The Brooklyn Nets have surged to fourth-place in the Eastern conference by winning nine of their last 10 games, and now look to continue that roll this week with difficult road games on consecutive days beginning with the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday and concluding with the Houston Rockets.
The Nets (25-16) resurgence under interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo has largely been spurred by an improved performance on the defensive end. This development has largely coincided with the increased health of center Brook Lopez, who in addition to being the teams leading scorer (18.5 points a game) provides a much-needed physical presence down low for the Nets.
Brooklyn recently displayed their defensive dominance in an 88-85 win against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden as a 3.5-point underdog Monday. In that game, Brooklyn held the Knicks to 40.5 percent shooting from the field.
In Memphis, the Nets face a team that has been among the favorite NBA picks among handicappers, as evidenced by their 23-16-1 mark against the spread this season. That mark could certainly improve as the Grizzlies (26-14) have been caught in a rut of late and have lost three of their last five games straight-up.
Houston (22-21 straight-up) is trying to snap out of its own rut, as the Rockets lost seven straight games before beating-up on the lowly Charlotte Bobcats on Monday.