Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#521 Brooklyn Nets 225 vs.
#522 Philadelphia 76ers -360
Monday, April 15, 2019 at 8:00pm EDT
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
Written by Chris Kubala

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#521 Brooklyn
#522 Philadelphia
43-40
51-32
46-37
38-45
40-42-1
42-40-1
112
115
112
112

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A pair of Atlantic Division teams clash in the opening round of the Eastern Conference playoffs in the City of Brotherly Love. The sixth-seeded Brooklyn Nets are on the road as they take on the third-seeded Philadelphia 76ers in Game 2 of their best of seven series Monday night. Brooklyn took the opening game of the series, winning 111-102 on the road Saturday afternoon. The 76ers own a 113-83 advantage in the all-time regular-season series but the teams split four meetings this season. This marks the third playoff series between the franchises: each team has won one with each team recording four playoff victories. The Nets, then in New Jersey, won the last playoff series, taking the first-round matchup three games to two in the 1984 playoffs.

Brooklyn Nets Seeking 2-0 Series Lead

Brooklyn didn’t appear fazed by playing on the road in a hostile environment against the 76ers as they came up with the victory in the opener. The Nets now will look to make it two straight road wins to open the series. Brooklyn won their fourth straight factoring in the end of the regular season as they found ways to flummox the 76ers on the offensive end of the floor. The Nets closed the opening quarter on a 12-0 run to take a nine-point edge. Brooklyn led the rest of the way as Philadelphia got no closer than two the rest of the way. The Nets didn’t let the 76ers draw any closer than nine in the fourth quarter as they controlled the game.

The Nets shot 43.2 percent from the field in the contest while draining 11 of 26 from three-point range. Brooklyn cashed in 24 of their 26 free throw attempts while forcing 13 Philadelphia turnovers. D’Angelo Russell led the Nets in the victory with 26 points. Caris LeVert came off the bench to contribute 23 points in 23 minutes while Spencer Dinwiddie chipped in 18 and Ed Davis put up 12 points plus 16 boards. All told, the Nets’ bench group outscored Philadelphia’s reserves by a 59-26 margin. Brooklyn set a franchise playoff record for bench points in the victory. The question will be if Kenny Atkinson’s group can maintain that momentum in this contest. Davis and Jared Dudley are both questionable for this one while Allen Crabbe remains out after a procedure on his knee earlier this month.

Philadelphia 76ers Trying to Even Series After Disappointing Showing

Philadelphia looked disinterested for stretches of the opening game of the series and it ended up costing them as Brooklyn took care of business. The 76ers now have to regroup and show that Game 1 was the deviation from the norm for the team. Philadelphia has dropped five of their last seven games dating back to the end of the regular season and has to regroup to avoid further disdain from the fan base. The 76ers were down nine after the opening quarter and by eight at the half. Philadelphia cut the lead to two early in the third quarter before giving up an 8-2 run to trail by eight: they didn’t get closer than three the rest of the way.

The 76ers struggled shooting the ball as they hit only 40.7 percent from the field, including a miserable three of 25 from three-point range, in the loss. Philadelphia also had problems at the free throw line, cashing in 29 of 42 attempts to negate a 50-45 edge on the glass. Jimmy Butler led the 76ers with a playoff career-high 36 points plus nine rebounds but there wasn’t a ton of help for him. Joel Embiid, who was doubtful for Game 1 with knee soreness, finished with 22 points, 15 rebounds, four assists and five blocks but shot five of 15 from the floor. Boban Marjanovic was the only other player in double figures with 13 off the bench. The 76ers are going to have to get production from Tobias Harris, Ben Simmons and JJ Redick, their other three starters. That trio combined to shoot eight of 23 from the floor for a total of 18 points in the loss.

Best Bets for this Game

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Philadelphia has to show that they’re actually interested in playing because Brooklyn isn’t going to roll over and play dead for them. The 76ers had controversy when Amir Johnson was checking his phone on the bench in the third quarter of the game. While the report was that he was checking on his sick daughter, he was blasted by the national media and fined by the team. Brooklyn is playing with house money and they have the momentum from taking Game 1 of the series. In the end, the 76ers have the better collection of talent but until they prove they can play together as a team on this stage, you have to fade them a bit. If you’re going straight up, a slight lean toward Philadelphia but playing the line, take the points and the Nets here.

Prediction: Brooklyn Nets +8

Full-Game Total Pick

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We saw Brooklyn control the tempo and pace over the game for the final three-plus quarters as they made the 76ers try to adjust to their style of play. Philadelphia is going to need a more spirited effort than we saw in the opener as they settled for bad shots far too often. Embiid was zero for five from three-point range and the 76ers clanked 22 of their 25 attempts from long range. Brooklyn will try to emulate their game plan from the opener in an effort to force the 76ers to adapt again. Can the Nets take a stunning 2-0 series lead?

The under is 4-1 in the Nets’ last 5 overall, 8-2 in their last 10 games following a straight up win, 4-1 in their last 5 vs. Eastern Conference foes and 4-1 in their last 5 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game. Philadelphia has seen the under go 5-1 in their last 6 Monday games and 8-2 in their last 10 Conference Quarterfinals games. This one is likely going to fall short of the total as it’s hard to have faith in the offensive production of the 76ers at this point.

Prediction: Under 226

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Brooklyn held an eight-point edge straight up at the half in Game 1 en route to the victory. You know that Embiid’s knee isn’t going to magically be better in this one and his lack of a cohesive jump shot in Game 1 proved to be an issue. The 76ers have to have more help on the offensive end of the floor. Brooklyn is content to play the same style of game that we saw in the opener in order to take care of business. Until Philadelphia shows that they can play to the level people expect from them, you have to fade them a bit. Take the points and the Nets here.

Prediction: Brooklyn Nets +4.5

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We saw a fairly entertaining first half in Game 1 as the 76ers seemed intent to try and bull their way inside since the perimeter shots weren’t falling. Embiid and Butler combined for 33 of the team’s 42 free throw attempts but it wasn’t enough. Brooklyn held a 62-54 lead at the half in the opener before the defenses settled in: the Nets outscored the 76ers 49-48 after intermission. The best bet for this one is that the score falls somewhere between those two sets of numbers. This one is close to the number at the half but falls just short.

Prediction: Under 110

Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. He keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college, the NHL, the NBA and college basketball and MLB.