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Nets Aim To Take Commanding 2-0 Lead Over Limping Sixers

After drawing first blood on the Philadelphia 76ers’ home floor, the Brooklyn Nets will try to take a commanding 2-0 series lead when they tip off at Wells Fargo Arena tonight. The Nets stunned the Sixers with a 111-102 Game 1 win and made center Joel Embiid look like a liability due to a balky knee.

The Sixers opened as 8-point favorites with a total of 226.

Nets vs Sixers Game Center

STANDOUT STATS

  • When playing at home during the regular season, the Sixers were one of the best three-point shooting teams in the NBA. They shot an impressive 38.3 percent (ranked third) on only 29.4 attempts (ranked 24th). However, in Game 1 of the series, they shot an awful 3-for-25 from behind the arc with Joel Embiid being the biggest culprit by missing all five of his attempts from deep.
  • The Sixers defense was struggling coming into the postseason as they allowed 117.4 points in the last 10 games of the regular season while giving up a ton of shot attempts. In Game 1, Philly allowed the Nets to shoot 43 percent from the field and 42 percent from behind the arc and sent them to the foul line 26 times, with the Nets making them pay by hitting 24 of them. By the same token, the Sixers went to the charity stripe 42 times and missed 13 attempts.
  • The Nets made sure everyone on the roster contributed to the scoring effort as they had six players in double figures with D’Angelo Russell and Caris LeVert leading the way with a combined 49 points. On the flip side, the Sixers got almost no help for Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler as Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris and JJ Redick combined for 18 points.
  • Joel Embiid still looks to be struggling with a knee injury as he was hobbled for most of the game and was listed as doubtful about an hour before tipoff. During the season, he was dominant vs the Nets by averaging 30 points and 14.3 rebounds in four games but in Game 1, he only scored 22 points on 5-for-15 shooting.
  • Although the total fell short for OVER bettors, anticipating a high-scoring game in this matchup had been a profitable endeavor. When these teams met during the regular season, the total went OVER three out of four games with an average combined score of 237.2.

My Best Bet for Nets vs Sixers

UNDER 226

I like this total to fall short again because the Nets haven’t been scoring at a high clip all season and even though they dominated offensively in Game 1, they still only managed to put up 111 points. I think they fall short of that mark in Game 2 and I expect the Sixers to clamp down defensively.

That being said, the health of Joel Embiid makes me question if the Sixers offense can dominate because he looks like he has no lift in his jumper and is laboring running up and down the court. While I do think the Sixers win this game, I can’t trust them to win by more than eight points so I’ll stick with the UNDER and bank on the low-scoring game.

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