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Scouting Report | Wolves at Nets

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

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The Game

The 2019-20 NBA season is finally here.

It’s a new season and a fresh start for everyone. 

Both of these teams are dramatically different than the season prior.

The Nets might have won the offseason, at least on paper, signing Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. While Durant likely won’t play this season, the Nets put themselves back on the map a lot faster than many thought after we thought they traded their future away when acquiring Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. 

Even without Durant, this team has a lot of really good basketball players led by Irving. There is Caris LeVert, who looked like an All-Star before hurting his leg las season. Taurean Prince is a solid two-way player. Joe Harris is a dead-eye shooter. Spencer Dinwiddie is a nice change-of-pace guard off the bench. We could go on.

As for the Wolves, they have the trio of Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Robert Covington, but new guys like Jake Layman and Jordan Bell will help. Then there’s obviously rookie Jarrett Culver, who has impressed during preseason play. We’ll see if he has some first-game jitters.

Overall, this should be a pretty good measuring stick for both teams to start the season. 

What: Wolves at Nets
When: 6:30 p.m. CT
Where: Barclays Center
Watch: Fox Sports North
Listen: 830 WCCO

Connections

The Wolves have two players and a coach who were with the Nets franchise last season. Minnesota traded for Shabazz Napier and Treveon Graham and also hired Pablo Prigioni as an assistant coach. Napier and Graham will be two of the team’s key rotational players, and the Prigioni hire was praised across the NBA.

I wrote a little about this on Monday, but getting these three guys was by design. These are three, hard-working individuals with good attitudes. All three helped change the culture in Brooklyn, and they’ve already started to do that in Minnesota. 

From a local aspect, Henry Ellenson, who is from Rice Lake, Wisconsin (about two hours from Minneapolis), is on the Nets’ roster.

Ellenson was the 18th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. After two-plus seasons with the Pistons and a half with the Knicks, Ellenson hasn’t really found his groove yet in the NBA. But he’s only 22 years old. We’ll see if he finds something in Brooklyn.

Would You Believe Me If I Told You . . . 

Tiago Splitter is an assistant coach (focusing on player development) with the Nets. I did not know that prior to heading to the team’s roster page. Fun times!

Splitter played five seasons with the Spurs from 2010-15, the Hawks in 2015-16 and the 76ers in 2016-17.

Nets coach Kenny Atkinson was an assistant coach on the Hawks when Splitter was there, and Nets GM Sean Marks was in the front office and an assistant coach with Splitter’s time with the Spurs, so this move isn’t totally random. 

Between the two teams, there are seven coaches with NBA experience.

Wolves: Prigioni, Kevin Burleson, David Vanterpool

Nets: Atkinson, Splitter, Jacque Vaughn, Adam Harrington 

Injury Report:

Wolves: No injuries to report. 
Nets: Wilson Chandler (suspension) and Kevin Durant (Achilles) are out.

Projected Starters:

Wolves: PG—Teague, SG – Wiggins, SF – Layman, PF – Covington, C – Towns 
Nets: PG—Irving, SG – LeVert, SF – Harris, PF – Prince, C – Allen 

 

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