Brooklyn Nets v Cavaliers: Inside The Matchups

Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn Nets

After closing the regular season with four straight wins — including one against Cleveland — the Brooklyn Nets are favored to take the rematch in Tuesday’s play-in game.

But what exactly will the Nets have to do to take down the Cavaliers, and earn their way into a first-round playoff date against the second-seeded Celtics?

A Deeper Look Into The Matchups: Brooklyn Nets v Cavaliers

Since Kevin Durant returned from his MCL injury, Brooklyn was third in a 3-point shooting (.399). But in terms of volume, the Cavs allow the sixth-fewest 3s in the league while Brooklyn makes the seventh-fewest. The Nets’ perimeter defense has been middling but has held foes to .345 shooting. Even with Darius Garland, Cleveland is in the bottom third in makes and attempts. Brooklyn held the Cavs to 8-for-27 in the last meeting. 

This gives an overall edge to the Brooklyn Nets.

Despite going big, the Cavs aren’t a great rebounding team. The Nets have improved from terrible to mediocre thanks to Andre Drummond. Adding him and subtracting Jarrett Allen from Cleveland will be key.

The edge for rebounding goes to, obviously, the Brooklyn Nets.

There’s no area of the Nets’ defense that’s excelled. Allen was top 10 in paint points, and losing both him and Collin Sexton leaves the burden to Garland and Evan Mobley. But the Cavs still scored 60 paint points in the last meeting.

The edge here goes to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The bench looks even on both sides.

Steve Nash’s rotations will likely shrink to nine, with Nic Claxton, Patty Mills, Kessler Edwards, and Goran Dragic off the bench. Cedi Osman, Kevin Love, and Lamar Stevens will face a Nets bench that is as healthy as it’s been all season.

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