First we put Pacers money the pocket, then the Patriots. It’s been a good little run over the last several plays for us here. The Nets play again on Tuesday night, this time on the road, and I’ve got an angle for us to play.
All three games on Tuesday’s card have hefty totals, with the Nets and Hornets coming in right after Orlando and Houston with a total of 218.
Last time I wrote about Brooklyn’s frantic pace of play. The Nets play faster than anybody in the NBA and I wouldn’t expect the Hornets to object to running after their latest slog with the ever-deliberate Jazz over the weekend, if that’s how the Nets want to play it. Kenny Atkinson has slowed things down after his team gave up 129 points to Minnesota on the last day of January.
The Nets have made progress by cutting possessions. They still lost all four of the games they’ve played (and nine straight overall), but have done so in a much more civilized manner. They gave up 104 to the Heat, 95 to the Knicks, 106 to the Pacers and, most recently, 103 to the Raptors on Sunday. I just wonder if the slower Nets are here to stay or if it’s just a matter of time and frustration before they scrap it and start running and gunning again. After all, the last time Brooklyn won was when it put up 143 on the Pelicans.
Charlotte also comes into this one with added emphasis on defense after blowing a fourth quarter lead in Utah that extended its own losing streak to seven; Steve Clifford revealed as much after practice yesterday. The Hornets are not a good defensive team, but I’m also convinced that any NBA roster determined to play defense against Brooklyn will have some success.
The road Nets will dictate whether this one goes over or stays under. If they decide to eff the defense and start chucking again, I’m confident the Hornets will oblige and send this one over. But if Brooklyn stays slow for a fifth straight game there is value to be had with two teams playing improved defense. Considering the size of the total and that there’s still a chance it stays close if both teams run but don’t shoot well, the under feels like the better play. You should only have to watch the start to have a good idea whether or not we have a winner tonight.
Free Pick: Under 218