It’s one of the most anticipated games of this NBA season on Thursday as the Brooklyn Nets visit the Philadelphia 76ers in a potential Eastern Conference playoff preview and their first meeting since the big James Harden trade from the Nets to the Sixers. Let’s take a look at the following analysis for your NBA odds.
How to Bet Nets at 76ers NBA Odds & TV Info
- When: Thursday, 7:30 PM ET
- Where: Wells Fargo Center
- TV: TNT
- Stream: TNT app
- Radio: Tunein.com
- NBA Odds: Sixers -4.5
Brooklyn leads 2-1 but the Sixers won the last meeting 110-102 in Brooklyn on Dec. 30. Joel Embiid finished with 34 points and converted a tiebreaking three-point play with 3:14 remaining and Tyrese Maxey and Seth Curry hit 3-pointers to clinch it. Curry is now with the Nets. James Harden had 33 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists for Brooklyn but is now with Philly. Kevin Durant had 33 points as well in a losing effort.
Why Bet on Brooklyn?
Because this is a road game, the Nets will have star point guard Kyrie Irving available. He was brilliant on Tuesday in Charlotte with 50 points in a 131-121 win. Irving shot 15-of-19 from the field and 11-of-13 from the foul line while adding six assists and three rebounds to end the Nets’ four-game skid. It was his third 50-point game as a Net (fifth overall), and nine made 3-pointers were a career-high for Irving.
It was the second-fewest field goal attempts in a 50-point game in NBA history after Adrian Dantley took just 17 shots on Oct. 31, 1980. Irving also became the fifth player in NBA history, joining a list that includes Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, and Adrian Dantley, to have at least two career games with 50 points on 75 percent shooting. In addition, Irving now has nine games with more than 40 points as a Net, second only to Vince Carter’s 17, and his nine 3-pointers matched the second-highest single-game total in his career. It was his fifth career 50-point game.
With Irving going crazy, Kevin Durant took a backseat and had just 14 points and seven assists. It was Durant’s first game in which he didn’t reach the 15-point mark if excluding the Jan. 15 game against the Pelicans in which he suffered the knee injury that sidelined him for more than a month. Andre Drummond had 20 points and 14 rebounds. Drummond is playing a lot more with LaMarcus Aldridge (hip) out for at least the next two games. The 20 points were a season high for Drummond.
Ben Simmons, the key piece acquired in the trade of James Harden to Philadelphia, will not make his debut for the Nets on Thursday but reportedly will be on the bench. If he had played, Simmons would have been booed louder than perhaps any former 76ers player in history. He’ll be booed anyways. Simmons has been dealing with back soreness over the last 1½ weeks as he tries to get closer to playing again for the first time in over nine months.
“It’s great,” Nets coach Steve Nash said of the environment Thursday. “He’s on our team, he needs to be with his teammates and get the whole Philly thing out of the way a little bit. Maybe it never goes away, but the first time it’s always nice to kind of deal with it and move on.”
Why Bet on Philadelphia?
The Sixers routed Chicago 121-106 on Monday. MVP favorite Joel Embiid dominated the Bulls with 43 points, 14 rebounds, three blocks, two assists and two steals. With Nikola Vucevic out of commission, the MVP-favorite made light work of Tristan Thompson. Embiid produced his NBA-leading 10th 40-point game of the season.
James Harden shot just 5-of-15 from the floor but finished with a strong line of 16 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds. It was his fourth double-double in five games with Philly. Georges Niang contributed 14 points, three rebounds and two assists. With Danny Green ruled out due to a lacerated finger in the third quarter, Niang got some extra minutes and made the most of them. In nine games with at least 30 minutes this season, Niang has averaged 13.7 points, 4.7 boards and 2.0 assists.
Green is expected to miss at least a week as he had to get stitches on his finger and the location of the stitches causes a high risk for reopening the wound. In his absence, Matisse Thybulle and Niang will see more minutes. Paul Millsap (personal reasons) has been removed from the injury report and will play in Thursday’s game. He came over from Brooklyn with Harden in that big trade.
The game will be the stiffest test that Harden and Embiid have faced since they began playing games together two weeks ago. Philadelphia has gone 5-0 in games both superstars have played in, but none have come against opponents the caliber of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, two elite scorers.
Coach Doc Rivers cautioned against reading too much into an individual game, saying five games is too short a time to make sweeping judgments.
“Kevin Durant is elite,” Rivers said. “Kyrie is elite. When you give them the ball, they’re really tough to guard. There’s no secrets to that. We’ve got some elite guys here, too, and there’s probably no secrets to that. Both teams are probably still trying to figure out stuff. They’ve had guys in and out all year. Us, too, with the trade.
- 76ers 113, Nets 110