Brooklyn Nets: 3 things to watch in a matinee with Minnesota

Brooklyn Nets Allen Crabbe (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets Allen Crabbe (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /
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Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn Nets Allen Crabbe (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets open a 4-game homestand Friday afternoon with a noon Eastern tipoff against the Minnesota Timberwolves, who have lost 2 straight.

The Brooklyn Nets look to improve their lackluster 3-4 record at Barclays Center Friday afternoon when they open a four-game homestand with a matinee matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Nets (8-11) could be shorthanded in the middle for the second time this season against Minnesota, with backup center Ed Davis questionable with a sprained left ankle.

The last time the teams met on Nov. 12, starting center Jarrett Allen was out with an illness.

In that Nov. 12 game, Nets coach Kenny Atkinson opted to start 6-foot-7 Rondae Hollis-Jefferson at center and All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns responded with a huge game, scoring 25 points with 21 rebounds and two blocked shots as the Timberwolves snapped a five-game losing streak with a 120-113 win.

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That win over Brooklyn was the first of three straight for Minnesota after trading All-Star Jimmy Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers earlier that day, but they’ve since lost their last two, with all five games being played in Minneapolis.

Home court has not been a distinct advantage for the Nets since they moved to Brooklyn for the 2012-13 season. Last season, the Nets were just 15-26 at home while going a respectable 13-28 on the road.

The last time the Nets had a winning record at Barclays Center was their second season there, in 2013-14, when they were 28-13. Brooklyn was 26-15 in its inaugural season while posting one of the best road marks in the NBA at 23-18.

The Nets will close out November with four straight home games before playing nine of their 15 games in December at Barclays, so momentum at home will be a big factor in the next five weeks as Brooklyn tries to stay afloat in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

The Nets are currently ninth in the conference, 1½ games behind both the Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics and two back of the Detroit Pistons and Charlotte Hornets, who are in a virtual tie for fifth in the East.

Here are three things to watch as the Nets battle visiting Minnesota Friday afternoon.