It is finally here. Opening day. I am so excited for this game, I can barely control myself today, I just keep looking at my clock, waiting for it to be 8:00.
- This will be your open thread. I am kind of merging open threads and the previews I used to do last year, so don't hesitate to discuss the game in the comments section.
- For those who entered the NetsAreScorching Regular Season Pick 'Em Contest, don't worry, I didn't forget. I got the entries all lined up, and you will be getting the first set of standings on Sunday.
Nets Starting Lineup
- PG - Devin Harris
- SG - Courtney Lee
- SF - Chris Douglas-Roberts
- PF - Yi Jianlian
- C - Brook Lopez
Timberwolves Starting Lineup
- PG - Jonny Flynn
- SG - Corey Brewer
- SF - Damien Wilkins
- PF - Ryan Gomes
- C - Al Jefferson
Jonny Flynn vs. Devin Harris - Before all of you go crazy, let me explain. I know this is a stretch, but I didn't have a mismatch, and I needed something to write here. Jonny Flynn loves getting into the lane, and Devin (who may still be banged up) hasn't been a great defender here since arriving in Jersey. If Flynn gets into the lane, that will lead to open 3 point shots and Brook Lopez picking up fouls.
Chris Douglas-Roberts vs. Damien Wilkins - I already mentioned it in the scout posted earlier, but Damien Wilkins is the T-Wolves version of Jarvis Hayes. A good veteran shooter who can hit the open 3 and play ok defense. When CDR is playing against 3s like Wilkins I am all for him starting there. CDR will be able to take Wilkins to the hole and shoot over him tonight. CDR can take a big step forward tonight with a big performance.
Matchup Of The Night
Brook Lopez vs. Al Jefferson - This is going to be a fun match-up to keep your eyes on tonight. This actually could be an all-star match-up in a few years. Jefferson is terrific offensively, and he uses his athletic ability to get around bigger men and scoop up rebounds. Brook uses his size and polished post game to score, and his size is what allows him to get rebounds. I wouldn't be surprised to see both guys put up a double-double tonight.
Keys To Victory
Keeping Their PGs Out Of The Lane - Minnesota has three quick PGs that will probably end up getting time. None of them are great shooters, but they are all quick guards who just want to attack the basket and get in the lane. If that happens this could lead to 3 point kick outs, fouls for Brook and Yi, and easy baskets for Al Jefferson. What Devin and Rafer need to do tonight is just play off of their PGs, giving them the shot while preventing them from getting into the lane.
Defending The 3 - The T-Wolves don't have a lot of great shooters, but they have guys who can hit open threes. We have showed all preseason that we can't really defend the 3, so don't be surprised if they hit 5-10 on us. Their biggest threat from 3? Last year's Final Four MOP Wayne Ellington.
Get Brook His Touches - For this team to be successful, Brook needs to get a good amount of touches. This game especially, Al Jefferson is a great offensive talent, but he struggles defending bigger centers in the post. If the Nets are able to take advantage of this, this could go a long way in getting a win tonight.
Make Their Starters Work/Get Starters In Foul Trouble - The Timberwolves aren't the deepest team in the NBA, and with the injury to Kevin Love, one of their bench pieces now has to start. If the Nets can get Al Jefferson or Ryan Gomes tired or in foul trouble, it is a big time advantage for them because there is a huge drop-off in talent coming off the bench.
Current Record: 0-0
I like the Nets in this one. I feel like the Nets are better at every position (including Yi), and they are deeper than the Wolves too. Plus, Kevin Love isn't playing. I think the Nets are going to win going away (10 points or more).