The Brooklyn Nets are on the road again on Sunday night, as they travel to Washington DC for a meeting against the Washington Wizards. This is their third and final game on the road before heading home to host the LA Clippers on Tuesday at the Barclays Center. That’s going to be a marquee game that can’t be missed.
It’s the most highly anticipated game of the week, as the Nets get a pretty big measuring stick Tuesday. The Nets must keep their composure, and not get too ahead of themselves, though. If they don’t look out, this could be a classic trap for the Nets on Sunday.
The Nets are taking on a Wizards team that hasn’t shown much this season. All Bradley Beal can do is watch as he gets no help. He doesn’t even have John Wall any longer, who is now a Houston Rocket in Texas. No, Beal is not hiding his frustrations. It’s written all over his face, and it’s pretty clear with some of the answers he’s given to the media.
However, instead of quitting on his team, Beal has been going out and giving max effort. James Harden completely gave up until the Rockets gave him his way. In Beal’s case, the Wizards are likely fine with dealing him, but only for something fair in return.
Kevin Durant and Harden returned to their old stomping grounds on Friday and they blew out the Thunder, 147-125. Durant didn’t suit up, though, as Steve Nash gave him the night off for rest. It didn’t matter, as Harden and Kyrie Irving carried the load with 25 points each. The difference for the Nets in getting to 147 points was the performance of Joe Harris.
Harris scored 20 points in an impressive showing. If Harris can become more of a regular contributor on a consistent basis, then the Nets are really going to have something brewing between him and the Big 3. It may not be the most popular opinion, and I can’t see them doing it, but shopping Irving for a star defender would likely not hurt this team any.
They need defense and aren’t going to win the NBA Finals in their current defensive form, but we’ll see if Steve Nash can draw something better up and adjusts as the season progresses. Head below for our free Nets vs. Wizards pick on January 31, 2021.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Washington Wizards NBA Betting Odds:
Nets vs. Wizards Prediction:
The Nets found their stroke against the Thunder. Even without Kevin Durant in the lineup, they showed what the Nets can do if everything is clicking. No team in the NBA wants to see the Nets get hot. They face what many people will perceive as a lay-up against the 3-12 Wizards on Sunday night. Not so fast. As a team, you never want to have that mindset, but I will admit that this Wizards team hasn’t been sharp at all.
They are on a four-game losing streak, with their most recent win on January 11 against the Phoenix Suns. That was a rare blowout in favor of the Wizards, as they pounded the Suns by a score of 128-107. It’s the only game in their last five that the Wizards have scored more than 110 points. That might be required versus the Nets on Sunday night if they plan to stick around. The offense isn’t what I’m concerned about with the Wizards, though. They are sixth in the NBA with 114.7 points scored per game.
While that sounds great, the Wizards are doing it because they’re choosing to play no defense. If they stressed defense some more, maybe their offensive numbers come down. At the end of the day, they’d be a better team, though. Too bad there isn’t much defensive talent on this roster. Washington is getting pummeled for 120.1 points per game. They are 30th, dead last, in the NBA defensively. And no, home court hasn’t helped them out, as they’ve conceded 121.3 points per game in DC.
Note that Harden is questionable to play on Sunday. There would be no reason to play him against the Wizards if his quad is bothering him even a little. The Nets lead the NBA with 121 points per game and 49.5% from the field. They are also connecting at a 39.5% clip from deep. Even their free throw shooting ranks among the best in the league at 82%. Harden may not play, but I think we’re getting some value on the spread because of that. Expect the Nets to take over in the second-half for a 128-115 win or thereabout on Sunday night.