The Brooklyn Nets (29-25) head to Washington looking to resurrect their season, which appears to be on life support. The Nets will face the Washington Wizards (24-29), who have plenty of their own issues to face.
Brooklyn Nets at Washington Wizards
Capital One Arena, Thursday 10th February, 7:30pm EST
The Nets season is sinking faster than the Titanic, with the catalyst being the loss of Superstar Kevin Durant. However, he is not their only problem. They are also missing James Harden, who is playing sporadically, and even when he’s on the court, he’s not producing to the levels we expect from him. Then there’s Kyrie Irving. Yes, the much-maligned point guard is back playing for the Nets, but only having him available for away games (sans New York and Chicago road games) is severely hampering their backcourt chemistry.
They are now losers of 9 straight, and despite being equal favourites to win the title (+450 at Pointsbet), this number is growing fast (they were +250 just one week ago). Despite this, this team should hold some optimism of snapping that losing streak as they head to the Nation’s capital to take on the Wizards.
The Wizards have lost their best player for the season, with 3 time All Star Bradley Beal having to undergo wrist surgery. There’s also trade rumours circulating, with the likes of Spencer Dinwiddie, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell and others seemingly on the block. Given the fact Beal is now an unrestricted free agent, the beating of the rebuild drum could well be starting in Washington right now.
The Nets are coming off a humiliating 126-91 home loss to the Boston Celtics, where the Nets managed to shoot just 0.384 from the field and .385 from the free throw line. The Celtics led by 26 at the half and put the cue in the rack, with their starters rested for a large portion of the second half.
The Wizards are also coming of a large loss, having been dismantled at home 121-100 by the Eastern Conference leading Miami Heat. The Heat rallied in the third quarter, after the Wizards cut a 15-point 1st quarter deficit to just 7 by the half. The Heat outscored the Wizards 31-17 in the 3rd quarter before cruising to their 3rd straight win.
With James Harden and Kevin Durant confirmed out, this seems like a good opportunity for the Wizards to get a much-needed win. In 6 games this season without Durant and Hardman, the Nets are 0-6. Without Harden, they’ve managed to win 3 of 10 games, however these were all with a fully healthy Kevin Durant. When Kyrie Irving doesn’t have one of the other ‘Big 3’ with him this season, the Nets are 0-4.
In a tough game to handicap, I side with the Wizards. The Nets have shown nothing when Harden and Durant are missing and appear to be in no shape to stop this current slide. I’ll also take the Unders, with the Wizards averaging 96 per game since the Beal injury, whilst the Nets score 102.3 points per game without Durant and Harden in the line-up.
These teams have met twice this season, with the Nets winning both home and away. I cannot put any traction into these results though, as both teams are a million miles from the teams that met in these matches.