The Brooklyn Nets will try to avenge their loss to the visiting Charlotte Hornets, who edged them in a close game early in the season. They’ll have to do it with some added challenges, though.
Catch this game tomorrow, 7:30 AM, Manila time.
HOME TEAM: Brooklyn Nets (33-15, 19-6 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG – Kyrie Irving
- SG – Landry Shamet (James Harden is possibly out)
- SF – Joe Harris
- PF – Bruce Brown (Kevin Durant is still out)
- C – DeAndre Jordan
The Nets flexed their fourth quarter abilities on Thursday once again. We’ve honestly lost count how many times they’ve won through clutch play.
Down 101-95 against the Houston Rockets with under seven minutes remaining, Brooklyn closed things out on a 25-7 run to win, 120-108. Oh, and James Harden wasn’t even there for the last quarter and a half due to a hamstring injury. Granted it’s opposite the last-placed Rockets, but still.
Of course, with Kevin Durant still sidelined and Harden potentially out, Kyrie Irving will be the man. He was in his usual form against Houston, tallying 31 points and 12 assists on 12-for-25 shooting. Though tomorrow is the second leg of a back-to-back, expect Uncle Drew to keep schooling opponents.
Irving’s back-up will be rich, as you know. There’s three-point specialist Joe Harris, longtime veteran forwards Blake Griffin and Jeff Green, and young paint bruiser Nicolas Claxton. The much-talked about Net, LaMarcus Aldridge, who’s also a veteran and multiple-time All-Star, may make his debut as well.
The Nets are still the number one scoring team in the league at 119.1 points per game, which has been the case for practically the whole season.
ROAD TEAM: Charlotte Hornets (24-22, 11-13 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG – Devonte’ Graham
- SG – Terry Rozier
- SF – Gordon Hayward
- PF – PJ Washington
- C – Bismack Biyombo
The Hornets are staying as one of the biggest surprise teams in the East. With the 114-104 win over the Washington Wizards, where they brushed off Russell Westbrook’s record-setting triple-double, they improved to 7-4 over their last 11 games.
Head coach James Borrego being one of the more underrated coaches in the league is also playing a part. He’s continued to stir the squad into the right direction, even with their sensational rookie, LaMelo Ball, out with a fractured wrist. They have gone 4-1 since he went down.
That’s not to say the Hornets are short on weapons, though. The team’s top scorer, Terry Rozier, is stepping up nicely. He’s averaging 20.7 points on the season and an all-around 24.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5.2 assists, four threes per game since Ball’s injury. There’s also second-leading scorer Gordon Hayward and guard Devonte’ Graham, who’s posting 21 points and five assists per contest over his last four.
Charlotte has a point differential of +7.8 since Ball got sidelined. The defense is also holding opponents to 100.6 points on 41.2% shooting.
Both teams have terrible ATS records. The Nets haven’t covered at home in five-straight games while the Hornets are just 1-4 in their last five when they’re underdogs on the road.
It will be tough but you have to put some trust on the Nets’ dangerous offense. Look for them to cover the -5 spread.
The Nets are on the second night of a back-to-back so we may expect some slower-than-usual pace. The Hornets aren’t big on scoring, especially as of late. Go with the under on 229.5.