The Nets' next test will be a team that is undermanned and hurting. The Timberwolves are already down Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love and against the Raptors Sunday, J.J. Barea suffered a concussion. Barea will most likely be unavailable to play against the Nets Monday night. Minnesota comes in 1-1, with a loss to Toronto and a win over the Kings.
In the Raptors game, Nets off-season target Andrei Kirilenko had a typical Kirilenko game: 17 points, six rebounds, six assists, three steals and two blocks. Otherwise, there was not much for Minnesota fans to cheer about. Brandon Roy, trying to come back from serious knee injuries, scored only four points and looked slow. Nikola Pekovic had 15 points, but only three boards.
For the Nets, although opening night vs. the Raptors had its bumps and bruises, there were also a number of positives. The 60 points the Nets scored in the first half was the most they've scored in the first 24 minutes of action in any game last year, and no doubt a lot longer. They also had 21 fast break points --19 in the first half, which in a normal year is enough to put a team in the top two or three. That's up from 11.1 last year. More importantly, they had an aggressive Brook Lopez who not only scored 27 points but went to the line 15 times, taking Jonas Valunciunas out of the game early.
"Brook was a beast," Joe Johnson said after Saturday's game. "If he keeps playing like that, I'm sure he will start drawing double- teams . . . It makes us a difficult team to guard. If you are not going to double-team him, like you saw, he'll beat you. Then if you do, then you have guys like myself, Deron (Williams), C.J. (Watson) who are going to knock down shots and make plays."
No word yet on Gerald Wallace's availability. If he isn't --and Josh Childress is still out-- expect to see a lot of Johnson, Williams and Watson along with Lopez and Kris Humphries.
The games is likely to be big news in Moscow. Kirilenko and Alexey Shved are both members of the Russian national team and both played for CSKA Moscow, when Mikhail Prokhorov owned the team and Nets director Sergei Kushchenko was GM.
The game also marks the debut of Ian Eagle and Greg Anthony on YES. The two have worked together before on NBA TV.
- Brooklyn Nets Tickets - TiqIQ
- Brooklyn Nets Game Notes - Brooklyn Nets
- Minnesota Timberwolves Game Notes - Minnesota Timberwolves
- Timberwolves-Nets Preview - Alan Ferguson - STATS
- It wouldn't be Brooklyn without Brook - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Nets begin grind after historic debut - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- With nine new players, Nets still work in progress - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Brook Lopez expects more of himself in rebounding department - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Brook Lopez: The 7-Footer Who's Trying To Learn How to Rebound - Scott Cacciola - Wall Street Journal
- Gameday: Wolves at Brooklyn - Jerry Zgoda - Minneapolis Star-Tribune