It’s been a struggle for the Brooklyn Nets (6-9) recently, as they gave up 153 points to the Sacramento Kings their last time out.
The Portland Trail Blazers (10-4) are off to an incredibly fast start, as many believed they wouldn’t even be a playoff contender this season.
Brooklyn Nets Betting Preview
Kyrie Irving appears to be getting closer to a return to the NBA hardwood, but for this one, he will remain out.
That means that Kevin Durant will have to continue to carry the load, as he had a very interesting comment after the Nets’ blowout loss to the Kings.
“Look at our starting lineup. Edmond Sumner, Royce O’Neale, Joe Harris, [Nic] Claxton and me. It’s not disrespect, but what are you expecting from that group?” Durant asked (via Bleacher Report). “You expect us to win because I’m out there. So if you’re watching from that lens, you’re expecting us to play well because No. 7 is out there.”
That pretty much explains who the Nets have to rely on on a nightly basis, so until Irving returns and Ben Simmons gets up to speed, Nets fans may have to get used to seeing this group losing some games.
They had looked a lot better defensively, as they were ranked the top defensive team in the league for a time during Irving’s suspension. However, the defense has clearly worn down and is in desperate need of another bonafide scorer to help take the pressure off of them.
Portland Trail Blazers Betting Preview
Damian Lillard appears to be back, as he’s averaging 27.4 points and 6.6 assists per game while leading the Blazers to wins night in and night out.
Anfernee Simons continues his rise, as he’s averaging 22.3 points and 3.9 assists per game.
Jerami Grant has been exactly what the doctor ordered in Portland, as he’s averaging 21.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game.
The Blazers have found their identity of being a top t0 defensive team in the league but also being in the better half of the league offensively.
The offense by no means is perfect, but there are enough options to go around, and having Lillard will always make you dangerous, no matter what.
Having Grant in the mix defensively is a major help as well, as he can switch from 1-5 and really provide tight on-ball defense.
The Trail Blazers are favored by a -2 spread in this one, which is pretty low when you consider just how badly the Nets were beaten their last time out.
While Irving’s return in the near future should give this group a morale boost, the Blazers will be home in front of their fans to give them a boost, so expect Portland to continue their winning ways.