Golden State Warriors vs Brooklyn Nets NBA Pick – December 22

The NBA season is back as the shortened season starts on December 22. Two games will be up on the board throughout Tuesday. One of these games will be between the Golden State Warriors and the Brooklyn Nets. These two teams will look to open up the new season hot with a big win on Tuesday night. This game will tip off at around 7:00 PM Eastern time on TNT.

Golden State finished out last season with a record of 15-50, which had them sitting in last place of the Western Conference. The Warriors dealt with a lot of injuries throughout last season, which did not have them qualify for the postseason. Golden State will look to start out this season stronger as they are healthier and looking to return to dominant form.

The Nets earned a record of 35-37 throughout last season, which put them in seventh place of the Eastern Conference. Brooklyn was able to secure a playoff spot throughout the playoff qualifiers in August. The Nets faced off against the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs and were eliminated in a four game sweep. Now Brooklyn is healthy with a new coach and will look to take the leap in the East.

These two teams struggled with injury issues throughout last season, but the Nets were able to still make the postseason. Brooklyn was still eliminated in four games to the Raptors, but are now looking to rise to Eastern Conference dominance. With Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving back, I expect the Nets to look to come out strong against a Warriors team still without Klay Thompson.

Previous Matchups

The Warriors and the Nets only met up once throughout last season. The game was in Brooklyn on February 5. D’Angelo Russell dropped 17 points, while Jordan Poole scored 16 points off the bench. Golden State could still not earn the win. Caris LeVert dropped 23 points, while Brooklyn’s bench combined for 65 points. The Nets were able to dominate for a 129-88 win on the night.

Brooklyn last played a game in August in the postseason. The Nets lost all four games to the Raptors in the postseason, but got to get on the court. The Warriors have not played since March 10. Both teams had some preseason games, but it is not quite up to the standards of the regular season. Golden State will need to come out strong in this one if they want to shake off the rust.

None of these teams stars played in last season’s matchup, but now both teams will look to put up a better performance. Golden State made a lot of moves in the offseason to give Steph Curry some help. The Nets were able to keep their strong depth to go along with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. I expect both teams to try and control the pace on the court early in this matchup.

Top Performers

Stephen Curry only started in five games last season, but was able to average 21 points and 6.5 assists per game. Andrew Wiggins stepped up after coming to the Warriors last season. Wiggins averaged 19.5 points per game. Kelly Oubre Jr. is coming over this season after averaging 18.5 points per game with the Phoenix Suns last season. Golden State also has the long anticipation of James Wiseman who they drafted second overall.

Kyrie Irving only started 20 games last season and averaged 27.5 points and 6.5 assists per game. Spencer Dinwiddie is averaging 20.5 points per game. Caris LeVert averaged 18.5 points per game last season. Joe Harris, Taurean Prince, Jarrett Allen and Garrett Temple all averaged over 10 points per game throughout last season. Now with the return of Kevin Durant, it could boost the Nets over the top.

These two teams had solid depth throughout last season, but were missing the top performances of their stars. Now with the new season upon us, the stars on both teams will look to help give their teams the edge. The Warriors are still without Klay Thompson who suffered another leg injury this season, which will hurt them this season.

Field Goal Shooting Last Season

Golden State suffered heavily without the splash brothers last season. The Warriors made around 43.8 percent of their shots throughout last season, which was 29th in the NBA. Golden State made 33.4 percent of their shots from deep and 49.5 percent of their shots from inside the arc, which were both also 29th in the league last season.

The Nets also did not have the best shooting percentages last season with their stars out. Brooklyn shot around 44.8 percent from the field, which was 24th in the league. The Nets made 34.3 percent of their shots from behind the arc, which was 26th. Brooklyn shot 52.4 percent from in close, which was 15th in the NBA.

Neither team was great at shooting last season, but the Nets had a stifling defense. Brooklyn held opposing teams to 44.6 percent from the field, which was 5th best in the league. The Nets also had the 9th best three point defense and 5th best defense inside the arc. Golden State’s defense was not great and will need to improve quite a bit if they want to make a postseason push this season.

Pick Overview

These two teams will have a fresh start as the NBA season kicks back off on December 22. The Warriors are still dealing with injuries, while Kevin Durant will make his return to Golden State. I think that Brooklyn is in position to make a great leap this season with their strong bench and stars back and healthy. If the Nets can get the offense going early, I think they can start this season out with a big win.

BetOnline has Brooklyn listed as a -7 against the spread in this one. This gives a solid edge to the Nets at home. I agree with this line as Brooklyn has gotten dangerous with their healthy returning. The Nets will look to start this season strong as Durant tries to knock off his former team. I like Brooklyn in this one as I believe their depth will be able to push them over the edge as the game goes along.

Brooklyn Nets -7
Andruw Burling / Author

Andruw Burling has been writing sports picks since 2017, covering mainly NHL and NBA content, but doing work in other sports as well. Andruw grew up in Las Vegas and has been around sports since a young age. He grew up a huge NHL and NBA fan and continues to use that knowledge in his content today.