The two sides previously clashed in the NBA preseason, when the Nets defeated the Wizards 119-114. That game saw the return of Kevin Durant after he missed an entire season due to injuries. It also featured Kyrie Irving returning to the floor and Steve Nash's debut as coach.
All eyes will be on former teammates Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant facing off in relatively new circumstances on teams that are experiencing exceedingly different results. The duo had played with each other for nearly a decade in Oklahoma City before Durant decided to take his talents to the Warriors.
The Nets are currently sixth in the East, having split their season's first six games 3-3. The Wizards are 15th with one win and five losses. Both teams have a lot to prove this season and will be eager to register a big win in this matchup that could end up being a high-flying affair.
Fixture: Washington Wizards vs Brooklyn Nets - NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Saturday, January 3, 7 PM ET (Sunday, January 4, 5:30 AM IST)
Venue: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
Washington Wizards Preview
The Washington Wizards finally got their act together in their last game, defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves 130-109. The Wizards were missing Westbrook in their line up, but that didn't stop his backcourt partner Bradley Beal from having another brilliant performance.
Beal ended the game with 31 points, seven assists and three rebounds in 28 minutes. The Wizards had eight players score in double digits to seal their first victory of the season. They will need a similar display of teamwork in their matchup against the Brooklyn Nets.
Key Player - Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook is the key player for this matchup, and you can expect him to play with a chip on his shoulder. He will undoubtedly come in guns blazing to one-up his former teammate in Durant. He would also like to see the Wizards win their second game with him active on the roster.
Westbrook has averaged triple-double numbers with 19.8 points, 12.8 rebounds, and 12.3 assists in 37.3 minutes per game in his four outings this season. He is shooting 42.1% from the field and 26.7% from 3-point range.
Washington Wizards Predicted Lineup
G Russell Westbrook, G Bradley Beal, F Deni Avdija, F Rui Hachimura, C Thomas Bryant
Brooklyn Nets Preview
The Brooklyn Nets had an underwhelming performance in their first game of 2021, losing 114-96 to the Atlanta Hawks. The Nets relied heavily on sinking the three but went cold, finishing 7-of-37 from beyond the arc.
The Nets are at .500 for the season and will need to get back to driving the ball to the paint to open up the floor for perimeter shooters. On the bright side, their top duo of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are averaging 54 points between them.
The matchup between Durant and Irving vs. Westbrook and Beal will be a treat for NBA fans to relish.
Key Player - Kevin Durant
With Spencer Dinwiddie out with an injury, Kevin Durant will need to step up and take additional responsibilities as a playmaker for the Brooklyn Nets. The four-time scoring Champ is averaging 4.4 assists so far but will need to create more opportunities for his teammates. Even though Kyrie plays the point position, his true role is shooting guard, leaving Durant to pick the slack on that front.
Kevin Durant's return to the NBA has already raised the stakes for teams eyeing the championship this season. Durant has been averaging 28.2 points per contest and will look to torch the Wizards and improve his team's standing in the East.
Brooklyn Nets Predicted Lineup
G Kyrie Irving, G Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, F Kevin Durant, F Joe Harris, C DeAndre Jordan
Wizards vs Nets Match Prediction
The Washington Wizards will give everything they have to continue their momentum following their first win of the season. But they don't have a strong defense capable of stopping Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. The Brooklyn Nets are the favorites to win this matchup.
Where to watch Wizards vs Nets
Local coverage of the game will be available on YES Network and NBC Sports Washington. You can also live stream the game via the NBA League Pass.Published 03 Jan 2021, 04:08 IST