Washington Wizards at Brooklyn Nets
Barclay’s Center – Brooklyn, New York
Friday, April 10, 2015, 7:30 pm Eastern, TV: NBA League Pass
Opening Line: Brooklyn -3 1/2
Current Line: Brooklyn -5 1/2
Opening Total: 200 1/2
Current Total: 198 1/2
Opening Money Line: Nets -185 / Wizards +160
Current Money Line: Nets -230 / Wizards +190
With only 5 days left in the regular season, both the 45-33 Washington Wizards and 36-42 Brooklyn Nets would make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference currently. The two teams face each other Friday night in Brooklyn.
Washington has already clinched a spot and is currently the #5 seed. The Wizards could move as high as the #3 seed as only a game and a half separates the Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors and Wizards in the standings. Washington will be no lower than the #5 seed. The Wizards haven’t had home court advantage in an opening round series since 1979.
Brooklyn is currently tied with the Boston Celtics for the #7 seed. The Celtics own the tiebreaker and would be the #7 seed. Both the Celtics and Nets are ahead of the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat who are within a game and a half in the standings. All four teams could pass the Milwaukee Bucks for the #6 seed but none of the five have clinched a playoff spot yet.
Washington has won 5 of the last 6 games against Brooklyn. The teams split a home and home back-to-back with the road team winning each game. Brooklyn won 102-80 in Washington January 16, and Washington won the following night 99-90 in Brooklyn.
Washington is coached by Randy Wittman. The Wizards have won 4 straight games, including a 119-90 rout at the lowly Philadelphia 76ers Wednesday night. The Wizards shot 65.3% from the field and had 7 players in double digit scoring despite resting guard John Wall. This is the last game of a 3 game road trip, but the Wizards are closing the season with 5 of their last 6 on the road. Washington is 31-45-2 ATS and the total is 35-41-2 this season. The Wizards were 4.5 point favorites against the 76ers and the total was 186.
Brooklyn is coached by Lionel Hollins. The Nets have gone 7-2 in their last 9 games with both losses coming against the East leading Atlanta Hawks. Brooklyn trailed by 12 points at home against the Hawks Wednesday night in the fourth quarter but took a one point lead with around 33 seconds left. The Hawks ended up winning 114-111. Brooklyn is closing the season with 5 of the last 6 at home. The Nets are 37-39-2 ATS and the total is 36-42 this season. Brooklyn was a 4.5 point favorite against Atlanta and the total was 204.
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Washington is outscoring teams 99-97 this season. The Wizards are #8 in points allowed in the NBA. Washington is shooting 46.5% from the field and 36% from 3 point range. The Wizards are in the top ten in both categories. Washington makes 74.2% from the free throw line. Opponents are shooting 43.3% from the field and 34.4% from 3 point range. Washington is #2 in field goal defense. The Wizards average 44.3 rebounds per game and opponents average 41.5 per game. Washington is in the top 10 in both categories. The Wizards average 24.1 assists, 14.3 turnovers, 7.4 steals and 4.6 blocks per game.
John Wall averages 17.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 10 assists and 1.7 steals per game. He will be rested again tonight. Bradley Beal averages 15 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.2 steals per game. Paul Pierce averages 12.2 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists per game. He returned against Philadelphia after missing the previous 3 games with an illness. Marcin Gortat averages 12 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.4 blocks per game. Nene averages 11 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. He is questionable with a shoulder injury after missing the last 2 games.
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Brooklyn is being outscored 101-98 this season. The Nets are shooting 45.3% from the field and 33% from 3 point range. The Nets make 75% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 45.5% from the field and 38.8% from 3 point range. Brooklyn averages 43.2 rebounds per game and opponents average 44.2 rebounds per game. The Nets average 20.9 assists, 13.4 turnovers, 7 steals and 4.2 blocks per game.
Brook Lopez averages 17.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. Joe Johnson averages 14.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. Deron Williams averages 13.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game. Jarrett Jack averages 11.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game.
Washington is 6-0-1 ATS after a straihgt up win of 10 points or more, 3-0-1 overall, 5-1-1 after a cover, 4-1-1 against Atlantic Division teams, 6-2-1 after a straight up win, 5-14 in road games, 2-6 against teams with losing home records, 3-9-1 against Eastern Conference teams, 0-6-1 in Friday games, and 0-5-1 on one day rest. The Wizards have covered 5 of the last 6 against the Nets. The last 4 game sin the series have gone under the total.
Brooklyn is 4-0-1 ATS after failing to cover, 3-0-1 after a straight up loss, 5-1-1 on one days rest, 4-1-1 in Friday games, and at home 3-7-1 after scoring 100 points or more, 7-21 against Southeast teams, and 1-8-2 against teams with losing road records. The home team is 8-3 ATS in this series recently.
Both teams have been playing good basketball recently. Washington would love to win this game but to be honest it seems like they are content with being the #5 seed and are more concerned with making sure they are healthy and rested for the playoffs. The Nets have no margin for error with four teams competing for two spots. I like Brooklyn to win a close game at home.