Wizards vs. Nets Preview & Prediction

The Brooklyn Nets continue the fight for their playoff lives on Friday night, when they host a Washington Wizards which sits just a game behind the Toronto Raptors for home-court advantage in the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

Projected Starting Lineups

Washington Wizards (45-33)

G Ramon Sessions – 7.3 ppg, 2.6 apg

G Bradley Beal – 15.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.2 apg

F Paul Pierce – 12.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg

F Drew Gooden – 5.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg

C Marcin Gortat – 12.0 ppg, 8.7 rpg

Brooklyn Nets (36-42)

G Deron Williams – 13.3 ppg, 6.6 apg

G Markel Brown – 4.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg

F Joe Johnson – 14.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.4 apg

F Thaddeus Young – 14.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg

C Brook Lopez – 17.2 ppg, 7.4 rpg

What to watch for:

A golden opportunity for Brooklyn

The Nets come into this one a game ahead of Indiana and a 1 1/2 games ahead of Miami for the 8th and final playoff spot in the East. Looking the other way, the Nets are in a virtual tie with Boston for the seven-spot and sit two games behind Milwaukee for the six.

All this adds up to a mammoth Friday home game against a Wizards team that will sit superstar point guard John Wall for a second-straight game (rest). Without one of the greatest facilitators in all of the NBA lined up against them, Brooklyn has a huge opportunity to outdistance the shorthanded Wizards for a potential season-making win.

Prediction: Nets win 101-98

The Wizards still have Bradley Beal and Marcin Gortat to pick up some of Wall's slack, but the Nets have shown signs as of late of putting it all together (7-3 in their last 10). We don't see that slowing down against this particular Washington lineup.

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