Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Brooklyn Nets Pick & Prediction FEBRUARY 24th 2024

The Minnesota Timberwolves will try to bounce back on short rest when they host the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night in Minneapolis.

Minnesota is coming off a 112-107 home loss against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night. Anthony Edwards led the Timberwolves with 28 points and big men Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert each registered double-doubles, but Milwaukee outscored Minnesota 36-13 in the third quarter to storm to the win.

The result snapped the Timberwolves’ four-game winning streak. Now Minnesota will look to avoid its first back-to-back setbacks since dropping home games against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Jan. 20 and the Charlotte Hornets two days later.

Minnesota will face a Brooklyn squad that is looking for its first win under interim coach Kevin Ollie. The Nets lost Ollie’s debut 121-93 against the host Toronto Raptors on Thursday night.

Ollie made his presence known as the replacement for Jacque Vaughn, who was fired after compiling a 64-65 record over the past 1 1/2 seasons.

One of Ollie’s first moves was to take Cameron Johnson out of the starting lineup. The Nets used a starting five of Cam Thomas, Mikal Bridges, Dorian Finney-Smith, Nic Claxton and Ben Simmons.

Ollie also spoke openly about how he wants Simmons to drive toward the net more. Simmons did not exactly achieve that mission at Toronto, scoring only two points on 1-for-2 shooting.

Against the Timberwolves, Ollie again will encourage Simmons to do more on offense.

“(I’m) looking at the rotations, seeing who fits with him, being around him this whole season (and) understanding what he needs to do, how he needs to space,” Ollie said. “And then it’s also on Ben, taking it to the rim, looking at his gaps and being very aggressive. We’ve told him that, and I think he’s going to do that (going forward) and perform well in the stints that he’s able to play at the point.”

The Saturday game will be the second contest for Timberwolves guard Mike Conley since he inked a two-year contract extension worth about $11 million per year. Conley has provided a veteran presence in the locker room while handling most of the duties at point guard this season.

“This organization is headed in the right direction,” Conley said. “It’s got good people leading the way, people with great intentions, and (they) are trying to build a team that can compete for years to come. Give fans something to be excited about. So, organizations like this, you don’t want to pass up on.”

The teams will be meeting for the second and final time of the regular season.

Minnesota won 96-94 at Brooklyn on Jan. 25. Towns finished with 27 points and 10 rebounds, and Edwards had 24 points despite 8-for-23 shooting. Thomas scored 25 points to lead the Nets. Bridges had 21 points, and Claxton registered 16 points and 11 rebounds.

The Nets could have tied the game with two seconds left, but Bridges missed the first of two foul shots, and Brooklyn was whistled for a lane violation on the second.

Minnesota is 19-6 at home this season. Brooklyn is 8-17 on the road.

–Field Level Media

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