Since trading for star shooting guard James Harden, the Nets are 2-0 with wins over the Magic and the Bucks. Wednesday’s game comes with some uncertainty because the Nets expect point guard Kyrie Irving to make his return to the starting lineup. Irving has not played since January 5, citing both “personal reasons” and COVID-19 protocols as reasons for being away from the team.
The Cavaliers were one of the four teams affected by the Harden trade by getting Nets Big man Jarrett Allen and a second-round pick next season. Allen hasn’t played a game for the Cavs yet, waiting on NBA’s safety protocols and a passed physical. Nets and Cavs fans alike hope to see him at some point in this two-game series.
Tip-off is at 7:00 P.M. Eastern. FanDuel lists the Nets as 10.5-point favorites.
Brooklyn Nets Betting Preview: The Trio Together
The “Big 3” of Irving, Harden, and Kevin Durant will be displayed on the floor together for the first time outside of all-star weekend sometime soon. After a two week absence from the team, Irving has passed multiple COVID-19 tests and will be returning to Brooklyn.
The Nets went 5-2 in Irving’s absence and are 9-6 this season. Harden has fit in as the interim point guard, scoring a triple-double in his first game with his new team (32 points, 12 rebounds, 14 assists). He gelled immediately with Durant, who scored 42 points against the Orlando Magic in the same game.
The game against the Cavaliers will be the biggest test so far for the Nets, especially if Irving returns to the lineup to take on his former team.
Cleveland Cavaliers Betting Preview: Steady the Ship
The Cavaliers are positioned as the first team to face off against one of the most talented starting lineups in NBA history. Cleveland has made a respectable start to the season while waiting for Darius Garland, Collin Sexton, and Kevin Love to return to the court as they sit with a 6-7 record, good for seventh place in the Eastern Conference Standings.
Cleveland has been the underdog in every game so far this season. Their record against the spread (6-7) matches their overall record. Role players like Larry Nance Jr. and Cedi Osman have stepped up in a big way as they both average double-digit points and more than six rebounds per game. When Allen gets onto the court, they’ll have more of an identity as the team with the most “big men” on a roster in the league, with five power forwards/centers in the rotation.
The Pick is In
While the Nets may go through some chemistry growing pains in establishing who will run the offense, the team can still light up the scoreboard. Brooklyn has scored 100+ points in all but one game this year. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers have only scored 100 points or more four times this season.
Take the Nets to win and cover the 10.5-point spread.
Be sure to check out our other NBA picks as the season continues.