Minnesota Timberwolves vs Brooklyn Nets

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Minnesota continues to struggle as the Timberwolves are last in the Northwest division at 11-35 and far down the standings in the Western Conference in 15th place. The Timberwolves were defeated by the Houston Rockets 129-107 on Saturday night for their fourth loss in the last five games. Minnesota has reduced its injury list to Josh Okogie, who is questionable for Monday and D’Angelo Russell, who is out until early April. Minnesota did not make any deals on Thursday at the NBA trade deadline.

Brooklyn defeated the Detroit Pistons 113-111 on Friday and are one game behind first place Philadelphia in the Atlantic division and 7 games ahead of the third-place New York Knicks. The agent for LaMarcus Aldridge has announced that the power forward will join the Nets once his contract buyout is finalized with the San Antonio Spurs. Brooklyn has won three of its last four and nine of the last 11. Kevin Durant remains sidelined for the Nets with a hamstring injury, while Kyrie Irving and Landry Shamet are both listed as questionable for Monday’s game with Minnesota.

Minnesota’s weak link is its defense

The Minnesota Timberwolves are 28th in the NBA in points allowed at 117.3 points per game and the Timberwolves are lacking on the glass as Minnesota is averaging 43.1 rebounds per game which is 23rd in the NBA. Minnesota averages 32.7 rebounds off the defensive boards and 10.4 off the offense of glass per game. The leading rebounder for Minnesota is Karl-Anthony Towns with an average of 10.4 per game. Minnesota’s defense averages 8.7 steals and 5.5 blocked shots per game with Ricky Rubio the leader in steals with an average of 1.4 per game and Naz Reid the leader in blocked shots with an average of 1.1 swats per contest.

Minnesota’s offense generates 109.3 points per game and the Timberwolves are shooting 44.2% overall and 34.7% from long distance. Towns is the leading scorer for Minnesota with an average of 23.8 points per game and Malik Beasley has returned after a lengthy suspension and is the second-leading scorer with an average of 20.3 points per game. Rubio is the dish leader with an average of 6.9 assists per game. As a team, Minnesota is averaging 25.1 assists and 14.1 turnovers per game for a 1.8 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Nets Offense Carrying the Team

The Brooklyn Nets are averaging 119.3 points per game which is second in the NBA. Brooklyn is shooting 49.5% overall and 39.1% from long range. Kyrie Irving is the leading scorer with an average of 28.1 points per game, although Kevin Durant has a higher average at 29.0 points per game but is sidelined. James Harden is averaging 26.0 points per game and is the dish leader for the Nets with a team-high average of 11.4 assists per game. Brooklyn is averaging 26.4 assists and 13.4 turnovers for an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.0.

Brooklyn is averaging 44.1 rebounds per game with an average of 35.1 on the defensive boards and 9.0 per game off the offensive glass. Those numbers should increase once LaMarcus Aldridge is playing for the Nets and the power forward will also help as another rim protector for the Nets defense. The leading rebounder for Brooklyn is Harden with an average of 8.9 boards per contest. The Nets average 6.6 steals and 5.1 blocked shots per game. James Harden is the leader in steals with an average of 1.4 per game, while the leader in blocked shots is DeAndre Jordan with an average of 1.3 swats per contest.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

Brooklyn has the second-best scoring offense in the NBA averaging 119.3 points per game, while Minnesota’s offense generates only 109.2 points per game. The Nets are shooting 49.5% overall and Minnesota shoots only 44.1% overall. The Timberwolves have failed to cover the spread in four of the last five overall and in each of the last seven when playing against a team from the Eastern Conference. Brooklyn has had a great deal of success against Western Conference opponents covering the spread in 12 of the last 14 in that situation. Kyrie Irving is expected to return to action on Monday against Minnesota and he and James Harden will be too much for the Minnesota defense to contain.

Prediction:
Brooklyn Nets -11

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

Brooklyn scores an average of 119.3 points per game and at the same time, the Nets defense is allowing an average of 115.2 points per game which is 26th in the NBA. The total has finished over in six of the last nine games between Brooklyn and Minnesota. The total has also finished over in 10 of Minnesota’s last 15 games overall and in six of the last seven that the Timberwolves have played on the road.

Prediction:
OVER