Trae Young and the talented Atlanta Hawks visit Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets in what promises to be a very entertaining game. Here’s a complete preview, including betting odds and free NBA picks.
Atlanta Hawks vs. Brooklyn Nets
Wednesday, November 03, 2021 – 07:30 PM EDT at Barclays Center
The Nets opened at -5.5 at Bet365 and over at FiveThirtyEight, they have them at -3.5. FiveThirtyEight gives the Nets a 64 percent chance to win. The equivalent moneyline is -178. For support, we turn to USA Today’s Jeff Sagarin’s projections; he has the Nets at -5.24 using his Rating numbers. This leaves a two-point gap between the FiveThirtyEight projections for the Hawks and the actual NBA odds. Did the sportsbooks get it right?
Where’s the Offense?
Brooklyn doesn’t have enough scoring. With Kyrie Irving (plus-5.7 Offensive Box Plus/Minus last season) out because he refuses to get the COVID-19 vaccine and James Harden (plus-2.8 Offensive Box Plus/Minus) hesitating to attack, the Nets aren’t playing to their identity: a team that uses offense as their defense.
Last season, the Nets used their offensive tempo to manipulate the flow and pace of the games and teams had to keep up with them. Whoever played the Nets ended up not playing defense, as their system was set up to run the opposing team out the gym. Brooklyn turned games into shootouts, hoping they would score more efficiently than their opponents.
As mentioned above, this system was designed for their scoring to be their defense/hustle. The Nets would keep attacking and you would have to match it. Right now, they’re missing around 35-40 points and the downfall of their system always was that the other team’s scorers could get hot.
The Brooklyn system had flaws last season and now that they’re really struggling offensively, averaging just 104.6 points per game (20th in the NBA). The Nets are not getting much from Blake Griffin (career-worst minus-6.5 Offensive Box Plus/Minus) and Paul Millsap (career-worst minus-1.8 Offensive Box Plus/Minus) and while LaMarcus Aldridge has given them some vintage performances, we can’t ask these three players to contain John Collins and Clint Capela or help the Nets outrebound the Hawks. Atlanta ranks second in the league with 50.3 rebounds per game and this one of the main reasons why I like them to at least keep this game close.
NBA Pick: Hawks +5.5 (-110) at PointsBet