Suns vs. Nets NBA Preview

Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets dribbles. Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets dribbles. Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

With Kevin Durant returning to action, will the Nets be able to score enough to hold off a hot Suns team?

Phoenix Suns vs. Brooklyn Nets

Sunday, April 25, 2021 – 3:30pm EDT at Barclays Center

The Phoenix Suns have been the biggest surprise of the season. They’re sitting at 42-17 on the year and are currently second in the Western Conference behind the Utah Jazz. As of today, the Brooklyn Nets are in first place in the Eastern Conference, up a game above the 76ers.

Both of these teams will make the playoffs and are legitimate contenders to win it all. The Suns are scoring 116.4 points per 100 possessions and have an effective field goal percentage of 56.5 percent. On top of that, they’ve limited turnovers behind Chris Paul. The areas where this team will need to improve is gaining second chance points and getting to the foul line more.

The Suns have four players in double figures including Devin Booker who is averaging 25.1 points per game in 33.6 minutes per game. Chris Paul has chipped in with 16 points per game along with 8.8 assists and is averaging 31.7 points per game.

The Suns have done well offensively but it’s the defense that’s helped them reach the top of the Western Conference. They’re holding teams to 110 points per 100 possessions and also holding opponents to a 53.1 percent effective field goal percentage. While they’re average at forcing turnovers, they’ve done well limiting second chances on the glass with DeAndre Ayton who grabs 10.7 rebounds per game and 7.4 of them coming on the defensive end.

The Nets offense has been hard to guard and they still haven’t been at full strength all season long. It looks as though Kevin Durant will make his return to the hardwood against the Suns but make sure he’s in before placing bets. In the NBA, there’s so much chaos and late scratches, you have to be careful.

The Nets are averaging 118.9 points per 100 possessions and have an effective field goal percentage of 57.9 percent, which is best in the league. They’re getting to the line at a rapid pace and have been able to limit turnovers.

The Nets will have Kevin Durant back, most likely, and he’s averaged 27.3 points per game. Kyrie Irving has added 27.1 points per game as well. So you’re basically looking at half the points for the Nets coming from those two scorers.

The Nets have had their issues on defense despite terrific offense. They’re allowing 113.9 points per 100 possessions and rarely force turnovers with just 12.8 percent per game. The Nets don’t get to the line often and aren’t getting a high rebound percentage on the offensive end. The Nets are 6-4 in their last 10 while the Suns are 7-3 in their last 10.

The Suns have been a dominant defense all season long but the Nets continue to find more ways to get to the bucket and score points. It’s really difficult to stop a solid offense and with Durant back, I’d imagine that’s going to be something the Suns will struggle with after all.

Prediction

With Durant back, this should be a close and exciting game, especially with it being on ESPN. The Nets are slight favorites and if they want to stay in first place and really push ahead of the 76ers in the Eastern Conference, they’re going to need to win these games.

There will be plenty of offense in this game and both teams should be able to reach 115. The Suns do have the better defense but with Kevin Durant back, the Nets shouldn’t have a problem scoring points. Therefore, I’ll look at the over 229.5 in this one.

NBA pick: Over 229.5 (-110) at Bet 365

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