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

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