Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#573 Sacramento Kings 242 vs.
#574 Brooklyn Nets -6.5
Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 7:35pm EST
Barclays Center , Brooklyn
Written by Jordy

This article covers a past game!

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Scary times could be in full effect when the Sacramento Kings head on the road to face the surging Brooklyn Nets. You’d have to go all the way back to February 7 to find the Kings’ last win on an NBA court. They have lost their last seven consecutive games, including Sunday’s 128-115 blowout against the Milwaukee Bucks. Meanwhile, the Nets have cruised through their last six games with Kevin Durant sidelined for most of them.

Losing continues for Sacramento

Imagine being on a seven-game losing streak and then looking on the schedule to see a road game at Brooklyn next on the itinerary.

Whew.

When it rains, it pours for the Sacramento Kings. They recently got crushed in a 128-115 loss to the Bucks, and now, they’ll have to try not to get smashed by the emerging Eastern Conference favorites. Even without Kevin Durant on the floor, the combination of Kyrie Irving and James Harden is a nightmare for opposing teams on defense. It will especially be a nightmare to deal with for a Kings team that ranks dead last in defensive efficiency.

They know they can’t stop the Nets from going full-blown Harlem Globetrotters in this game. Their only hope is to score enough points to keep pace with them.

Brooklyn still ranks among the league’s worst defensive teams, and the Kings were able to drop 125 points on them in the first meeting between the two teams over a week ago. But Sacramento also gave up 136 points.

Things won’t get any easier with Harrison Barnes still listed as out for this game. De’Aaron Fox has to be special, and it would help if the team got a huge boost from the bench like they did in the first game.

Fear the beard in Brooklyn

The Nets already look like a contender, and Kevin Durant hasn’t even been playing.

That one sentence alone is enough to give every NBA coach cold sweats at night. James Harden has brought his elite scoring to Brooklyn, but he has taken things up a notch by becoming a master facilitator as well. The only concern ahead of his arrival was his fit with Kyrie Irving.

Would both players need the ball to be good?

Well, unfortunately for the rest of the NBA, they’ve figured it out. Irving is basically acting as a de facto shooting guard while Harden runs the point. In the last week, they have defeated the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns.

It’s scary times, indeed.

The Nets will head into Tuesday’s game for an encore performance against the same Kings team they dropped the offensive hammer on last Monday. Granted, they will have to take them seriously considering they did give up 125 points in that meeting. They had issues stopping Hassan Whiteside off the bench, and the Kings threw offensive blows like a heavyweight.

However, Brooklyn did hold the Lakers to only 98 points before holding the Clippers to 108 points. Perhaps they were simply more pumped up for those games, but the Nets are clearly a far more dangerous team when they’re playing well defensively. They need to use this game against the fourth-worst team in the Western Conference as a chance to develop some consistency. This is the type of game that can trap up even a team as talented as the Nets.

Along with Durant being out, Jeff Green and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot are both listed as questionable for this game.

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Another one will bite the dust for the Kings.

They aren’t capable of slowing down the Nets with the league’s worst scoring defense. Harden and Irving are too dynamic on the offensive end of the floor, and Joe Harris has been too good as a spot-up shooter.

The Kings needed Hassan Whiteside to contribute 26 points off the bench in the first meeting between the two teams just to keep it competitive. I’m not sold on the reserve center repeating that effort. Offensive firepower has never been the concern when it comes to the Kings performing on the floor. No, it’s the fact that they’re allowing an average 119.6 points per game on defense.

You aren’t beating a team like the Nets when you’re giving up so many easy buckets. There will be a lot of dancing on the floor as Harden and Irving dribble circles around the Kings and shoot them out of the building.

I’m laying the points and taking Brooklyn.

Prediction: Brooklyn Nets (-7.5)

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These two teams combined for 261 points the last time they shared the floor together. Even without Durant in the lineup, the Nets are still the best offensive team in basketball. They are averaging 121 points per game with the offense centered around the greatness of Harden and Irving. The chemistry is slowly forming, and a juggernaut is on the rise. That’s bad news for a Kings team that couldn’t even stop a cold on defense. However, they are clearly capable of hanging a lot of points on the Nets with the league’s 12th-ranked scoring offense. Give me the over in this one.

Prediction: Over (242)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast, and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY, and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys, and all the Sun Drop you can drink.