Trail Blazers vs. Nets Odds
|Trail Blazers Odds||Pick’em|
|Moneyline||-109 / -109|
|Time||Friday, 8 p.m. ET|
The Nets dismantled the Pacers last night as Kevin Durant dropped 42 points without Kyrie Irving. Meanwhile, the Blazers desperately need a win to try and move up into the 6-seed and avoid the play-in tournament.
Let’s break down this matchup.
Portland Trail Blazers
This is the first game of a back-to-back set for the Blazers, and it will be interesting to see if they rest Jusuf Nurkic or if he will attempt to play in consecutive games again. Keep an eye on his status using our Labs Insiders Tool.
The Blazers are excellent offensively but give up the second-most points per 100 possessions in the league this year, per Cleaning the Glass. They give up a whopping 117.1 points per 100. They are actually so bad on defense that it pulls them down to a point differential of just +0.8 per 100 possessions.
Their defensive struggles are directly tied to their 55.4% effective field goal percentage allowed, as they give up shots at the rim at the fourth-highest rate in the league and the corner 3 at the fifth highest. They allow shooting percentages of 64.7% and 44.1%, respectively, from those locations.
Portland struggles defensively, and much of it is its personnel, while some of its players are individually a plus on the defensive end, such as Robert Covington or Nurkic.
Schematically, they don’t play as well off of their other key pieces who can’t switch with everyone or adjust quickly to move and cover that corner 3. While lineups with these two are able to effectively defend the rim, they sacrifice the corner 3. Considering these are two of the Blazers’ “best” defensive players, this is problematic moving forward.
The Nets’ injury report will be critical to keep an eye on before this game. Irving missed last night’s game with a sore right groin and is questionable for tonight, while Bruce Brown will also be a game-time decision with a sore right knee. Additionally, Durant is a rest candidate after playing in last night’s game.
When keeping tabs on these players, take an opportunity to check out my guide on which players benefit the most when their teammates are on load management. I discuss the Nets, amongst some other teams, that have been resting their stars in this condensed season.
The Brooklyn Nets are fantastic offensively and score points at will. They have a league-best 58.1 eFG% and the league’s No. 1 offense while scoring 119.5 points per 100 possessions, per Cleaning the Glass.
They’re able to do this seemingly regardless of which star is in. As long as Durant or Irving is on the floor, even with Harden out, the Nets have scored 122.3 points per 100 possessions for a net differential of +8.2.
Even when all of them are off the floor, the Nets have been effective this year. Although it’s a small sample size, the Nets have posted a +6.1 point differential per 100 possessions without Durant, Harden, Irving with this current roster. They still score, but they tighten up on the defensive side of the ball as well.
Trail Blazers-Nets Pick
There is much in flux regarding this game due to the status of the Nets’ injury report; however, even if the stars do not play, I’d expect Brooklyn to continue its winning ways.
The Nets are better all around, and their bench could carry them in this game against a porous Blazers’ defense.
In the event Durant and Irving do not play, one player I’ll be looking at is Tyler Johnson. He takes 27% of his shots from the corner and hits them at 42% of the time. If they don’t play, this shot could be open for him all night.
Pick: Nets PK
Are you looking for a safe, reliable, trustworthy sportsbook? Check out our ratings of the best sportsbooks and their current sign-up offers for new customers.