The Brooklyn Nets are heavy favorites to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in Tuesday’s game after winning four consecutive games to close the regular season.
What, precisely, do the Nets need to accomplish to beat the Cavs and set up a round one playoff matchup with the second-seeded Celtics?
A Deeper Look Into The Matchups: Brooklyn Nets v Cavaliers
Following Kevin Durant’s comeback from an MCL injury, Brooklyn has shot 35% from beyond the arc, good for third in the league (.399). The Cavaliers allow just the sixth-fewest three-pointers in the NBA, while the Nets make only the seventh-fewest. The Nets have allowed opponents to shoot just.345 from the field, while playing a poor perimeter defence. The Cavaliers are in the worst third of the league in both makes and attempts, and that’s with Darius Garland. In their last matchup, Brooklyn limited the Cavaliers to an 8-for-27 shooting performance.
The Brooklyn Nets benefit from this in the grand scheme of things.
The Cavaliers are not a terrific team at grabbing boards despite their size advantage. Since acquiring Andre Drummond, the Nets have gone from being abysmal to just plain bad. A significant move for Cleveland would be to acquire him while releasing Jarrett Allen.
Obviously, the Brooklyn Nets have the advantage in boards because to their size and length.
The Nets have struggled all across the board defensively. With Allen and Collin Sexton out of the lineup, Garland and Evan Mobley must shoulder more of the load in the paint. But even with that, the Cavaliers still managed 60 points inside the paint in the last matchup.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have the upper hand here.
Neither end of the bench seems to be favoured.
Expect Steve Nash to play less than 10 players every game, with Nic Claxton, Patty Mills, Kessler Edwards, and Goran Dragic all coming off the bench. The Nets’ bench is as strong as it has been all season, so Cedi Osman, Kevin Love, and Lamar Stevens can expect a tough matchup.