UPDATE: KAT and Wiggins have both been ruled out for the Timberwolves.
Karl-Anthony Towns (knee sprain) and Andrew Wiggins (illness) both will not play tonight against Brooklyn.— Dane Moore (@DaneMooreNBA) December 30, 2019
The Brooklyn Nets have lost two games straight and will visit the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday in hopes of snapping their losing streak. The Timberwolves aren’t so hot themselves, as they’ve lost four of their last five contests. Both teams are looking to overcome injuries of vital players to get back on track as they head in to 2020. This matchup is one of six games scheduled for Monday night, and we decided to break down the best lineup strategy for the Nets-Timberwolves Showdown contest set to tip off at 8 p.m. ET.
There’s really only one player on the Nets you should consider making a captain in this showdown contest, and it’s Spencer Dinwiddie ($14,100). The combo guard has been incredibly consistent as Brooklyn’s primary ball handler and scorer. He’s entering Monday averaging 26.3 points, 6.8 assists, and 3.7 rebounds per contest in December and hasn’t dipped below 34 DKFP in over a month. With Kyrie Irving (shoulder) and Caris LeVert (thumb) out of the picture, Dinwiddie has become the Nets’ do-it-all playmaker. There’s no evidence to suggest that he’ll slow down anytime soon, and he should be difficult for Minnesota’s Shabazz Napier, Jeff Teague, and Jarrett Culver to guard.
Karl-Anthony Towns has missed six straight games with a knee injury while Andrew Wiggins missed Monday’s first shootaround because of an illness, which sidelined him for his team’s loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday. If both of the Timberwolves’ best players are ruled out against Brooklyn, you should consider given Robert Covington ($10,200) the captain’s nod. The two-way wing has notched at least 35 DKFP in each of his last two contests and should get a boost in minutes should KAT and Wiggins sit.
The first flex option I think you should consider is Nets big man Jarrett Allen ($7,200). The third-year rim protector is averaging a double-double this year and might be Brooklyn’s third-best option on offense given its current personnel. His ceiling as a rebounder should rise against a Minnesota team that lacks frontcourt length behind Gorgui Dieng ($7,800). Allen has totaled more than 35 DKFP in three of his last five games, and he should continue against the undermanned Timberwolves.
Dieng has been a hot commodity since KAT went down with a knee injury and should continue to get the lion’s share of Minnesota’s center minutes. He has averaged 31.9 DKFP over the the course of his last six games and has notched two double-doubles in that stretch. Frankly, the Timberwolves have few playable bigs, so Deng will likely maintain his current level of production until KAT is healthy enough to return.