Clippers vs. Nets NBA Preview

 Paul George #13 of the LA Clippers celebrates with teammates.
Paul George #13 of the LA Clippers celebrates with teammates.


With the L.A. Clippers close to full strength for Tuesday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets, it’s time to put the Over in your NBA picks.


Los Angeles Clippers vs. Brooklyn Nets

at Barclays Center


They are the best of teams, they are the worst of teams. The Brooklyn Nets have been a glorious trainwreck since pulling off the James Harden trade; according to StatMuse, the new-look Nets have an offensive rating of 122.6, tops in the NBA – and better than any team has performed over the course of a regular season. At the other end of the floor, the Nets have a defensive rating of 119.9 since the Harden deal, which is dead-last in the league – and worse than any team’s entire season to date.

We saw both in spades on Sunday. The Nets ran up and down the floor all night with the Washington Wizards, and took a five-point lead with 12.3 seconds remaining before somehow letting the Wiz hit back-to-back threes. Final score: Brooklyn 146, Washington (+5.5 at home) 149. That leaves Harden’s version of the Nets at 6-3 SU and 3-6 ATS heading into Tuesday’s tilt with the Los Angeles Clippers (16-5 SU, 13-8 ATS), which opened with the Nets laying a single point on the NBA odds board at FanDuel. Given Brooklyn’s offense/defense imbalance, an early recommendation for the Over seems appropriate now that the Clippers have both their top players back in uniform.

The Dynamic Duo The two players in question, of course, are Kawhi Leonard (plus-1.3 VORP) and Paul George (plus-1.0 VORP). They spent most of last week in COVID-19 protocol, missing two games – both of which I previewed in this space. The Under was my chosen NBA pick against the Atlanta Hawks, and that one went according to plan, as Atlanta won 108-99 (Under 227) as 6-point home faves. The next game against the Miami Heat also went Under, if you grabbed the total at 216.5 when it opened at bet365. Final score: Clippers 109, Heat 105. With Leonard and George both in action Sunday versus the New York Knicks, it was time for the Over to shine again. They combined for 45 points as the Clippers beat New York 129-115 (Over 210.5), cashing in as 9-point road faves in the process. It helps that Patrick Beverley (plus-0.2 VORP) isn’t on this road trip, as the tenacious defender nurses a sore right knee; Nic Batum (plus-0.6 VORP) also missed that game with a tender groin, and is listed as questionable for Tuesday. The Nets, of course, are built for the Over. It’s 16-6 on the season and 8-1 since the Harden trade – although he didn’t play in their loss to the Wizards because of a left thigh contusion. The NBA lines were on hold for this matchup until Harden’s name failed to appear on Tuesday’s injury report; the total is still pending at press time, but as long as it doesn’t come out too high for your liking, the fundamentals are there to make the Over the right choice.

NBA Pick: Over 241½ -110 with Bet365

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