Philadelphia 76ers vs Brooklyn Nets 12/16/21: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Live Stream
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Brooklyn Nets Matchup Preview (12/16/21)
The Brooklyn Nets will be exceptionally under-staffed on Thursday when they host the Philadelphia 76ers. Philadelphia remains incredibly inconsistent and far from its potential. The Sixers beat the Golden State Warriors by nine points at home on Saturday and two days later, lost to the Memphis Grizzlies by 35 points. No, that is not a typo. They played very well against the Warriors and resembled the team that was atop the Eastern Conference early in the 2021-22 season but, unfortunately, reverted to their old ways against Memphis. Brooklyn has a far worse problem than inconsistency at the moment. It will be missing at least seven players to either contracting COVID or being placed in the NBA’s healthy and safety protocols. The players that will miss this matchup include James Harden, James Johnson, Bruce Brown, Jevon Carter, DeAndre’ Bembrey, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Paul Millsap. Kyrie Irving and Joe Harris will still be unavailable as well. This game will be a defensive-centric, low-scoring game and entirely dependent on which Sixers team shows up on Thursday night.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Brooklyn Nets Betting Odds
You should note that Brooklyn is a league-worst 3-10-1 against the spread at home. It is laughable how bad the Nets have been at covering the spread in Barclays, and I can’t seem to figure out why that is the case. They will also be without James Harden and six other players, as they have been placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols. This represents an even bigger problem than their record against the spread at home. All signs point to the Sixers being road favorites, and it will take another 50+ point game from Kevin Durant for them to cover. While that is not out of the realm of possibility, I would certainly not lean that direction.
For the point total, I would be considering the under, depending on where it is placed. These are two teams that play at a slower pace, especially the Sixers, who have to wait for Embiid to get up the floor before they can get into their half-court sets. The Nets can score in the fast-break, but don’t have the personnel or chemistry with this current lineup to have as much of an impact as before. Philadelphia also has several wings it can throw at Kevin Durant, forcing him to either take contested shots in double-team scenarios or pass to other guys, most of whom have not gotten a lot of minutes this season.
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Time: 7:30 PM ET
Arena: Barclays Center – Brooklyn, NY
Channel: NBA TV
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Philadelphia 76ers Starting Lineup
Philadelphia 76ers Analysis
The Sixers have several injuries of their own to deal with: Furkan Korkmaz, Jaden Springer, and Georges Niang will all be out. At the same time, Joel Embiid and Seth Curry are questionable for Thursday’s bout. The bottom-line for the Sixers is that they need to learn how to score against top-ranked defenses consistently. For instance, they have no issues scoring on the Charlotte Hornets; however, once they play the Warriors, Jazz, or Nets, it can be hard for them to get to 100 points. Additionally, their defense this season is nowhere near as strong as last year, so stopping teams from scoring that modest amount becomes incredibly difficult. However, this game could still be within reach since the Nets are missing so many key players.
Brooklyn Nets Starting Lineup
Brooklyn Nets Analysis
This is going to be a rough patch for the Brooklyn Nets. James Harden and six other players will miss several games, including this one. Kevin Durant is already heavily relied upon, but this feels like too much to overcome in the meantime. David Duke Jr and Kessler Edwards will both likely draw starts, and neither has played in more than a few games all season. Despite the Nets getting a win in overtime against the Toronto Raptors, I find it difficult to believe they can pull that off again with so few players. Durant will need to have a massive game for the Nets to sneak away with a win, which is always possible, but the Sixers will probably try and throw the kitchen sink at him and not worry about everyone else on the floor.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Brooklyn Nets Daily Fantasy Picks
Kevin Durant will look to continue his MVP quest mere days after an incredible 51-point performance against the Detroit Pistons. Durant shot exceptionally efficiently, going 16-for-31 from the field and 5-for-10 from behind the arc. Additionally, Durant tacked on nine assists, seven rebounds, and two blocks in that game. Essentially, not having Durant in your lineup for that game was a death sentence in DFS. It will be of the utmost importance to try and identify when Durant’s next iconic game will come. While I don’t necessarily think it will be this game, he always remains a viable play, especially since he will be so heavily relied upon with seven Nets players missing this game.
Since returning from COVID, Joel Embiid has been very hit-or-miss as a DFS player. Embiid put up 43 points, 15 rebounds, and seven assists against the Charlotte Hornets, and then a few games later merely had 19 points and nine rebounds against the Utah Jazz. This type of inconsistency and roller coaster play can make or break your lineup; however, when he dominates, he can outscore anyone in DFS and be the anchor to your lineup. Part of the reason Embiid struggles with consistency may be attributed to his shape since contracting COVID. It may not happen today or tomorrow, but eventually, Embiid will be in better shape, and thus, more consistent with his DFS scoring outputs.