The Brooklyn Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers face off for the second time in five days Tuesday to kick off the NBA play-in round.
Brooklyn earned its home-court advantage for this game through Friday's victory over the Cavs at Barclays Center. Kevin Durant took over that contest with 36 points, and he could do the same with a matchup against the Boston Celtics on the line.
Cleveland comes into the No. 7-No. 8 clash at a disadvantage since Jarrett Allen was ruled out for the meeting against his former squad.
Brooklyn is the only home side to be favored by more than five points in the play-in round. The Nets will likely win, but their defensive struggles may allow Darius Garland and Co, to hang around and cover the 8.5-point spread.
Cavaliers at Nets Info
Date: Tuesday, April 12
Start Time: 7 p.m. ET
Live Stream: TNTdrama.com and TNT app
Spread: Brooklyn (-8.5)
Moneyline: Brooklyn -400 (bet $400 to win $100); Cleveland +315 (bet $100 to win $315)
Via FanDuel Sportsbook.
Daily Fantasy Tips
Trust Brooklyn's Star Power
Durant and Kyrie Irving should be trusted more than any players on the floor in Tuesday's contest.
The two superstars are expected to take the majority of the shots, as they have for most of the past month.
Durant featured in the starring role against the Cavs on Friday with 36 points on 20 field-goal attempts. Irving put up 22 shots from the field but only came away with 18 points.
Irving shifted into the primary scorer role against the Indiana Pacers two days later and put up 35 points. Durant had 20 points in the regular-season finale.
Durant and Irving alternated 30-point performances over the past five games, starting with Durant's 55-point outburst against the Atlanta Hawks on April 2. They check in with the highest daily fantasy basketball values, but they are both more than worth their spots in the lineup.
A high total should be expected out of the Nets offense because of the average defense played by the No. 7 seed. The Nets allowed more than 100 points in seven of their past eight games, and five of those foes reached the 115-point mark.
Brooklyn's high concessions could allow Darius Garland to match one of Brooklyn's stars in the scoring column and dish out 10 or more assists.
Look for Darius Garland to Take Advantage of Nets Defense
Garland produced an unusually low assist total of three in Friday's loss at Brooklyn.
Cleveland still earned 19 assists as a team thanks to five out of Rajon Rondo and four from Caris LeVert. The high assist concessions got worst for Brooklyn on Sunday, as it let Tyrese Haliburton and T.J. McConnell combine for 15 assists.
Garland must be involved on every possession in which he is on the floor. He needs to either be scoring or setting up baskets in an attempt to go head-to-head with Durant and Irving. Garland averaged 8.6 assists per game in the regular season, but he was in double figures on 13 occasions since March 1.
The point guard's handouts will mostly go to LeVert and Evan Mobley, who would be nice complements to Garland in a Cleveland lineup stack. Garland should feature at the top of any Cleveland-centric lineups. There may some value plays available to place alongside him.
Kevin Love, Cedi Osman and Lauri Markkanen might keep the Cavs in the game with their three-point shooting. Rondo, meanwhile, is worth a long-shot look because of the potential for him to record assists while Garland is either resting or focusing on scoring.
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