Nets vs. Wizards NBA Preview

Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets. Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets. Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

Brooklyn Nets vs. Washington Wizards

Sunday, January 31, 2021 – 07:00 PM EST at Capital One Arena

The Nets are starting to come together after James Harden forced his way onto the Nets with a blockbuster trade. The Nets have now won four straight games but will likely have to go for their fifth straight win without James Harden, who is injured with a left thigh contusion.

We just want to see the big three in action consistently! Is that so hard to ask?

Meanwhile, Washington comes into this game as road underdogs after starting the season 3-12. They’ve lost four straight games with Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook getting minimal contribution from the rest of their team.

Washington is allowing 120.1 points and are 25th in points per possession on defense. They’re allowing 55.6 percent effective field goal percentage and have a hard time keeping teams off the line on defense.

The Wizards have limited second opportunities and should do a solid job against the Nets in the rebounding department but with the Nets shooting the highest effective field goal percentage in the league, there won’t be many chances for second opportunities anyway.

Bradley Beal leads the team in scoring averaging 34.7 points per game. He’s also averaging the most rebounds with 5.1 and assists with 4.8. Westbrook has only played 10 games and doesn’t qualify for league leaders but he averages 9.3 rebounds and 9.6 assists per game along with 18.9 points.

On offense, Washington has struggled getting just 110.6 points per possession, which is 19th in the league. They’re also shooting an effective field goal percentage of 52.6 percent. However, Washington has done well limiting turnovers on offense, giving the team at least a chance to score buckets. They’ve also been terrific at getting to the line. Still, this team hasn’t been effective on the glass on either side of the ball.

The Wizards are scoring 114.7 points per game on 45.7 percent from the field and are now 3-7 in their last ten games.

The Nets, on the other hand, have found some momentum. Kevin Durant took a day off against the Nets’ last opponent in the Thunder and now it looks like Harden could miss this game against Washington.

The Nets offense is fourth in the league in points per possession with 117.7 and as said earlier, the Nets have the highest effective field goal percentage in the league. The Nets are also more than capable of getting to the line.

Kevin Durant leads the way with 30.5 points per game. He’ll be back in action after his rest day against the Thunder and will likely be called upon even more if Harden is out. Irving averages 27.7 points but it feels like Harden has been that guy putting everyone in the best positions on offense as neither Durant or Irving have more than six assists while Harden is averaging 11.8.

The Nets defense hasn’t exactly been the best since the Nets made the move to trade for Harden. But for now, the offense has done enough and it’s going to be hard to match this Nets offense regardless.

Prediction

Is James Harden actually hurt or does he just not want to play against Westbrook? We will see.

But with the spread sitting at just eight, it’s hard to pass up on the Nets who have the ability to knock out any opponent by double digits.

The Wizards are on a four game losing streak and have lost every one of those games by at least 16 points. Harden or no Harden, I love the Nets on the road.

NBA Pick: Nets -8 (-110) at BetOnline

Hawks vs. Bucks NBA Preview

Clint Capela #15 of the Atlanta Hawks reacts after drawing a foul on a basket against the Detroit Pistons with Trae Young #11. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP

Clint Capela #15 of the Atlanta Hawks reacts after drawing a foul on a basket against the Detroit Pistons with Trae Young #11. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP

Atlanta Hawks vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Sunday, January 24, 2021 – 08:00 PM EST at Fiserv Forum

The Atlanta Hawks (8-7) have won three straight games and will now travel to Milwaukee to take on the 9-6 Bucks. While the Bucks have lost their last two, they’re still 7-3 in their last ten games and hope to turn things around against a hot Hawks team.

The ATL is scoring 112.3 points per game and allowing 108.9 points per game while shooting 43.9 percent from the field. The Hawks have been solid on the glass with a 29.4 percent offensive rebounding rate on the season. That’s good for second in the league.

The Hawks are also getting to the line at an absurd rate of 24.7. That’s good for first in the league. However, they’re only scoring 112.5 points per 100 possessions, which is 10th in the league and have an effective field goal percentage of 51.8 percent, which isn’t very good.

Atlanta is led by Trae Young who averages 25.3 points per game along with8.7 assists and 4.4 rebounds. This team has plenty of potential scorers in DeAndre Hunter, who averages 16.3 points, John Collins, who averages 15.9 points and Clint Capela, who averages 14.2 points.You can also add in Cam Reddish, who is averaging 12.4 points.

The Hawks are a young and talented team and have really improved on the defensive end recently. To start the season, the Hawks were having trouble but with the addition of Clint Capela, things have changed. The Hawks are allowing 107.2 points per 100 possessions and are allowing teams to shoot an effective field goal percentage of 50.2 percent. This team won’t get many turnovers, especially against Milwaukee, but they’re doing a solid job cleaning up the glass on defensive with Capela averaging 10 defensive rebounds per game. They’re holding teams to 22.9 percent offensive rebounds, which is good for third in the league.

On the other hand, the Bucks are scoring at an extreme rate, averaging 119.5 points per game and allowing 110.7 points per game. The Bucks are scoring 117.4 points per possession and have an effective field goal percentage oof 56.7 percent, which is good for fourth in the NBA. The Bucks are scoring an insane amount of points and what’s made it more ridiculous is that they have a free throw rate of 15.7 which is 28th in the league.

They’re not getting to the line but still scoring nearly 120 points per game.

Milwaukee is led by Giannis Antetokounmpo who is averaging 27 points per game along with 10.3 rebounds and 5.1 assists. He’s well on his way to another potential MVP award this season. Khris Middleton has stepped up for the Bucks along with new incomer Jrue Holiday. Middleton averages 21.9 points per game and Holiday averages 16.1 points per game. The scoring starts and finishes with this big three.

The Bucks defense hasn’t been terrific this season but the scoring has overshadowed the defense. They’re allowing teams to score 109.9 points per 100 possessions and also allowing teams to shoot a 53.5 percent effective field goal percentage. Milwaukee will have trouble rebounding on the defensive end as they’re allowing teams to bring down 24.2 percent of offensive rebounds.

The Hawks are, again, bringing down nearly 30 percent of offensive rebounds. If the Bucks can stay out of foul trouble and keep the Hawks off the line, they’ll be in solid shape. If they’re unable to and the Hawks out shoot them on the line by double digits, the Hawks will easily have the edge in this matchup.

Prediction

The Bucks are coming off back-to-back losses against high caliber teams like the Nets and Lakers. Meanwhile, the Hawks took care of business and defeated teams they’re supposed to, with two wins over the Timberwolves and an overtime win against the Pistons.

Previously, before those three games, they lost to Portland by just six and lost to Utah 116-92. But the Jazz are on another planet right now.

The Hawks have shown enough defense to think they’ll be able to stick around in this game. They can score at will, just like the Bucks, but might actually have the better defense. The only reason Milwaukee has been able to keep scoring low on defense is due to their ability to keep teams off the line. The Hawks always find a way to get there.

NBA Pick: Hawks +8.5 (-110) at UniBet