Brooklyn Nets vs Cleveland Cavaliers

 

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The Brooklyn Nets will travel to the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Wednesday night to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers. This is expected to be the return of Kyrie Irving after missing seven games due to personal issues. Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince will be facing off against their former team as they were dealt to Cleveland in the James Harden trade that happened last week. Brooklyn is coming into this game at 9-6 and riding a four-game winning streak after defeating the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night 125-123. Cleveland is 6-7 and is coming off a 106-103 win over the New York Knicks on Friday since their two games against Washington were postponed this week.

These teams seem to be destined for different situations by the end of the season so it’ll be interesting to see how they play. Let’s take a deeper dive into this game to figure out where we should be placing our wagers.

Scary Hours in Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Nets have depended on the offensive production from small forward Kevin Durant this season as he is averaging 30.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 1.1 blocks, and 0.8 steals in 34.9 minutes. He is shooting incredibly well as he is 54.1 percent from the floor, 48.4 percent from beyond the arc, and 87 percent from the free-throw line. In his last game against the Bucks, Durant played 36 minutes and finished with 30 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and a pair of blocks. If he can continue putting up these types of numbers, we might be talking about the next MVP.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been the best defensive team in the league as they are allowing just 103.9 points per game this season. In their last game against the New York Knicks they gave up 103 points on 40-of-82 (48.8 percent) from the floor, 9-of-25 (36 percent) from three-point range, and 16 free-throw attempts. If they can cut down on some of the easy baskets, their defense can be even better.

Drummond Up Some Commotion

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been dependent on center Andre Drummond to carry the offensive load this season. He is averaging 19.3 points, 15.8 rebounds (which leads the NBA), 2.9 assists, 1.6 blocks, and 1.7 steals in 32.3 minutes on the court. He needs to shoot the ball better with his limited range as he is 47.5 percent from the floor and 55.5 percent from the free-throw line. In his last game against the Knicks, Drummond played 40 minutes and finished with 33 points, 23 rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and two steals. He is playing incredibly well and should be able to be a beast with the Nets lacking in their center rotation.

The Brooklyn Nets have been a below-average defense to begin the year as they are giving up just 113.1 points per game, which is 22nd in the league. In their last game against the Bucks, they allowed 116 points on 46-of-105 (43.8 percent) from the floor, 11-of-37 (29.7 percent) from beyond the arc, and 24 free-throw attempts. If they can figure out how to limit the amount of free-throws against them, they will improve on the defensive end.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

Brooklyn has been on a roll and is getting an All-Pro guard back in Kyrie Irving most likely for this game. Cleveland can protect the rim but there aren’t many teams that can defend both James Harden and Kevin Durant. I expect Andre Drummond to feast on the boards and have another big game as DeAndre Jordan isn’t known as a defensive wizard at this point of his career. Go with the Nets to be able to take control of this game and cover the spread on the road here.

Prediction:
Brooklyn

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

This number is lower than it should because of Cleveland being considered the best defense at this point of the year. Brooklyn is averaging 119.3 points per game on 49.4 percent shooting while Cleveland is averaging 99.5 points per game on 44.3 percent shooting. Cleveland should be able to go inside the paint and take a lot while Brooklyn is averaging 123.5 points since the addition of James Harden. Go with the OVER in this game.

Prediction:
OVER