In short, the Nets stink. Their iso-heavy brand of basketball is predictable and overly relies on Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving’s ability to hit a high percentage of contested jumpers. Their defense isn’t much better. Like the Mavs, they struggle to contain dribble penetration and rotate in unison. If you want a wide-open corner 3 against them, you’ll get it. And yet, fans should still be weary because of the fact that Kevin Durant is still a top 5ish basketball player on the planet and capable of rendering your defensive schemes useless. If he gets hot and has one of THOSE games, there is little you can do to stop outside of hoping your offense is up to the task of matching fire with fire.
Date and Time: Thursday, October 27th, 2022; 6:30 PM CST
Venue: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
Spread: Mavericks -2.5
Mavs ML: -140
The key to tonight’s game will be whether or not Luka can deal with Ben Simmons guarding him. Historically, Simmon's combination of length and athleticism has made Luka work for his points. To be clear, Simmons isn’t a Luka stopper per se. Luka will still get his. The problem will come if the help doesn't come and the Nets are comfortable leaving Simmons on an island. Our own Josh Bowe spoke about the lack of open looks for our shooters early in the season. That problem could be compounded tonight. I would expect Kidd to post Simmons up early and often and try to get him into foul trouble. At the very least, if he can score on Simmons in the post, it could force the Nets to send a second defender and that could lead to cleaner looks for our offense. As far as Kevin Durant is concerned, you just have to hope he misses. Maxi, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Bullock will take turns guarding him but the results will be the same. He will get to his spots and shoot over the top of you. If he has an average game, the Mavs have a shot to pull out the victory. If he catches fire, you tip your cap and move on.
The other players to watch will be Kyrie Irving and Christian Wood. With Wood, the Nets lack the type of physically imposing big that could manhandle him in the post. He should tally his highest minute total thus far and his ability to hit pick-and-pop 3s will be huge. If the Nets want Simmons to stay with Luka and avoid switches, Wood will have to make them pay. For Kyrie, he should be able to penetrate at will. In a vacuum, he SHOULD pose a huge issue for us but he woke up today and is still Kyrie Irving. What does that mean? It means he is an agent of chaos and not in a way that is beneficial to his own team. Because of that, how he impacts the game is anyone’s guess.
Ultimately, I’d stay away. With how undisciplined we’ve been on defense this year, I don't trust us to find ways to slow down Durant.
ADVICE: Take over 225 points.
Kevin Durant Over 28.5 points (-125)
Christian Wood over 18.5 points (-125)
Christian Wood over 7.5 rebounds (-140)
Luka Doncic over 7.5 Assists (-135)
Player of the Day
Christian Wood over 1.5 3 pointers made (-125)
I expect Wood to give Nic Claxton the blues tonight. I will take all of the Christian Wood overs with a smile.