Brooklyn at Golden State
Time: 9:30 PM CT (NBA LP)
Spread: GSW -22
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Brooklyn Nets are still searching for their 10th win of the season at just 9-48, and Brooklyn is 2-24 on the road where it will take on the Golden State Warriors, who boast a 25-3 home record and enter this matchup as heady 22-point favorites according to NBA oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes. Brooklyn has lost 15-straight games going into tonight’s contest and has a point differential of -8.9. Conversely, Golden State has the league’s best at +12.8 points. It is easy to see why this is a 22-point spread, pitting the league’s best team against unarguably the league’s worst.
And things really are not shiny in Brooklyn. Sure, the Nets were able to flip coveted shooter Bogan Bogdanovic for a first round pick, but now it has lost one of its premier perimeter threats and the roster is still weaker at least this season. Of course, the Nets are making no premise of competing in starting a lineup that really only features one player who would start on “most” other teams, in center Brook Lopez. Lopez has been a bright spot in averaging 20.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, but he is still not a major force defensively as a center and does not rebound for a seven-footer.
Bogdanovic was the second-leading scorer, and now Jeremy Lin is the only guard on the roster outside of Sean Kilpatrick capable of scoring in double-figures on a nightly basis.
Lin’s usage rate is sure to climb higher still, but he has been reasonably good in the 13 games he has been healthy this season. Lin had seven points and five assists in just 15 minutes in the most recent loss to the Nuggets, but his health is imperative with so few other scoring options on the roster. Trevor Booker produces, but he mostly scores via garbage buckets and dump downs around the basket, he does not really create his own shot. The Nets are going to struggle against all teams, but against the impossibly stacked Warriors, this one should be fairly out of control early.
Golden State needs to come out and make it clear this is a blowout game so that the Warriors can rest its stars and let the likes of Shaun Livingston, and Andre Iguodala, to come in to clean up on the pickings. The Nets are the league’s worst defensive team, and even decent guards are capable of having big nights against the Nets’ sheer lack of defense. Of course, with a team that sports a .155 winning percentage, a degree of apathy is to be calculated, and it certainly shows on the perimeter rotation for this struggling Brooklyn team.
Meanwhile, all things are clicking in Golden State. Kevin Durant is having a brilliant season but seems to be largely ignored in the two-man MVP race between James Harden and Russell Westbrook.
Durant has taken the initiative to become a premier defender, and his offensive efficiency is off the charts: Durant is averaging 25.7 points on just 16.9 field goal attempts per game while scoring 1.520 points per possession, a mark that leads the Warriors. Stephen Curry has come to life of late and is now averaging nearly 25 points per game on the season.
Over his past 10 games, Curry has shot 48.1 percent from the floor and tallied 24.3 points and 7.4 assists per game. He had 35 points, five assists and seven rebounds through three-quarters against the L.A. Clippers, and he connected on 6 of 10 from three. With Durant, Curry, Klay Thompson scoring and jack-of-all-trades Draymond Green asserting his will, it seems doubtful that the Warriors encounter any major resistance until the 2017 NBA Finals, barring, of course, an amazing performance by the likes of the Houston Rockets or San Antonio Spurs.
The Warriors just have too much scoring power in one starting lineup for most teams to counteract, and the likes of the Nets are going to have worlds of problems considering the Nets lack of Starting NBA-caliber talents on its roster.