The NBA Playoffs kick off on Saturday afternoon as the Brooklyn Nets head to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers.
The presumptive NBA MVP, Joel Embiid, will be a lot — and I mean A LOT — to handle for these Nets, but what Brooklyn has going for them is the house-money affect. Meaning, no one anticipates they’ll win the series, so they can go out there and play like a team that has nothing to lose.
That can be dangerous, right?
Still, the numbers are stacked against the Nets. They are 8.5-point underdogs in Game 1 and very, very much long shots to win the series.
As they say in, well, literally everything: anything can happen.
WHO: Brooklyn Nets (0-0) at Philadelphia 76ers (0-0)
WHEN: 1:00 p.m. est
WHERE: ESPN (national tv), WWOR/MY9 (local tv), WFAN-FM (radio)
When you’re online, you tend to find yourself in the news. That’s where Spencer Dinwiddie found himself as he engaged in a war of words with his former Washington Wizards teammate, Kyle Kuzma. Silly as it was, Dinwiddie has more pressing matters on his hands starting today. The Nets need a downhill threat, and they will need Dinwiddie to continue striking the right balance between getting shots for himself and creating good looks for his teammates.
When you’re trying to pull off an upset, you need to be on fire from 3-point range. Brooklyn revamped their offense to be more three point heavy, and towards the end of the season, players like Cam Johnson and Joe Harris will be absolutely essential to the Nets’ chances. Same with former Sixer and Doc Rivers’ son-in-law, Seth Curry. The Nets like to aim for at least 40 3-pointers a night, and they’ve got to make their fair share if they want to stay close to Philly.
The Nets will try to push the tempo and get Philly on the run as much as possible. Post All Star break, the 76ers were 29th in pace, averaging only 96 possessions per game. After the break, the Nets were ninth best in opponent’s turnover rate, and if they can force the Sixers into mistakes, it will help them find easy buckets in transition.
For more on the 76ers, check out Liberty Ballers.