The Brooklyn Nets will take on the Washington Wizards on Sunday in the 2020-21 NBA after suffering a surprise defeat against the Orlando Magic in their last outing. The Nets, who are still without Kevin Durant, fell short by eight points, despite a 43-point performance by Kyrie Irving.
The Washington Wizards, meanwhile, registered an impressive win over the Utah Jazz in their last game, with Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook combining for a whopping 78 points.
They have had a run of difficult fixtures and won for the first time in six matches. The Washington Wizards, who are 12th in the Eastern Conference standings, will face a tall task in toppling the Brooklyn Nets, who are the most top-heavy lineup in the league this season.
Washington Wizards vs Brooklyn Nets Prediction - March 21st, 2021
The Washington Wizards have had a few good offensive nights, hugely impressing in their victory over the Utah Jazz.
The Brooklyn Nets, meanwhile, will look to get back to winnings ways despite the continued absence of Kevin Durant, who is out for a few more weeks. In his absence, James Harden and Kyrie Irving have been prolific.
Moreover, DeAndre Jordan has been the defensive mainstay for the Brooklyn Nets, although James Harden has also shown commendable intensity. Kyrie Irving comes into this match off an impressive 43-point performance and has looked in superb touch in recent weeks.
On paper, the Brooklyn Nets have the best offence in the league and are the clear favorites to win this game.
However, Russell Westbrook has looked close to his best in recent weeks, registering a huge triple-double last time around. He ended with 35 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists, while Beal ended with 43 in the Washington Wizards' last outing.
The Washington Wizards have been plagued by issues in the backcourt this season. So they will be looking at their star guard pairing to deliver the goods. The match might as well turn out to a high-scoring affair, considering the offensive talent that the two teams possess.
On that note, let's have a look at a hypothetical combined starting five of the Brooklyn Nets and the Washington Wizards.
Washington Wizards vs Brooklyn Nets Combined 5 - March 21st, 2021
G - James Harden, G - Kyrie Irving, F - Bradley Beal, F - Russell Westbrook, C - DeAndre Jordan.
James Harden has shown some prolific form in recent weeks and has been a triple-double machine. The Brooklyn Nets’ last match against the Orlando Magic marked the first time in 13 games Harden didn't register more than 20 points. His poor night had an impact on his team’s overall performance, although his recent form more than guarantees his place in this hypothetical combined 5.
The same can be said of Kyrie Irving, who comes into this game after producing some of his best offensive performances of the season. Irving has been the second most prolific scorer in the Brooklyn Nets’ roster after Kevin Durant. He takes the point-guard spot in this hypothetical combined 5 ahead of the likes of Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal.
Beal is a versatile guard capable of playing at the SF position as well, so he makes the combined 5 at that position. Considering Bradley Beal’s overall form, it is only the wealth of offensive talent at the Brooklyn Nets disposal that sees the forward in the forward spot in this hypothetical combined five.
Russell Westbrook is another player who will be out of position in this hypothetical combined 5. He has been a triple-double juggernaut all season and looks set to lead the Washington Wizards to a much better second half of the season.
Last but not least, DeAndre Jordan has been consistently efficient as well and has been the most efficient shooter for the surging Brooklyn Nets this season, with 76.8% overall efficiency.
He is producing 7.6 points and 1.4 blocks per game and deserves to be the starting center in this hypothetical lineup ahead of the Wizards’ Alex Len.