points, while hauling in 10 rebounds and dishing out four assists.
Love didn’t play against the Nets at all last season, but did play against Garnett in the Wolves' first game against the Celtics in December. Love scored 19 points while collecting 13 rebounds. Neither played in Boston's April 1 loss at Target Center last season.
The Wolves will have Chase Budinger (knee) in the building, but he will not be suiting up. Budinger said that right now, he’s taking things “week-to-week” regarding his progress from knee surgery. Center Ronny Turiaf (elbow) is out indefinitely. Rookie wing Shabazz Muhammad is expected to be available after spraining his ankle in Los Angeles on Nov. 10.
The Nets could be without Andrei Kirilenko (back), Deron Williams (ankle) and Brook Lopez (ankle). All three are listed as questionable for Friday night’s game.
|PG||Ricky Rubio||*Deron Williams|
|SG||Kevin Martin||Joe Johnson|
|SF||Corey Brewer||Paul Pierce|
|PF||Kevin Love||Kevin Garnett|
|C||Nikola Pekovic||*Brook Lopez|
*-Denotes player listed as questionable