The Brooklyn Nets open their three-game road trip with a visit to the Moda Center to take on the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night.
Brooklyn is on a torrid streak right now with just two losses in their last 17 games, doing so with Kevin Durant on the injured list. However, the Nets will face another challenge in this game and this road trip as Kyrie Irving did not travel with the team to attend to personal matters. The Blazers are coming off their worst defeat of the season against Dallas and they are looking to bounce back against an undermanned Nets team.
The Brooklyn Nets are 29-14 on the season and they have the second-best record in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference, one game behind the Philadelphia 76ers. The Nets have won 15 out of their last 17 games played and are the new odds on favorite to win the 2021 NBA championship.
James Harden is having an MVP season in Brooklyn. He had 26 points and 8 assists during the Nets Sunday win over the Washington Wizards. However, Brooklyn will be without Kyrie Irving in this game and in their next two games after this to attend to personal matters. Irving is averaging a career-high 28 points per game this season. Also missing this game is reserve guard Landry Shamet who suffered an ankle injury in their last game.
The Nets are the highest-scoring team in the NBA at 120.2 points per game. They have the 5th worst scoring defense in the league at 115.2 points per game allowed. Brooklyn is also ranked 6th in passing at 26.7 assists per game and 17th in rebounding at 43.8 boards grabbed per contest.
The Portland Trail Blazers have a 25-17 record and they are in second place in the Northwest Division and tied for 5th in the Western Conference team standings. Portland is just 3.5 games behind the second-ranked Phoenix Suns in the West, so they can still move up in the rankings.
Damian Lillard scored only 19 points in their last game against Dallas while Gary Trent Jr. and C.J. McCollum put up only 16 and 13 points, respectively. Portland shot just 34-89 from the field or 38.2% and made only 9 out of 41 three-point attempts or 22% in a dismal offensive showing. The Blazers scored only 69 points after three quarters in what was their worst loss of the season, a 40-point blowout defeat.
Portland has the 10th best offense in the league, scoring an average of 114.5 points per game. They are ranked 27th in scoring defense at 115.5 points per game allowed. The Blazers are 19th in rebounding at 43.5 boards pulled down per contest and are dead-last in the league in passing at 19.9 assists per game.
The Nets are 15-2 SU in their last 17 games played. Brooklyn is 11-2 SU in their last 13 games against the Western Conference. The Blazers 7-3 SU in their last 10 games played. Portland is 9-3 SU in their last 12 games played at home. Head to head, the Blazers have won eight out of their last 10 meetings against the Nets.
Without Irving, the Nets will have to depend on James Harden to carry the load for them. Harden is averaging 25.4 points, 11.3 assists, and 8.8 rebounds in 29 games with the Nets. However, he’s been playing in an average of 38.5 minutes per game in their six games since the All-Star break and that’s not good for coach Steve Nash.
The Blazers are coming off their worst loss of the season and should be raring to bounce back. Prior to their loss to Dallas, Portland had won seven out of their last nine games played. The Blazers made just 9 of 41 three-pointers and with shooters like Lillard and McCollum, you don’t expect them to struggle as badly again.
The Nets head to this game with plenty of momentum. But all of that could go down the drain without Kyrie, Shamet, and KD. Blake Griffin didn’t do anything except getting a dunk in his Nets debut. Unless Griffin has a big game to help Harden, I don’t see the Nets beating a hungrier Blazers team looking to move up in the team standings.
Prediction: Portland Trail Blazers
The Nets are 1-4 ATS in their last five games played. Brooklyn is 8-1 ATS in their last nine games played, 4-0 ATS in their last four games as road underdogs, 4-0 ATS in their last four games against an opponent with a winning home record, and 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games after a straight up win. The Blazers are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games played. Brooklyn is 4-1 ATS in their last five games played against the Western Conference, 8-2 ATS in their last 10 Tuesday games, and 5-2 ATS in their last seven games after a double-digit loss at home. Head to head, the Nets are 5-1 ATS in their last six games played against the Blazers. Brooklyn is 4-1 ATS in their last five games played in Portland.
The Blazers are just 1-4 ATS in their last five games as the betting favorite. However, they will be facing a Brooklyn team that will be without Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Landry Shamet. Make no mistake, the Nets still have offensive weapons alongside James Harden but they will be facing a Portland team that is coming off a poor shooting game against Dallas. With scorers like Lillard, McCollum, and Melo, I think that the Blazers simply have too much firepower for the Nets. Again, unless Blake Griffin comes up big, I expect the Blazers to overpower the Nets’ offense.
Prediction: Blazers -4.5
The total has gone over in each of the last six games played by the Nets. The over is 13-4 in Brooklyn’s last 17games after an ATS loss, 20-7 in their last 27 games when playing on one-day rest, 22-8 in their last 30 road games, and 27-10 in their last 37 games overall. The total has gone under in 8 out of their last 10 games against an opponent with a winning road record. The under 5-2 in their last seven Tuesday games, and 5-2 in their last seven games after a double-digit loss. Head to head, the total has gone over in seven out of the last 10 games played between these two teams.
The Nets have scored 117 or fewer points in four out of their last five games played and that’s with Kyrie and Shamet playing. Meanwhile, the Blazers have gone under 236.5 in three out of their last five games played. These two teams are ranked in the bottom five in scoring defense but they only combine to allow 230.7 points per game this season. I think 236.5 is too high for a game that is without KD, Kyrie, and Shamet.
Prediction: Under 236
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.