Two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference will square off Wednesday night as the Brooklyn Nets (29-17, 4th in East) take on the Philadelphia 76ers (30-16, 2nd in the East). The 76ers will host this one at the Wells Fargo Center, with tipoff scheduled for 7:30 pm ET.
Brooklyn comes into this one having won back-to-back games, including a 120-116 road win at Golden State on Sunday in their last outing. In the win, Kyrie Irving had a game-high 38 points, to go along with seven rebounds and nine assists. Nic Claxton added 24 points and 15 rebounds in the victory.
Philadelphia is also hot having won five in a row. In their last outing, they took down the Kings 129-127 on the road. Tyrese Maxey had a game-high 32 points in a game neither Joel Embiid nor James Harden played in.
The 76ers are the favorites playing at home. They are -225 to win, while the Nets’ moneyline sits at +188. The spread features Brooklyn as 5.5-point underdogs (-110).
Nets Try To Cut Into Conference Deficit
At 29-17, the Brooklyn Nets sit fourth in the Eastern Conference, five games behind the top-ranked Celtics and just a game behind the 76ers. They hope to pick up a road victory and cut into their conference deficit Wednesday night. To date, they are 16-10 on the road and 20-8 against Eastern Conference teams.
Unfortunately for Nets’ fans, they will still be without Kevin Durant, who is recovering from a knee injury.
The Nets rank 16th in the NBA in scoring, averaging 113.7 points per game. They have been carried as of late by guard Kyrie Irving, who is averaging 26.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5 assists in 35 games.
Other contributors include Nic Claxton (12.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.7 blocks) and Seth Curry (10.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists).
Defensively, Brooklyn ranks fifth overall, allowing opponents just 110.7 points per game.
Philadelphia Looks To Continue Home Dominance
The 76ers have been solid regardless of the venue this year, but they have been especially strong at home. To date, they are 17-7 when playing at the Wells Fargo Center, and they will look to add another tally to the win column Wednesday night.
Like the Nets, Philadelphia has an elite defense. They currently rank third in scoring defense, allowing opponents just 110.2 points per game.
On offense, they rank 15th in the NBA, averaging 114.1 points per game. The 76ers’ offense is led by center Joel Embiid, who leads the team in points (33.6), rebounds (9.8), assists (4.2), and blocks (1.7) per game. After sitting out in the last game, Embiid is questionable for this one with a foot injury.
While Embiid is questionable, it appears as James Harden will play after being upgraded to probable with a foot issue of his own. In 30 games, Harden is averaging 21.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 11.2 assists per game.
Other major threats include Tyrese Maxey (21.1 points, 3 rebounds, 3.8 assists), Tobias Harris (16.3 points, 6.2 rebounds), and De’Anthony Melton (10.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists).
Injury Report Might Determine The Most Value
Looking at the trends, Brooklyn is just 2-5 against the spread in their last seven games, but they are 4-2 against the spread in their last six against the 76ers. Furthermore, they are 15-5 straight up in their last 20 and 11-3 in their last 14 road games.
For Philadelphia, they are 7-2 in their last nine home games versus the Nets, and they are 4-1 in their last five against Atlantic Division opponents. The OVER has also hit in their last six home games.
Keep an eye on the injury report on this one. If Joel Embiid can play, that may be enough to tip the 76ers to being able to win and cover at home.
If he can’t play, Philadelphia might still be able to pull out the home win, but there would be a ton of value in taking Brooklyn and the 5.5 points (-110).