Brooklyn is favored by 1.5 over the 76ers as these two matchup for the second time in five days
It feels like there is a New York basketball team playing the 76ers everyday! In fact, this will be the third game in their last four that Philly will play against an NBA team presiding in New York. This time, the 76ers will be on the road to face off against the Brooklyn Nets for the third time this season.
I was dead wrong the last time I previewed this matchup. I said that the Nets were going to beat Philadelphia outright on the road. What ended up happening was an 11 point victory for the 76ers. It was the Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons show last time these two teams faced off. Harris and Simmons combined for 54 points, 16 rebounds, and 14 assists. On top of that, Josh Richardson and Al Horford combined for an additional 29 points, which just put this game out of reach for the Nets. I think things will be a little different this time around though.
We have been seeing a very different Nets team on the road vs. at home. Brooklyn is just 7-13 on the road, but they are 11-10 at home. Oddly enough, the Nets have played pretty good team ball on the road. In fact, Brooklyn averages more points per game on the road this season (109.7) than at home (108.9). The main difference has been Kyrie Irving in the Barclays Center. The superstar point guard averages more points, assists, and steals at home, all while playing in fewer minutes per game in Brooklyn as opposed to anywhere else. As for the 76ers, they have been noticeably better at home than on the road. Philadelphia is averaging more points, rebounds, assists, and blocks when they play at home. Their 8-14 road record is basically as bad as Brooklyn’s. If you take the 76ers out of Philly, they are a below-average team.
The Nets will be relatively healthy coming into Monday’s game. ESPN is reporting that Brooklyn expects DeAndre Jordan to be the only player that misses this game. Everybody else should be ready to go. What could be the real difference maker are the injuries on the other side. Philadelphia will still be missing their centerpiece, Joel Embiid. However, Al Horford’s name has appeared on the injury list. He is currently reported as questionable to play with a left hand sprain. He didn’t play a huge role in the 76ers’ last win against the Nets, but a frontcourt without Embiid and Horford could be susceptible to domination. It will once again be on the shoulders of Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons if Philly hopes to win their second game against Brooklyn.
I think this is going to be a game where Kyrie Irving puts in work. Just a few days after he stated that the Nets had “glaring needs,” I could see the former Duke guard putting the team on his back and willing Brooklyn to victory. I am talking like a season high in points. Don’t be surprised if Irving scores 40 points or more in this game. He will also need some help from Spencer Dinwiddie who looks like a potential all-star. The 2014 pick out of Colorado has been great so far this season, posting a career-best 21.8 points per game. If the Nets could find a way to have both Dinwiddie and Irving on the court at the same time, then I think it could spell disaster for the 76ers.
Similarly to the Knicks’ game against the Cavs, the spread in this matchup is just 1.5 points, which tells me that this is essentially a pick ’em game. In this case, I will defer to the home team because that has been the place where the winner has had a clear advantage in this season series. The Nets will be able to chill at home while a banged up Philadelphia team will have to keep traveling around the Empire State. I like the Nets to win this game and cover the spread.