7:30 p.m. Brooklyn at New Orleans (-3) O/U: 235
The 38-19 Nets travel to the Smoothie King Center to take on the 25-32 Pelicans on Tuesday night. Brooklyn is fresh off a loss to the Heat on Sunday, 109-107. The bigger loss, however, was Kevin Durant exiting the game with a left thigh contusion that will keep him on the sidelines against New Orleans. The Pelicans have lost three in a row, most recently falling to the Knicks 122-112 on Sunday.
These two teams met in Brooklyn back on April 7 when the Nets picked up a 139-111 win. The two teams will look much different on Tuesday, with forward Brandon Ingram in the starting lineup this time around for the Pelicans while the Nets will also be without two of their three leading scorers from the first matchup in Durant and LaMarcus Aldridge, who has since announced his retirement, as well as do-everything star James Harden, who is out with a strained hamstring.
Brooklyn will be led by guard Kyrie Irving, who averages 27.3 points per game and led the team with 24 points on 4-of-6 shooting from three-point range in the previous matchup between these clubs. The Nets won the previous matchup in dominating fashion without Harden, so it is not the kiss of death without him and Durant in the lineup.
Joe Harris will be inserted into the starting lineup and has shot 48.2 percent from beyond the arc this season. Guard Landry Shamet is going to also see increased playing time, but that should not be a problem as he has been deadly from three-point range in April, making over 50 percent of his attempts on 7.7 tries per game. The Nets will need a strong team effort on the defensive end of the ball to try and slow Zion Williamson and the Pelicans down in transition, forcing them to shoot the ball from the perimeter, where they have struggled as of late.
New Orleans is led by superstar Williamson, who is averaging 26.8 points per game in just his second year in the league. Williamson was held to 16 points in the first matchup on 4-of-12 shooting from the field, but should be aided by the presence of his frontcourt partner Brandon Ingram this time around.
The Pelicans also are thin for this matchup, with valuable role players Josh Hart, James Johnson and Nickei Alexander-Walker all out indefinitely. They are going to need big games from Williamson and Ingram if they hope to get back into the win column Tuesday night.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Brooklyn Nets||+3 (-110)||+130||O 235 (-110)|
|New Orleans Pelicans||-3 (-110)||-155||U 235 (-110)|
New Orleans is a team that has struggled playing this scenario this season, going just 10-19 against the spread as a favorite. Meanwhile, Brooklyn has thrived in it, going 11-4 against the spread as an underdog. The Nets have played a good portion of their season without Durant and have been without Harden for over two weeks now, so they will not be fish out of water against the Pelicans. Take Brooklyn to be just fine on Tuesday and win outright, considering they have gone 10-5 straight up in games as an underdog. The Nets are still the better team at the moment and should be able to win even if they are shorthanded.