Both the Washington Wizards and the Brooklyn Nets are coming off wins Thursday. There will be no rest for them, as they square off this Friday for their respective last games before the All-Star break.
Catch this game live on Friday, February 18, at 8:30 AM, Manila time.
Away: Washington Wizards (26-31/11-16 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Raul Neto
- SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
- SF: Corey Kispert
- PF: Kyle Kuzma
- C: Thomas Bryant
There will still be no Kristaps Porzingis on the floor for Washington, as the Latvian unicorn has already been ruled out for Friday’s contest against the Nets. Washington has been on and off lately, going 2-2 straight up in their last 4 games. The Wizards are coming off a 113-109 road loss to the Indiana Pacers Thursday, thus wasting the 26-point effort of Kyle Kuzma. With Porzingis out, Kuzma is going to once again have plenty of opportunities to star for Washington that is averaging just 106.9 points per game.
Kuzma posted a triple-double of 15 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists in 38 minutes, while Raul Neto also stepped up big time with 21 points on 7/9 shooting from the field in a 113-112 win against Brooklyn at home on Feb. 11. This isn’t a powerful Wizards team, but some of their pieces have been coming out of nowhere and putting up solid contributions that catch people by surprise. Take for example David Avidja and Ish Smith in the Pacers game in which they had 14 and 10 points, respectively, for the Wizards’ bench that is fifth overall with 38.6 points per game. Washington also has a penchant for covering the spread after playing the day before. The Wizards are 29-13-2 against the spread in their last 44 games on zero days of rest.
Home: Brooklyn Nets (31-27/13-14 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Patty Mills
- SG: Seth Curry
- SF: Bruce Brown
- PF: Blake Griffin
- C: Andre Drummond
How about those Brooklyn Nets?! The Nets climbed all the way back from 28 points down against the New York Knicks Thursday to score a stunning 111-106 road win. Without Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the Nets leaned on rookie hotshot Cam Thomas, who scored 16 of his game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter. Thomas can really light it up, and he’s now averaged 20.2 points on 47.6 FG% in the last 5 games. Durant and Irving remain out for Friday, leaving Thomas ample time to check if he’s still hot this Friday.
But it’s the Nets’ big men that could spell more trouble for the Wizards after Andre Drummond and LaMarcus Aldridge each had a double-double against the Knicks. Their size and rebounding (11 offensive rebounds combined vs NYK) should stand out against Washington that is just 19th in the league in rebounding percentage. The Nets are just 18th overall in that department, but they are bound to improve with the presence of Drummond, who is sixth overall this season in ORB& and second in DRB%. It’s a reason why Thomas, Patty Mills, and Seth Curry are expected to let it fly against Washington, knowing that Drummond and Aldridge could create extra possessions off misses. Brooklyn is 7-3 against the spread in its last 10 home games against the Wizards.
Porzingis is out and it’s likely that Daniel Gafford will be joining him on the sidelines again, which leaves Washington with a frontcourt slimmer than anyone who’s ever dated Kyle Kuzma. Drummond and Aldridge continue their impressive work to help Brooklyn come away with a cover (-3.5)
Fatigue could definitely be a factor here for both teams because of short turnarounds for them. Getting the Under (218.5) here.