It’ll be the Brooklyn Nets hosting the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first play-in game in the East bracket. The winner will be the No. 7 seed in the conference. Here’s everything to know about the matchup.
No. 7 Nets vs. No. 8 Cavaliers
Head-to-head record: Nets 3-1
Overall record: Nets 44-38, Cavaliers 44-38
Leading scorer on Nets: Kevin Durant
Leading scorer on Cavaliers: Darius Garland
Spread: Nets -7.5
Moneyline: Nets -320, Cavaliers +250
The Brooklyn Nets had a tumultuous season to say the least, headlined by the blockbuster trade of James Harden and Paul Millsap to the 76ers in exchange for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, and two first-round draft picks. Between Kyrie Irving’s vaccination saga resulting in less than 30 games played for the 30-year-old, and Kevin Durant missing a string of 21 games that saw his team fall down the standings into a play-in spot, it’s been a tough year for Brooklyn.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are in the NBA Playoffs for the first time since the 2017-18 season, but they still have some work to do to get into the first round as they’ll be a part of the play-in tournament. Cleveland made a massive leap in their performance on the court, coming off a three-year stretch in which the Cavaliers finished with a 60-159 record. The Cavaliers appear to be headed in the right direction in the first year with B.J. Bickerstaff as the head coach of a franchise with a young roster. Darius Garland is the team’s leading scorer, and Jarrett Allen averages a double-double in his second season in Cleveland, though he’s been out with a finger injury.