In one of 11 games on Saturday in the NBA, the Brooklyn Nets will play the Philadelphia 76ers. This is the second game of a back-to-back for the Nets, who will also be without Kevin Durant due to COVID-19 protocols.
The Nets (11-8) are coming off of a 123-117 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Friday. Brooklyn did not have Durant to start the game because of contact tracing, but he ended up playing 19 minutes to only be pulled from the court in the second half. The Nets had to roll with the duo of Kyrie Irving and James Harden. Irving had 15 points, five rebounds, and five assists while Harden posted a double-double consisting of 17 points and 12 assists. The Nets had balance scoring with seven players reaching double figures, including Joe Harris, who scored a team-high 19 points (6-9 FG, 5-8 FT).
The Sixers (16-7) saw their four-game winning streak snapped on Thursday night by the Portland Trail Blazers. Philadelphia lost 121-105, despite Joel Embiid giving them 37 points and five rebounds in 34 minutes. The Sixers also did not have Ben Simmons, who was out with a hamstring injury.
Outside of Embiid, Philly failed to any consistent offense in the starting lineup. Tobias Harris scored 12 points and Furkan Korkmaz added 13 points. Overall, the Sixers shot 48.1 percent from the field, but a horrendous 25.9 percent from behind the arc. Off the bench, rookie Tyrese Maxey and Shake Milton scored 15 and 12 points, respectively.
What can we expect from these two teams on Saturday night? And can the Sixers even up their season series with the Nets? To answer those questions and more, here is our pick against the spread and a player prop you need to keep an eye on.
Nets vs. Sixers, 8:00 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass
Pick ATS: Nets +3
The Sixers are three-point favorites at home. As of right now, we know that the Nets will be without Durant based on health and safety protocols. But the Sixers are also coming into this primetime matchup banged up. Embiid is day-to-day, Simmons (calf) is listed as probable, and Seth Curry (illness) is listed as questionable.
Embiid suffered a scary knee injury on Thursday night against Portland that did not keep him out for long. But it would not come as a surprise to see him sit, especially if Simmons is available to play. When you combine those uncertainties for the Sixers, plus the Nets being healthy, I’d lean towards the Nets to cover the three points. However, keep in the mind this line could change depending on injury statuses.
Player Prop: TBD, props for neither team have been posted yet.
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