NBA preview

NBA 08-09/1/2022: Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks collide, Phoenix Suns take on Miami Heat

The NBA served up an exciting feast over the holiday season. And 2022 has already started with a bang! We have three big games to look forward to this weekend, including the Brooklyn Nets v Milwaukee Bucks, and Phoenix Suns v Miami Heat. We will also check in on the latest odds, so read our full preview below.

Milwaukee Bucks ready to arrest mini blip

Although the Bucks are in the mix at the top of the Eastern Conference, they will be slightly disconcerted by their start to 2022. A 117-111 reverse to the Toronto Raptors earlier this week was their second on the trot. However, they are third in the Eastern Conference with a 25-15 record to boot.

However, against the Raptors, the Bucks were short of bodies. In fact, coach Mike Budenholzer was forced to watch from home after entering the NBA’s health and safety protocols. Although the Bucks made 61% of shots in the first half, they fell away in the last couple of quarters. They will be desperate to make amends against the Nets.

Milwaukee Bucks make stance clear on DeMarcus Cousins

The Bucks are set to keep hold of centre DeMarcus Cousins, as they are after flexibility in their squad. Cousins signed a deal with the Bucks until the end of November. In the defeat to the Raptors, he managed a double-double (15 points, 10 rebounds). While there is interest in Cousins, the Bucks won’t let him leave in a hurry.

Brooklyn Nets firing on all cylinders after seeing off Indiana Pacers

While the Nets suffered a dip in form at the turn of the new year, they appear to be back on track. That was highlighted by the convincing 129-121 win over the Indiana Pacers earlier this week. Kyrie Irving played a key role for the Nets, as he contributed 22 points in the win.

Kyrie Irving give Brooklyn Nets necessary jolt

Irving has at times courted controversy over the past 12 months, which, in part, has been down to his unwillingness to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. But in his first game of the season against the Pacers, he made an immediate impact. More importantly, he’s not looking too far ahead, and he’s just taking things one game at a time.

Chicago Bulls have found the canny knack of winning

Winning, as the old saying goes, breeds confidence. And the Bulls appear to have plenty of confidence flowing through their veins. A 102-98 victory over the Orlando Magic stretched their winning streak to eight games. They are flying, as they are currently top of the Eastern Conference with a 25-10 record.

However, they may have to go land a big trade if they are going to restore the glory days of Michael Jordan et al. While the Bulls have surpassed people’s expectations, they can’t afford to rest on their laurels. The likes of Jerami Grant and Harrison Barnes have been discussed as targets, but the Bulls may have to cast their net a little wider.

Meanwhile, the Wizards will be looking to recover after going down 114-111 to the Houston Rockets earlier this week. A late three-pointer for the Rockets finished off the Wizards, but they will be looking to climb the standings, as they are ninth in the Eastern Conference at the time of writing.

Phoenix Suns get off to a flyer in 2022

A blowout 133-99 victory over the Charlotte Hornets signalled their intentions, and they followed that up with a 123-110 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. There is very little separating the Suns and the Golden State Warriors at the top of the Western Conference. Both have an identical record (29-8), but the Warriors boast a slightly better net point difference.

But the Suns won’t be underestimating the Miami Heat. So far, the Heat have been one of the season’s surprise packages, and they are currently fourth in the Eastern Conference, with a 24-15 record. This match has all the ingredients to be a classic, but the Suns may just pip the Heat in this one.

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