Brooklyn Nets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Pre-Game Report 11/8/16

Mar 5, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins (22) shoots the ball as Brooklyn Nets guard Bojan Bogdanovic (44) defends during the second half at Target Center. The Timberwolves won 132-118. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The 2-4 Brooklyn Nets will host the 1-4 Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday in a matchup that will feature several of Minnesota’s young, ascending players.

It is a game that we will surely see a shootout. The 1-4 Minnesota Timberwolves will go to Brooklyn to face the 2-4 Nets in an inter-conference battle in what looks to be a toss up game Tuesday night. Historically, the Nets have a losing record, 22-29, against the Timberwolves, but this game is completely up for grabs.

Want your voice heard? Join the Nothin' But Nets team!

Each team has found the offensive production, but still find themselves with a losing record because of their lack of defense. With the two teams with pretty much everyone on the court, expect triple digits from both sides.

The Timberwolves still aren’t a playoff team and they have a lot to work for before they get there, but the Nets still do have a chance. If they want to have a chance though, they can’t fall too far behind this early in the season. They still aren’t too far behind — only a game behind where they want to be in the standings — but with a team that is only slightly above average at best, they are going to need to step it up early to stay in the race.

Obviously I sound crazy talking about this so early in the season. Basketball just started a couple of weeks ago, but the Nets are a team that needs to stay in it all the way through. If they fall too far behind, they are doomed, so this game is important for them.

Dec 20, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Bojan Bogdanovic (44) dribbles the ball around Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins (22) in the second half at Barclays Center. The Timberwolves won 100-85. Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

This will be one of the easier match ups that the Nets will have this season, but they still have a lot to improve on if they are going to find a win. So, here are the top 3 things that they must focus on to find their way to their third win.

3. Feed the Big Man

There’s a common theme with the Nets: if Brook Lopez does well, then their team does well. In their two wins of the season, Lopez scored 25 points or more and they were his two highest scoring games of the season. With everyone that has come in and out of Brooklyn, Lopez is one of the few that has stayed and they have practically built this team around him. They need to feed him the ball and give him opportunities to make big plays like the star he is.

2. Hold Onto the Ball

Turnovers have been such a downfall for the Nets. Besides their blowout loss to the Chicago Bulls, they have lost every game by 9 points or less, so every turnover matters for this team. They are averaging 16.7 turnovers a game which ranks eighth in the NBA. You’d be surprised on how much these turnovers matter at the end of a close game.

1. Defense, Defense, Defense

The Nets are still allowing too much to opposing teams. Their opponents average 107.3 points per game which is tenth in the NBA. The Timberwolves defense isn’t good either, so they can sneak a win with a poor defensive performance, but eventually they are going to need to show up to games. It seems like everyone is struggling defensively on this team and it has hopefully been something that they’ve tried to focus on as this season has progressed. They’ve improved in their last couple of outings giving up 101 to the Pistons and 99 to the Hornets which is a good sign moving forward.

Players to Watch

Brook Lopez, Nets

Lopez’s performances make or break how this entire team does in games. He needs to take charge of this team and make his presence known on the court. He should be the No. 1 man to look out for this week because his importance to the team is undeniable. If you take Lopez out of the equation, the Nets go from a possible playoff team to maybe the worst team in basketball.

Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves

He is the highest scoring player on this Timberwolves team and he will be looking to continue his outings against the Nets poor defense. Towns averages 22.4 points per game and has also stayed on the court the longest for his team, with 34.4 minutes per game. While Minnesota is off to a slow start, Towns is one of the top young players in the NBA. Towns continues to be a problem for opposing teams and will surely rout Brooklyn’s defense.

Dec 20, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine (8) and center Gorgui Dieng (5) defend Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) in the second half at Barclays Center. The Timberwolves won 100-85. Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

Nets Starting Lineup 

Brook Lopez, Center

Trevor Booker, Power Forward

Bojan Bogdanovic, Small Forward

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Shooting Guard

Greivis Vasquez, Point Guard

Timberwolves Starting Lineup

Karl-Anthony Towns, Center

Gorgui Dieng, Power Forward

Andrew Wiggins, Small Forward

Zach LaVine, Shooting Guard

Tyus Jones, Point Guard

Nets Injuries

Jeremy Lin is nursing a hamstring injury that will keep him out for at least two weeks. However, the Nets will get Randy Foye back, as he is set to return Tuesday night.

Timberwolves Injuries

Ricky Rubio‘s elbow injury kept him from going on the road with his team, so don’t expect to see him in Brooklyn.

#1 Key Match Up Tomorrow Night

The most concerning matchup for the Nets is the Lopez-Towns battle between the big men. They are both clearly the most talented players on their respective teams and whoever wins this duel will surely bring their team to a victory. This a game where Lopez becomes that much more valuable, so expect him to need to step up in a big way. He has struggled defensively this season and Towns will be a challenge to slow down.

The Nets had no luck against the Timberwolves last year, losing both games in their season series by a significant margin. This should be a revenge game for the Nets with the Timberwolves coming to their home court.

The game will be broadcast on YES on TV and WFAN on the radio at 7:30pm EST. Join the conversation by tweeting @NetsBlogFS.

This article originally appeared on