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Nets and Wolves play on Election Day

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NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Minnesota Timberwolves Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Close, but not close enough. The Nets gave the Hornets a good fight on Friday night, but lost 99-95. Although Brooklyn has been competitive in every game but one so far this year, their record is 2-4. This is the first night of a back-to-back for Brooklyn. They open up a five-game road trip tomorrow night in MSG against the Knicks.

Coming into Brooklyn for Election Day will be the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Wolves have a lot of potential, but have gotten off to a slow start. They last played on Saturday when they lost by 20 to the Thunder in Oklahoma City. In the meantime, they went to see “Hamilton” on Broadway, a greater accomplishment than the Andersons getting tickets to the game!

This is the first night of a back-to-back for the Timberwolves. Night two (and the last night of a three game road trip) is in Orlando. Lots of travel, but they’re young.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV, WFAN 101.9 FM on the radio. Tip off after 7:30.

Injuries

Jeremy Lin is out due to a hamstring injury. No word on Greivis Vasquez but it’s unlikely he’ll play. Randy Foye should be back.

Ricky Rubio is out indefinitely due to a sprained right elbow.

The game

In off the court news, the Wolves signed big man Gorgui Dieng to a four year, $64 million contract extension. For the Nets, Chris McCullough is back with the big club after being briefly assigned to the Long Island Nets. Expect to see that a lot this season.

The third quarter could be where this game is decided. In the first half, Minnesota outscores teams by 21 points per 100 possessions, tops in the league. In the second half of games, they're being outscored by 13 points per 100 possessions, fourth worst mark in the league. The Nets have had their own issues in third quarters, and it’ll be interesting to see how the two head coaches manage their rotations at the start of the quarter. You don’t want to let the other team go on a big run that will put the game out of reach.

Due to injuries to the starters, both clubs will be starting rookies at the point guard position. Isaiah Whitehead has had his struggles, but Kenny Atkinson likes what he brings to the table and will give him the time he needs to get acclimated to the starting position. Sean Kilpatrick has served as the backup PG, but he’s better suited as the two guard so look for Foye to serve as the backup. For the Wolves, Kris Dunn will be starting. Dunn was taken fifth overall in the Draft and has tons of potential, especially defensively. His shot isn’t there yet, but the Wolves will give him all the time he needs to develop an outside game.

We’ll be treated to a fantastic matchup between two of the best centers in the league tonight. Karl Anthony Towns won Rookie of the Year last season and has been even better this year. KAT is averaging 22 points, eight rebounds and three assists a game on 53.7 percent shooting from the field and 50 percent shooting from three point range. KAT can do practically everything on a basketball court and is almost impossible to defend. One of the things the Nets will look to improve on is getting Lopez the ball more in his comfort zones.

The other contest

We don’t know what the Nets plans are for updating fans on the election, but in 2008, the team posted election news on the Jumbotron throughout the evening. For those looking to do something after the game, there will be plenty of action in midtown Manhattan 20 minutes away by subway. Hillary Clinton’s having her post-election rally at the Javits Center on the west side while Donald Trump will be at the Hilton on Sixth Avenue. You won’t be able to get too close, but it is history.

Player to watch: Andrew Wiggins

The other former Rookie of the Year is looking to take another step forward after a good, but not great sophomore season. Wiggins is coming of of his first truly bad game of the year as he went 3-13 from the field and only got to the line twice. Wiggins is most effective when he’s getting to the rim and putting pressure on opposing defenses. He’s shooting an impressive 54.5 percent from deep (on two attempts a game, but still) and if he’s able to successfully expand his range, it’ll open things up for the Wolves.

Bojan Bogdanovic will be looking to bounce back after a dreadful shooting performance on Friday. Although he made two three pointers, Bogdanovic only went 4-17 from the field. He’s the Nets’ best perimeter player at the moment andBrooklyn needs him to keep shooting.

From the Vault

Minnesota’s Prince and the New Power Generation on Arsenio? We can do that.

More reading: Canis Hoopus