Open Thread: Nets-T’Wolves

Posted on: November 5th, 2012 by Devin Kharpertian Comments


Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets

Deron Williams & the Brooklyn Nets take on Minnesota tonight. (AP/Kathy Willens)

The Brooklyn Nets play the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight. Here's what you need to know:

TV: The game is being simulcast on the YES Network and NBATV. Ian Eagle and Greg Anthony are tonight's commentators. Anthony is making his YES debut.

Starters: So much for the standard five. It only took one game. The Nets will start Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Keith Bogans, Kris Humphries, and Brook Lopez, Bogans replacing the injured Gerald Wallace. The Timberwolves are expected to start Luke Ridnour, Brandon Roy, Andrei Kirilenko, Derrick Williams, and Nikola Pekovic.

Key reserves: The fearsome foursome: C.J. Watson, MarShon Brooks, Reggie Evans, and Andray Blatche, anchored by starting shooting guard Joe Johnson playing small forward. The Timberwolves played their every member of their ten-man rotation at least 15 minutes, and will likely continue to lean on their bench with their depleted lineup.

Russian Roulette: Mikhail Prokhorov is in the building tonight, as is Alexey Shved. Prokhorov ran into Kirilenko before the game and said hello. That was that.

Injury Report: The Brooklyn Nets are without both small forwards tonight: starter Gerald Wallace is nursing a left ankle, and Josh Childress is still out with his injured ankle. Keith Bogans will be limited, though he will start. The Timberwolves are without their two best players, starting power forward Kevin Love and starting point guard Ricky Rubio.

Season standings: The Brooklyn Nets are 1-0 after defeating the Toronto Raptors 107-100, and thus on pace to be 82-0. The Minnesota Timberwolves are 1-1, having lost their most recent game to those same Toronto Raptors 105-86.

The Brooklyn Nets will win if... they understand that they're far superior to this depleted Timberwolves team, play to their strengths, avoid Nikola Pekovic or get him in foul trouble, and let Deron Williams and Joe Johnson go to town on Luke Ridnour and Brandon Roy.

The Brooklyn Nets will lose if... 2009 Brandon Roy shows up. If Nikola Pekovic makes an Andray Blatche sandwich between slices of Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries. If Luke Ridnour suddenly is no longer Luke Ridnour. If Derrick Williams can score the way a #2 overall pick should. And if, without Gerald Wallace, Andrei Kirilenko does absolutely everything in the way that only guys like Kirilenko and Wallace can.

In NBA 2K13:Nets win, 119-100. Even without Gerald Wallace, the Nets won all four quarters and took down a depleted Timberwolves roster. The Nets were led by Deron Williams, who finished with 28 points, 11 assists, and seven rebounds. Joe Johnson chipped in a 24-5-5 on 10-14 shooting, Brook Lopez finished with 14 points and 8 boards, and C.J. Watson & Andray Blatche both added 12 off the bench. Chase Budinger led the Wolves with 20 points. The Nets destroyed the Wolves 54-33 on the boards and shot 53% from the field en route to the romp.
2K13 Nets record: 2-0
2K13 prediction record: 1-0

Enjoy the game!


Chat about tonight's Brooklyn Nets-Toronto Raptors game here.

Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets play the Toronto Raptors tonight. Here's what you need to know:

TV: The game is being simulcast on the YES Network and NBATV. Ryan Ruocco and Jim Spanarkel are tonight's commentators.

Starters: The Brooklyn Nets will start what I'm hoping I can call their standard five for a long time: Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, and Brook Lopez. The Raptors are expected to counter with Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Landry Fields, Andrea Bargnani, and Jonas Valanciunas.

Key reserves: The Brooklyn Nets will likely trot out a second unit of C.J. Watson, MarShon Brooks, Mirza Teletovic, and Andray Blatche, anchored by starting shooting guard Joe Johnson playing small forward. The Raptors are expected to play power forward Ed Davis, point guard Jose Calderon, and center Amir Johnson quality minutes.

Doppelgangers: Reggie Evans vs. Quincy Acy.

Injury Report: The Brooklyn Nets are without Josh Childress tonight, and Keith Bogans will be limited. The Raptors are at full strength.

Season standings: This is the Brooklyn Nets' first game of the season, giving them the dubious distinction of being the last team to play their first game both in preseason and in the NBA. The Raptors are 0-1, after falling to the Indiana Pacers 90-88 on Halloween.

In the building: Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is on hand tonight, along with ex-Brooklyn Dodgers stars Ralph Branca and Joe Pignatano. For the first game in Barclays Center history, more are sure to arrive.

The Brooklyn Nets will win if... they pick-and-roll the Raptors weak defense to death with Deron Williams and whoever Deron Williams feels like making into a roll toy, space the floor around their shooters, and post up Joe Johnson & Brook Lopez on bad mismatches. Defensively, they have to stay on their string and limit the Raptors to one opportunity.

The Brooklyn Nets will lose if... they rely too much on isolations, long two-point shots, and allow offensive rebounds. The Raptors scored 11 quick points on 9 putbacks (including 1/2 free throw shooting on a foul) and grabbed 29% of all offensive rebounds available against the Pacers (a high team number). Deron Williams is a solid post-up point guard, but if he relies on that on his starting matchup -- Kyle Lowry, a bull of a point guard -- the Nets may struggle.

In NBA 2K13: Nets win, 112-100. The Nets jumped out to a 34-21 first-quarter lead and never looked back, leading by double digits for most of the game. The Nets never trailed, shot 8-13 from deep, and out rebounded Toronto 54-38 (including 15 offensive rebounds). All five Nets starters scored in double figures, Deron Williams leading the way with 28 and 8 assists on 10-23 shooting. Kris Humphries grabbed 15 rebounds (Lopez 8). Bargnani led the Raptors with 27. Nets 2K13 record: 1-0