The Nets hit the jackpot in the offseason when they were able to acquire Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. D’Angelo Russell is now in Golden State. Durant will miss most of this season after injuring his Achilles in the NBA Finals. DeAndre Jordan also opted to join Brooklyn.
In Minnesota, the Timberwolves put all of their eggs in the Karl Anthony-Towns basket. They signed their big man to a max contract and he will be the face of the franchise for quite some time. The other No. 1 overall pick on the roster is Andrew Wiggins.
Timberwolves vs. Nets Preview
The Nets were a playoff team last season. They finished with 42 wins and even picked up a road win over the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round. Durant was drawn to Brooklyn because of their playoff appearance and group of young talent.
“I just liked the organization as far as the direction they were going in — a bunch of young guys that played in the playoffs before,” Durant said of the Nets. “I just think Brooklyn is further along in the process of being a contender.”
The Jimmy Butler experiment was a complete failure in Minnesota. He caused problems from the time he walked in the door until he eventually forced his way out of town. That is one distraction that the Wolves will be without but they will need to improve in many areas this season.
Minnesota finished 11-30 on the road last season. That was the third least road wins in the Western Conference. The Wolves allowed 114 points per game last season which was 23rd in the league. They will need to get that number down if they want to have any success this season.
Timberwolves vs. Nets Pick & Prediction
The Wolves have the names on their roster but they have not been able to put it all together. It does not look like they will be able to this season either as the entire West has improved drastically.
It is a different story for the Nets. They were able to sneak into the playoffs last season and have championship hopes when Durant returns to the team either at the end of this season or next. All signs point to the Nets being victorious on night one. The Wolves are awful away from home and the Nets have Irving running the show.
FanDuel Sportsbook has the Nets as 3.5-point favorites to open the season. This is a spread that does not fully believe in the Nets just yet, and rightfully so. Either way, it is hard ti imagine the Wolves going on the road and winning this game outright but it will be a close matchup.
PICK: Nets -3.5
SCORE PREDICTION: Nets 113, Wolves 107