The Brooklyn Nets will look to recover from their first loss after a long while when they take on the San Antonio Spurs on the road this Tuesday.
Catch this game live on Tuesday, March 2, at 9:30 AM, Manila time
HOME TEAM: San Antonio Spurs (17-12, 8-8 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Dejounte Murray
- SG: Lonnie Walker IV
- SF: DeMar DeRozan
- PF: Trey Lyles
- C: Jakob Poeltl
The Spurs are dealing with personnel issues of late and will be undermanned when they host the Nets this Tuesday. San Antonio will be without Derrick White, Rudy Gay, and Devin Vassell for various reasons, but the good news is all the Spurs’ core guys will be out there to play the Nets.
Dejounte Murray will be present in the backcourt to pester Kyrie Irving and James Harden. Murray is leading the Spurs with 1.6 steals per game to go with 15.7 points and 7.2 rebounds averages per contest. The Spurs will also have DeMar DeRozan, who’s got some chips on her shoulder after getting snubbed of an All-Star spot.
DeRozan is averaging 20.3 points on 49.9 FG%. DeRozan blew up for 32 points on 11-of-18 shooting in the Spurs’ 117-114 home win over the New Orleans Pelicans last Sunday. He should find ample scoring opportunities against Brooklyn, which plays defense like it’s an option.
The Nets are 27th in the NBA with 116.3 points allowed per game and 27th (12.7) in turnovers forced per contest. That’s a big plus for the Spurs, who are the league’s best when it comes to taking care of the leather, as they own a 9.9 turnovers percentage — the lowest mark in the NBA overall this season. The over is 9-2 in San Antonio’s last 11 games after a loss.
ROAD TEAM: Brooklyn Nets (22-13, 9-7 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Kyrie Irving
- SG: James Harden
- SF: Joe Harris
- PF: Jeff Green
- C: DeAndre Jordan
Left with only one healthy superstar, the Nets saw their eight-game win streak come to an end last Sunday in a 115-98 loss at home to Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant were both out in that game, and the latter will continue to miss games until at least the last Brooklyn outing before the All-Star break.
Irving carries a much more encouraging outlook than Durant, as the guard is expected to make his return to action this Tuesday to help James Harden out, especially on the offensive side of things. Harden had 29 points, seven rebounds, and six assists against Dallas, and looked like he was in desperate need of scoring support, with Joe Harris, who was supposed to be a nice source of secondary offense, shooting just 3 of 8 from the field for nine points.
Nevertheless, the Nets are primed for a bounce-back victory. Their offense remains tops in the NBA, as Brooklyn is putting up 120.7 points per game on close to 50 FG%. After failing to cover their 1-point spread as home faves against Dallas, Brooklyn will look to continue their cover streak to six games on the road when they take on the Spurs.
Dejounte Murray and DeMar DeRozan can go toe-to-toe with Kyrie Irving and James Harden in part because of Brooklyn’s leaky defense. But I expect LaMarcus Aldridge to be the x-factor in this game. I have Aldridge coming off the bench and leading the Spurs to a 119-116 win here.