NBA Pick: Ugly Altercation in Philly Will Lead Nets & Pacers to Go 'Under'

Charles Stark

Saturday, March 14, 2015 6:13 PM UTC

Saturday, Mar. 14, 2015 6:13 PM UTC

Bad shooting plus decent defense is going to have us taking a totals pick today in Philadelphia where the Nets take on the Sixers. Read more to see why we think this game could be an ugly slugfest.

The ball is supposed to go in the basket
This is probably a popular mantra for both of these teams, but the operative word there is “supposed”.  Since the all star break both teams have struggled percentage wise getting the ball in the hoop.  Brooklyn has shot 44.5% in that time frame and rank in the bottom half of the league.  Philadelphia has been well… Philadelphia, since the break they are second worst in the league shooting 42.2%.  Beyond the arc has not been much better, the Sixers have shot 32.8% for seventh worst in the league while the Nets have shot 32.2% for fifth worst.  Recently things haven’t been much better, in the past three games the overall output of effective field goal percentage puts the Sixers at fourth worst in the league at 45%, while Brooklyn sits around the middle of the league at 49.4%.  Neither team is setting the world on fire.


The misc. stats
What we like to see in teams nowadays in the pace and space is ball movement, assists, and overall good team basketball.  The telltale sign of a team not clicking offensively can be attributed to too much isolation one on one and lack of swinging the ball to help with spacing.  This style might have worked a decade ago, but defenses now are much more in tuned to rotating, playing the high screen and roll more efficiently, and great on the ball defensive pressure.  Brooklyn falls into this old school style on occasion, since the break they are fifth worst in the league in assists at just over 20 per game and they turnover the ball at almost 14 per game ranked in the bottom half of the league.  Philadelphia is better in assists as they try to adopt the San Antonio patented system, but unfortunately they don’t handle the ball well.  Since the break they lead the league in turnovers at almost 17 per game… that is a lot.  Put this together and you have two teams that struggle from the floor before the shot even goes up, the Sixers rank worst in the league this year in assist/turnover ratio and the Nets rank in the bottom third of the league.

Can they at least play D?
There is this silver lining.  For all their offensive woes, the Sixers have played decent defense recently, Brooklyn has been just mediocre.  The last three games Philadelphia is fourth best in the league allowing opponents just below 42% shooting from the field, but oppositely just below 40% from beyond the arc which is ranked in the bottom half of the league.  Luckily they don’t have much to worry about in that category from Brooklyn, who although have shot a bit better recently, for the year they are fifth worst in league from beyond the arc at 32.7%.

The line
The NBA odds makers opened the total for this game at 192.  In all three games these teams have played this year they have gone under the number.  It might be tempting to take the over thinking they are due to go over the number this time around, but don’t buy it.  As for this NBA pick we think this is going to be an ugly game from tip to finish, and barring any OT we expect this game to stay under the total.

NBA Pick:  Under 192 at The Greek

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