This game between the Utah Jazz and Brooklyn Nets was appearing to be a good-to-great matchup for Tuesday night’s five-game slate. Things changed drastically on Monday when the team announced Kevin Durant had to go into quarantine for seven days. So KD will be sidelined for the Nets for the next week, missing at least four games in the process. No KD means we’ll see a change in the Nets lineup at some point today. The Jazz remain unfazed and enter the game having won three of four. Let’s take a look at the spread and make some picks.
Update: The Nets have mixed up their starting lineup big time with KD sidelined. Jeff Green, Bruce Brown and Taurean Prince are starting. This really only makes me feel better about both picks below. Joe Harris and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot may not play as much along with DeAndre Jordan. If that’s the case, the Jazz lean is even heavier.
Utah Jazz vs. Brooklyn Nets, 7:30 p.m. ET
Pick ATS: Jazz -4.5
The Nets lose a lot with KD sidelined. His defense is perhaps the biggest thing. The Nets are already down Spencer Dinwiddie. Brooklyn lost a few tight games with Durant in the lineup. Those games were against the Hornets and Hawks, two teams that aren’t nearly as complete as the Jazz. The only thing I’d be worried about is the Jazz are coming from San Antonio on one days rest to play in Brooklyn.
If you don’t care about travel, this should be an easy pick. No KD makes it easier for the Jazz to game plan to shutdown Irving and make Brooklyn shoot its way out of a hole. Utah should win the battle of second units with Jordan Clarkson vs. Caris LeVert. If LeVert starts, even better for the Jazz second unit going up against guys like Jeff Green, Chris Chiozza and Landry Shamet.
Player Prop: Rudy Gobert O15.5 Points (+106)
The Nets are one of the worst teams at defending the paint so far this season. Brooklyn is allowing the most 2nd chance points at 20.3 and the 4th-most points in the paint at 51.4 per game. No Durant will make it more difficult on DeAndre Jordan and Jarrett Allen trying to contain the All-Star center for the Jazz. Gobert shouldn’t have a tough time staying out of foul trouble. If that’s the case, getting to 16 points seems reasonable if Gobert can get around 30-32 minutes.
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