The reeling Brooklyn Nets have lost six of their past seven games. They’ll try to turn their fortunes around when they take on the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night at the Target Center. Here’s what we’ll be watching for:
SHORT-HANDED: The Nets (3-8) will be without Deron Williams (ankle), Brook Lopez (ankle), Andrei Kirilenko (back) and Jason Terry (bruised knee) when they face the Timberwolves. The Nets have struggled defensively in Kirilenko’s absence, giving up 108.2 points per 100 possessions since the versatile defender last played. The Nets remain patient. It’s just hard for the fans to do the same. So much more was expected from this $190 million team, and so far, it hasn’t happened.
WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett haven’t had the type of impact the Nets thought they would -- even as “glorified role players.” Pierce is 5-for-23 from the field in his past two games, while Garnett’s shooting struggles haven’t ended. He took just two shots Wednesday night in Charlotte; granted they both went in. KG is shooting 34.1 percent on the season.
LOVIN’ IT: Kevin Love is having a remarkable season for the Wolves (7-6). He is averaging 25.4 points, 13.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists. YouTube his outlet passes. You won’t be disappointed. Kevin Martin (23.6 PPG, 47 percent from 3-point range) has proved to be a terrific offseason pickup, while Corey Brewer and Nikola Pekovic are also playing well. Minnesota ranks tied for sixth in defensive efficiency and 11th in offensive efficiency. They're averaging 107 points per game.