Today on the NBA, we will see the Cleveland Cavaliers travel to take on the Brooklyn Nets in an exciting contest. The game is scheduled for an 7:30 pm start time and it will be televised live on FSOhio HD (Cleveland) and YES (Brooklyn). Currently the odds for the game have the Nets favored by 6 points, while the totals line is set at 196,5 points. Opening lines had the Nets favored by 6 points, while the totals line was set at 196 points.
Game Analysis: Brooklyn is coming from two easy blowout wins over Orlando, something that is giving them the false perception that they are a top team, when they are indeed very far from that. Even on those two easy wins, Brooklyn's ball movement was quite poor, as even though they had an easy task on offense, the Nets had just 21 and 20 assists against Orlando and they are just #24 in the league in A/TO ratio with 1.26, something weird when they have two playmakers on the starting lineup in Deron Williams and Joe Johnson.
The truth is that the Nets are still trying to find a identity to the team and a proper game plan. I know that they easily crushed Orlando on their last game, but they shot 5-7 FG at the rim against an undersized team like the Magic, a reason for concern as the Nets with a super size edge should simply pound Orlando down low and the truth is that Brooklyn was an outside shooting team with 7-14 FG from 16-23 feet and 7-24 3pts! They will be facing a Cavaliers, whose only defensive struggle is defending at the rim (worst in the league), but as I've said, the Nets don't take advantage of these edges, with just 21.5 FGA per game at the rim (#3 lowest volume on the league). Also with Deron Williams running the show, it was expected for the Nets to be a top offensive team in running pick and rolls, but the truth is that they are the third worst team in the league on pick and roll ball handler plays, a clear sign for their lack of identity on offense!
They will now face Cleveland, who has lost their last three games, but they are coming from a game where they were competitive at Oklahoma City until the end of the 3rd quarter, where the score was at 73-76. We know that Cleveland has a good pick and roll game due to Kyrie Irving and they are #9 on pick and roll ball handler with 0.82 PPP and with Irving's good vision, the Cavs are also a great spot up team by being #4 on the league with 1.1 PPP! This style of the Cavs offense gives them a good matchup against Brooklyn.I don't think Deron Williams is a good defender in chasing players on pick and rolls, while Brook Lopez is just too slow, he doesn't have a good foot speed to move properly and not surprisingly, the Nets are just #22 on defending spot up plays. However, on my ranks, I have Brooklyn as #1 on the league in defending pick and roll ball handler plays, something kind of odd! They are just allowing 0.51 PPP on these plays. But when you look at their previous opponents, you realize why the Nets are looking so impressive on defending this kind of plays:
TOR #26 0.62 PPP
MIN #11 0.79 PPP (Brooklyn lost)
MIA #8 0.835 PPP (Brooklyn lost)
ORL #30 0.54 PPP
So, in five games (they faced Orlando twice), three of them were against teams who are ranked #26 and #30 on pick and roll ball handler plays! No wonder Brooklyn is ranked #1 on pick and roll ball handler defense right now! After today's game, I'm sure the Nets won't be #1 on the league on defending this kind of plays, while their offense isn't consistent enough for them to be favored by six points on this game against Cleveland. I believe the Cavaliers will make this game quite competitive and so, I'll be taking them in here.
Free Pick: Take Cleveland +6 in here (Single Dime Play)
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