The Nets will begin a new era when they host the Timberwolves in their first NBA game of the season.
Brooklyn have made some big jumps in recent years under coach Kenny Atkinson, but the biggest of them all came this summer. The Nets recruited free agents Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in July. There are some asterisks attached to the change, but the move is a positive one without a doubt for the franchise. Durant is currently recovering from an Achilles tear he suffered in Game 5 of the Finals. His Warriors team lost 4-2 in the series to the Raptors.
It could take as long as the whole season for him to recover, which is a gamble the Nets have taken. Whether or not he will be the same player after that is a whole new question. Till Durant returns, the onus will be on Irving to carry the team. The point guard was a part of the Cleveland squad which lifted the NBA title in 2016. He moved to Boston after that, where success eluded him. His talent is not in question, but Irving needs to adapt better than he did with the Celtics.
After three poor seasons, the Nets reached the playoffs last season. Philadelphia beat them 4-1, but it was an important step in the process so far. DeAndre Jordan will also slot into the starting lineup to provide defensive cover. The existing players like Joe Harris, Caris LaVert, and Spencer Dinwiddie should continue to improve as well.
In contrast to the Nets, Minnesota’s last season did not go according to plan. It started with Jimmy Butler’s revolt of sorts, and he was traded to Philadelphia. Coach Tom Thibodeau was fired later, and Ryan Saunders will take that spot this season. He was an interim coach last year before the job was handed to him permanently. Getting a playoff spot should be the main goal for Minnesota this season.
Since 2005, the Timberwolves have made the playoffs just once. That was in 2018 when they lost to the Rockets in the first round. Many expected the Timberwolves to improve last season, but that never materialised. Karl-Anthony Towns had another strong season as he averaged 24.4 points and 12.4 rebounds per game. Andrew Wiggins averaged 18.1 points, but he did not show up when he mattered. Wiggins’ needs to realise his potential if the Timberwolves want to realise theirs.
Minnesota lost Dario Saric, Derrick Rose, and Taj Gibson in the offseason. In their place, they recruited Jake Layman, Shabazz Napier, and Jordan Bell. Jarrett Culver of Texas Tech was drafted at No. 6 in a deal which sent Saric to Phoenix.
Brooklyn Nets vs Minnesota Timberwolves Betting Tips
Brooklyn should get the opening win at the expense of Minnesota. Despite the absence of Durant and the early days of Irving, the Nets have enough to beat the Timberwolves. The total points should be less than 226.5, and the Nets should get the win by a margin of more than 10 points.