Jordan’s NBA Picks: 63-42 (Playoffs 9-4)
Philadelphia (53-32 SU & 40-45 ATS) at Brooklyn (43-42 SU & 46-39 ATS)
Saturday, 3:00 PM EST, TNT
Free NBA Pick: Nets 1H ML
Best Line Offered: Pinnacle
Last week when the Nets and Sixers hooked up for Game 1 of this series, the matinee start time was not kind to the Sixers. Even at home, they looked lost, lethargic and not ready to play. Could that happen again in Game 4 with Embiid likely out and now playing in Brooklyn?
Even with Embiid playing at less than 100 percent in Game 1, the Nets hit Philly in the mouth in Game 1 and never looked back. Since then the Sixers have come out as the more desperate team. However, I think they may have become a little over-confident after the way they won Game 3 without Embiid.
The Sixers have been pretty good on the road this season, but defense has been their main issue when they play away from the Wells Fargo Center. If the Nets can take advantage of that early like they did on the road in Game 1, I could see them coming away with the lead at the half.
The Sixers are not going to shoot the ball as well as they did in Game 3. Tobias Harris may have another big game, but he will not shoot 6-for-6 from beyond the arc. The Nets will likely shift their defense some to keep Harris and JJ Redick from lighting it up from deep.
Ben Simmons also had another good game after the whole trash talk incident with Jared Dudley. However, like I said above, it would not surprise me to see the Sixers get overly confident after that win and regress some in Game 4. If their shots aren’t falling, Simmons could get 30 points from layups and free throws and the Sixers could still lose.
The Sharp Pick
This isn’t just a narrative pick either. Since the All Star Break, the Nets have played very well in the first halves of their home games and while they were behind at the half in Game 3, if the Sixers’ shot-making regresses some, the Nets have enough firepower to hold back this talented Sixers team in the first two quarters.
However, the Sixers aren’t the only one with frontcourt issues. Ed Davis has played very well as the backup center for this club, but he has already been ruled out for this one. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson played well in Game 3 and was a nice spark for the Nets.
If RHJ can keep the pressure on the slower big men for Philly, the Nets will have an advantage when Jarrett Allen comes out of the game. With RHJ and Dudley playing the small-ball center spot, it will be very tough for the Sixers to matchup with them.
Outside of playing better defense and hoping the Sixers miss some more shots, all the Nets need is for their role players to show up. It was only the Nets’ studs making shots in Game 3, but if that changes and guys like DeMarre Carroll and Joe Harris can get hot, I love the Nets’ first half moneyline in this one.