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Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) makes a pass. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
March 8th, 2022
The Nets will try to stop the bleeding on Tuesday when they take on the Hornets at Spectrum Center. After beginning the season 22-9, Brooklyn has now lost 17 of its last 20 games and is clinging precariously to one of the final two play-in spots.
It’s a major reversal of fortune for a franchise that had the shortest odds to win the 2022 NBA Championship as recently as mid-February, but that was before an injury to Kevin Durant derailed Brooklyn’s once-promising season. Making matters worse, the Nets are still without three-time All-Star Ben Simmons, who continues to grapple with back soreness, and sharpshooter Joe Harris, who is set to undergo season-ending surgery on his troublesome left ankle.
The Hornets, meanwhile, are mostly healthy and heading in the right direction after winning two straight games. Charlotte’s latest victory was a breezy 123-117 win over the Spurs on Saturday, in which it held San Antonio to 29% shooting from beyond the arc. Terry Rozier led the way with 31 points and the Hornets’ bench chipped in 39.
Nets vs. Hornets gets underway at 7:00 p.m. ET tonight, and we have the three best player prop bets below.
At this point in his career, the only person who can stop Kyrie Irving is Eric Adams. The NYC mayor recently declared he would not make any exceptions to the city’s stringent vaccine rules to allow Irving to play in home games.
Fortunately, tonight’s game is on the road, and Irving has been pretty spectacular away from Barclays Center this season. The seven-time All-Star is averaging 24.7 points per game in his 16 appearances, and has dropped 27 points or more in four of his last five outings. He’s also done extremely well historically against Charlotte, averaging 21.8 points in 26 career games against the Hornets.
Kyrie Irving is the most entertaining player in the NBA pic.twitter.com/KvltvekOPm— Brooklyn Netcast (@BrooklynNetcast) February 13, 2022
Kyrie Irving is the most entertaining player in the NBA pic.twitter.com/KvltvekOPm
The Nets desperately need a big game from Irving tonight, and the well-rested star is poised to deliver against a Hornets squad that ranks third in pace and 20th in defensive rating.
As good as Irving may be offensively, his approach to defense can be described as laissez faire at best, and criminally disinterested at worst. His lack of attention at that end of the court is a big reason why Brooklyn is allowing rival point guards to average 23.91 points per game, the sixth highest mark in the league.
LaMelo Ball showing out in Detroit 🔥 pic.twitter.com/0r2X8ITLlB— NBA Retweet (@RTNBA) February 12, 2022
LaMelo Ball showing out in Detroit 🔥 pic.twitter.com/0r2X8ITLlB
Expect LaMelo Ball to take full advantage of Irving's inattention tonight. The sophomore guard is averaging 19.7 points per game and has already topped our oddsmakers’ projected total 28 times in 2021-22. He’s also scored 24 points in two of his last three outings, and for what it’s worth, averages 23.5 points in Tuesday evening matchups.
All the stars are aligning for a big scoring outburst from the baby Ball brother tonight.
There’s no question that Durant is an elite rebounder for his position. The former MVP is averaging 7.3 boards this season, after all, but tonight’s projected total seems a touch high for a player who is still rounding into form after missing 21 games and has seemed disinclined to mix things up in the paint since his return.
Durant has failed to surpass six rebounds in each of his last two games and was posting lower-than-normal averages on the glass prior to being sidelined. Add to that the fact Charlotte is the 11th best rebounding team in the NBA, and you have a recipe for an easy Under.
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