NBA Pick: NBA Playoff Play of the Day Tuesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 4:00 AM UTC

Tuesday, Apr. 22, 2014 4:00 AM UTC

Every day during the NBA Playoffs, LT Profits Sports seeks that one single playoff play that has the best chance of cashing. Here is their Playoff Play of the Day Tuesday.

After the two teams stayed safely ‘under’ in Game 1, look for a similarly low scoring game in Game 2 Tuesday night when the Brooklyn Nets (45-38, 16-25 away) again pay a visit to the Toronto Raptors (48-35, 26-16 home) as they continue their first round of the NBA Playoff series from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, ON Canada at 7:35 ET in a game televised nationally on NBA TV.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 190½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -105.

Despite losing four of their last five regular season games, the Nets were still one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference over the second half of the season in fact going 34-17 from January 1st onward. Brooklyn was at 33-13 since New Year’s Day before the late-season swoon, where many suspected that the Nets “tanked” to avoid facing the Chicago Bulls in the first round and instead facing a youthful Raptors team more lacking in playoff experience.

And the Raptors did indeed look a tad nervous in Game 1 Saturday in the 94-87 loss and they shot just 39.4 percent from the field with their All-Star DeMar DeRozan scoring just 14 points on 3-for-13 shooting while appearing to play out of control on several occasions.

Granted the Raptors figure to play better with that game under their belt, but the crafty veteran Nets still figure to slow the pace down at every opportunity tonight and not allow run-outs by the younger Raptors. After all, Brooklyn ranked just 25th in the NBA in pace rating during the regular season and that was a key reason why the Nets allowed only 99.5 points per game despite finishing 17th in the NBA in field goal percentage allowed at 45.8 percent.

The Nets basically have to play slow because they are such a veteran group, and that has obviously served them well given their performance since the beginning of the new calendar year. Then again, that pace has impacted the offense too as Brooklyn finished just 27th in the league in scoring at 98.5 points per game.

The Nets must also appreciate the fact that they have had two days off between the first two games, and the fact that Game 1 was an early afternoon game even adds to their rest. Thus, look for them to once again execute their game plan flawlessly, taking as much time off the shot clock as possible with every possession while keeping their veterans fresh late in the game.

The Raptors rallied several times in the series opener but every time they did, the Nets had an answer. And in the fourth quarter that answer was Paul Pierce, who scored nine of his 15 points in that final stanza, going back to what we said about the Nets keeping their veterans fresh by slowing the pace early.

And frankly, we do not see the Raptors forcing Brooklyn to play faster. That is not to say the Raptors need to do so to make stops though as the Raptors have been just fine defensively playing straight man-to-man defense, ranking ninth in the NBA in defensive efficiency this season. Thus, expect Toronto to be content to allow the Nets to run clock, provided the Raps continue to make stops at the end of those possessions.

Add this all up and while the Raptors might be able to even up this series while playing with some sense of desperation, we still feel that the pace will be slow again so go ‘under’ north of the border in Game 2 on Tuesday.


NBA Pick: Nets, Raptors ‘under’ 190½ (-105)

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