Brookyln Bound: Wolves at Nets Preview
Yes, Deron Williams isn’t the player he was in Utah, but he still gets you 18 and 8 on most nights. No point guard sees a matchup against Brooklyn as a night off. He’s still a beast.
Yes, Brook Lopez has a lengthy injury history to his record, but a healthy Brook is still a dangerous Brook.
Yes, Joe Johnson doesn’t deserve to have the third biggest paycheck in the NBA, but he’s still giving the Nets very good (All-Star caliber?) production in the latter stages of his career.
Speaking of latter stages, yes, Kevin Garnett is nowhere near the dominant two-way player the he once was, but he’s still a useful starter in spot minutes. Plus, this just happened a couple days ago.
Lastly, it’s true the Nets aren’t the title contenders some hoped they’d be when they acquired Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce a year ago. Still, you’ll see them competing in the playoffs this spring.
The Nets are the ultimate “yeah, but still” team in the NBA, and they’re who the Timberwolves face off against tonight to start their November road trip.
So far this year, the Nets are 2-1, including recent a 31-point victory over the injury-riddled Oklahoma City Thunder. The game itself, while nice on paper, was especially nice for Nets fans, as it featured the season debut of Brook Lopez, who had been out with a right foot injury.
Keeping the roster redo in mind, the Wolves did split with Brooklyn is a pair of fairly ridiculous blowouts a year ago. On both occasions, Joe Johnson, Brooklyn’s lone All Star a year ago, shot the ball well. He’s kept that up this season, averaging over 22 points per game in the team’s first three games.
If the Wolves have one advantage, it’s their youth. They have fresher, younger, and more athletic options than Brooklyn. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Flip Saunders test the legs of KG and Brook by having Rubio push the fast break as often as possible. With a few days rest, the players will probably be happy to oblige. Still, with Kevin Garnett literally calling the shots defensively, nothing will come easy.
The Nets at full-strength aren’t quite what Nets fans had hoped for a year ago, but are still a dangerous team that will probably compete for the 4th spot in the Eastern Conference this year.