Brooklyn Nets (38-34) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (49-23)
Wednesday, March 23 @ FedExForum
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The Nets have six wins in their last seven games and are giving their fans some hope that they could pull out a way to clear the play-in round. They defeated one of the best teams in the West on Monday night and now they’ll have to do it again on Wednesday in Memphis when they face the Grizzlies.
Kevin Durant has led the way for Brooklyn and is coming off a 37 point performance against the Jazz, which included a 22 point second half. The Nets superstar has been averaging 30.8 points, 7.3 assists, 6.6 rebounds on 55.1% shooting since he returned from a sprained MCL which forced him to miss 21 games.
The Nets will have not only Durant in the lineup, but Kyrie Irving as well. Wednesday is the first of the final three games in the regular season that Irving is able to play due to the current vaccine mandate in New York City, which means the Nets will have to make the most of their time with him on the floor.
That will be even more important on Wednesday with the Nets looking like they could be without sharpshooter Seth Curry and Goran Dragic and big man LaMarcus Aldridge has already been ruled out. Even with the continued roster chaos, the Nets have found ways to win.
“I just think we’re rallying around each other,” Durant said about Brooklyn’s recent success. “We’re making big plays. We just doing it together more than anything. It’s just a collective effort. … It’s good that people get an opportunity to play, but it’s good to have a deep team like that where we can throw guys in like that who’ve been in the fire before.”
The Nets will catch a break with the Grizzlies missing Ja Morant due to soreness in his right knee. He had been averaging 27.6 points per game this season, along with 6.7 assists and 5.7 rebounds.
While Morant’s absence will take a little bit off the Grizzlies’ edge, they have still been one of the hottest teams in the NBA. Memphis will be looking for their 15th win in their last 20 games and they are on the verge of their first 50 win season since 2014-15.
They are coming off a lopsided win over the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday and have scored at least 100 points in their last 23 games.
Nets’ Playoff Push:
The Nets are keeping their hopes alive to get out of the play-in round. Brooklyn still trails the seventh-place Toronto Raptors by two games and they sit three games back of the sixth-place Cleveland Cavaliers. Neither of those teams are in action, but the Charlotte Hornets are still one game back of the Nets and are in action on Wednesday.
If the Nets win it would snap Brooklyn’s five-game losing skid vs. Memphis, which marks the Nets’ longest active losing streak vs. any opponent. The Grizzlies are the only team the Nets have not defeated since the start of last season. … Since Durant returned from a 21-game absence (1/17 – 3/1 – left MCL sprain), Brooklyn leads the league inoffensive rating (124.5), FG % (.534) and 3FG % (.415), ranks third in ppg (122.3), fourth in apg (28.7) and net rating (9.5) and 13th in defensive rating (115.0). – across nine games played (3/3 – 3/21). … The Nets (22-15 on the road) have the third-best road record in the East, trailing Philadelphia (23-11) and Toronto (23-16).
Nets: Seth Curry (left ankle sprain) is questionable. Goran Dragić (left knee soreness) is doubtful. LaMarcus Aldridge (right hip impingement), David Duke Jr. (G League – two-way), Joe Harris (left ankle surgery), Day’Ron Sharpe (G League assignment) and Ben Simmons (return to competition reconditioning/back soreness) are out.
Grizzlies: Ja Morant (right Knee Soreness), Killian Tillie (left Knee Soreness), Yves Pons (G League – two-way) and Tyrell Terry (G League – two-way) are out.
Grizzlies vs. Nets Odds, Lines, More
- Spread: Nets -2
- Nets Moneyline: -130
- Grizzlies Moneyline: +110
- First Basket: Kevin Durant +460
- O/U: 239