The Brooklyn Nets (9-7) will be trying to split their two-game mini series on Friday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers (7-7) at Quicken Loans Arena. Brooklyn saw their four-game winning streak streak snapped on Wednesday as they lost 147-135 in double overtime to the Cavs.
In that game, the Nets big three of Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving came to platy. Durant led Brooklyn in scoring with 38 points and had 12 rebounds, to go along with eight assists in 50 minutes played. Irving was right behind Durant with 37 points on 15-of-28 shooting from the field and 3-of-8 shooting from three-point range in 48 minutes played.
Lastly, Harden recorded a triple-double consisting of 21 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds in 51 minutes played. Overall, the Nets had all five starters in double figures, while the bench only mustered to score 10 points.
As for the Cavaliers, Collin Sexton was the star of the game with his performance, especially in the second half. Sexton scored a game-high 42 points and knocked down tough buckets against Durant and Irving in various iso situations. He was one of seven Cavaliers players that at least scored 10 points, which played a major role in them being able to hang with Brooklyn.
What can we expect from these two teams in the second game of this mini-series? And who will be step up for Brooklyn with Durant out? To answer those questions and more, here is our pick against the spread and a player prop you need to watch out for.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, 7:30 p.m. ET
Pick ATS: Nets -6.5
The line for Friday’s night contest is currently set at 6.5 points, with Brooklyn still as the road favorite. As previously mentioned, the Nets will be without Kevin Durant, who is out resting after playing 50 minutes on Wednesday night. But that should still make it a reasonably easy number for the Nets to cover, if they can get some type of production. When these two teams played each other a couple of nights ago, the Nets were double-digit favorites but did not a lot of scoring from their bench.
Brooklyn’s bench was outscored by Cleveland’s 44-10, which coincidentally featured former Nets players Taurean Prince and Jarrett Allen. Now with Durant out, Joe Harris will likely find himself back in the starting lineup, which is less than ideal for the Nets’ bench.
Also, Brooklyn needs to play better defense as they are giving up 128.3 points in their last three games. With all that being said, I think the Nets get the cover here and rebounds in a big way.
Player Prop: Jeff Green U4.5 rebounds (+118)
Unlike Wednesday night’s game, where we had a few good player prop bets. There are not many favorable ones for Friday night with plus money. But one prop you should consider playing is Jeff Green under 4.5 rebounds. With no Durant playing, there will be more emphasis on Green and DeAndre Jordan to help with rebounding. But the only problem is they are going up against a Cavs team that has Andre Drummond, Larry Nance Jr., and Allen.
This season, Green has gone under 4.5 rebounds in 11 out of 16 games played. But on Wednesday, the veteran forward turned in seven rebounds, despite only averaging 3.3 rebounds per game.
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