Brooklyn will travel to Washington where the Wizards are 1.5 point underdogs
The Nets and the Knicks will be playing road games tonight as both teams are looking to give the New York area something to feel good about in the world of professional basketball. Brooklyn has won two straight games and has pulled out victories in three of their last four match-ups. They will be looking to extend their win streak to three games as they face off against the Wizards for the first time this season tonight at 8:00 PM EST.
Washington has been trying to play catch up pretty much the whole year. After starting the season 1-1, the Wizards have struggled to find consistency. As a result, they now sit at the 10th spot in the eastern Conference with a 16-31 record. They are currently just a half game ahead of both the Pistons and the Hornets, so a loss here tonight could be devastating for any postseason hopes the team may have (if any at all).
Washington has been a terrible team ever since losing John Wall to an injury last year. The Wizards were 13-21 before losing wall, which wasn’t great, but they were still competitive in a lackluster Eastern Conference. However, since then, Washington has posted a record of of 35-59. Also, the Wizards were not able to do much in the off-season because most of their money is tied up in Bradley Beal and John Wall. It has obviously been a year of struggles for the Wizards.
Bradley Beal has been the singular bright spot for the Washington. The former third overall pick has taken command of the team and has been playing like a superstar. Beal’s 28.7 points per game is a career high through 47 games. He is also averaging 6.4 assists per game, which is the highest mark of any season in his career. Alas, it was not enough for the fans who decided to leave Beal off the Eastern Conference All-Star team. According to Bleacher Report, Beal is the first player since the 1984-1985 season to not be named an all-star despite scoring more than 28 points per game. At least Beal is not alone, Devin Booker (27.1 PPG) and Zach LaVine (25.1 PPG) were also snubbed from this year’s NBA all-star game.
Offense has not been the problem for the Wizards. Washington has nine players that are averaging at least 10 points per game. In fact, the Wizards have the 4th best scoring offense in the NBA, putting up 115.7 points per game, which is more than the Clippers and the Lakers! Their issue is defense. Washington is dead last in the league in defensive scoring, allowing opponents to put up 121 points per game, almost 3 points more per game than the next closest team. Meanwhile, the Nets have been on an offensive tear recently, putting up at least 110 points in their last five games. I think Washington’s defense will have no answers for Brooklyn’s scoring abilities. I like the Nets to win and cover the 1.5 point spread.