The New Jersey Nets begin a four game West coast road trip as they come off an impressive 16 point victory over a Pacers team and have a chance against a Golden State Warriors team that finds it difficult to win a game.
Tip-off is scheduled for 10:30 pm ET on Friday at the Oracle in Oakland, California.
NBA odds list the Warriors as a 4 point favorite and the total is listed at 196.5.
We all know that the number 13 is supposed to represent bad luck but in the case of these two teams, they make their own poor luck, as both teams stand in 13th place in their respective conferences.
The Warriors have never been able to recover from the Monta Ellis trade, as they’ve won just 2 out of their last 10 games. The Nets have injuries as an excuse and although their coming off of an impressive win against a playoff bound team in the Pacers, they have won just 2 of their last 8 games. To top things off, New Jersey has lost 6 straight games in Golden State, going back to 2005.
A walking MASH unit
For all of you who don’t know what that means, it’s a team that’s full of injuries and very short-handed. That would be the term to define the New Jersey Nets. The Nets will be without the services of Brook Lopez, Shelden Williams, and Jordan Farmar, Jordan Williams is listed as doubtful and Anthony Morrow is supposed to return after missing the prior two games, but nothing is guaranteed in the NBA. Very rarely have we seen Golden State as the NBA betting favorite lately, but the door of opportunity is open for the Warriors, so get your sports picks ready.
Shouldering the load
The Nets will be relying heavily on their best player, point guardDeron Williams. Williams has been a superstar all season in leading this bottom feeder. Williams is averaging 22 points, 8.3 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per game. He had a 24 point, 10 assist, and 8 assist game against the Warriors earlier this season.
Look for Williams to take matters into his own hands by finding players like newly acquired Gerald Wallace. Wallace has been consistent as double-double man Kris Humphries has found it difficult to have the integration of a similar positioned player on the team.
"D Will." is coming off of a 30 point, 9 assist, and 3 rebound performance on 4 of 7 shooting from 3 point range in a victory against the Pacers, which is still shadowed by his season high is 57 points on March 4th against Charlotte. Look for Williams to play well against a team that’s weak at the guard position.
Solid veteran pickup
Especially with all of these injuries, a veteran like Gerald Wallace is just what the doctor ordered for the Nets. Wallace brings 10 years of veteran experience to a young team, while providing timely buckets and rebounding to a team that ranks 25th in points and 26th in rebounding.
With a healthy Brook Lopez, the Nets have a formidable frontcourt of Humphries, Wallace, and, and Lopez. He’s no LaMarcus Aldridge, but Wallace is averaging 13.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.5 steals. David Lee isn’t one of the best defensive big men in the NBA, so look for Wallace to go big in this game as his minutes will be increased, provided that he stay’s out of foul trouble.
Golden State sports a semi-respectable 20-29 record, but’s it’s been all down hill since the trade. In their last game, they were embarrassed at home 102-87 by a 13-38 New Orleans Hornets team without Chris Kaman and Trevor Ariza. David Lee was able to capitalize off of the absence of Kaman with 28 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists, but he can’t carry a team by himself.
Molding the Klay
One player that Golden State has been able to rely on is rookie guard Klay Thompson. At 6 foot 7, Thompson is at a major advantage and is a productive offensive player. His minutes have increased and in the month of March, and Thompson is averaging 16.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game. This is a dramatic increase from his seasonal averages.
This is a maturing player that should be effective at shooting guard against the Nets. He has a major upside for the future and will keep the interest of the remaining fans that weren’t scared away by the Ellis trade.
Where do you go here?
I’m going to use the momentum factor as the Nets are coming off of a strong victory against Indiana and have a solid core of Deron Williams, Kris Humphries, and Gerald Wallace to help their cause. Golden State will need to rebuild their team, and I have no confidence in adding them to my NBA picks. Take New Jersey and the points.
New Jersey Nets +4