The Brooklyn Nets stunned the Philadelphia 76ers with a 111-102 victory in game 1 of their first-round playoff series. Brooklyn has been surprising teams all season long, and they showed the Sixers just how good they can be. Philadelphia came into this series as one of the favorites in the East but will need to regroup in a hurry to tie this series up.
Philadelphia finished the regular season by going just 2-4 in their final six games, and they looked just as bad in game 1 of the series. The Sixers have been one of the highest scoring teams in the league, but their offense managed just 102 points. Brooklyn won three straight games to end the regular season and carried that momentum with them into this series. Philadelphia is a -7.5 point favorite over the Brooklyn Nets in this game.
Russell, LeVert Carrying Nets
The Brooklyn Nets have an impressive number of young stars, but none were bigger than D’Angelo Russell and Caris LeVert in the series opener. D’Angelo Russell has been waiting a long time for his first playoff moment, and he delivered 26 points in his playoff debut. Caris LeVert poured in 23 points to support Russell. These two guards were almost impossible for the Sixers to stop, and will be a handful again in game two.
Brooklyn struggled on the defense for much of the season, but that wasn’t the case in game 1 of the series. The Nets allowed more than 112 points per game during the regular season, but they shut down the explosive 76ers. Brooklyn held Philadelphia to just 40 percent field goal shooting, and just 3-25 from the three-point line. The Nets will need a similar effort in this game.
Sixers Need a Healthy Embiid
The Philadelphia 76ers are playing with an injured and hobbled Joel Embiid, and that’s a big problem. Embiid was able to suit up in game 1 and scored 22 points with 15 rebounds, but he wasn’t his normal self. The Sixers were outscored by 17 points when he was on the floor, and their defense took a huge hit as well. If Embiid doesn’t get back to 100 percent, then the Sixers might be in trouble.
Jimmy Butler poured in a game-high 36 points in the series opener, but the rest of the starters for Philadelphia didn’t show up. The Sixers have one of the most talented starting units in the league, but they didn’t play like it in game 1. Tobias Harris, Ben Simmons, and J.J. Reddick combined for just 18 points, and they must play better in this game.
Philly Bounces Back in Rout
The Sixers were stunned by the Nets in game 1 of the series, but they will regroup in time for this game. Philadelphia just has too much talent to lose both games at home, and they will even the series up. Look for the Sixers to shoot much better and break this game wide open early. Bet the Philadelphia 76ers -7.5 over the Brooklyn Nets.