Thursday, May 26, 2022

Nets-Cavaliers: Live stream, TV channel, time, watch NBA play-in tournament online, odds, prediction

The Brooklyn Nets entered this season as title favorites, but a detrimental injury to Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving being a part-time player until the final month of the season and an unexpected trade demand from James Harden led them to the No. 7 seed. This certainly isn’t the place the Nets — or anyone else — expected them to be. 

Then there’s Cleveland, a team that finished with the fourth-worst record a year ago. But the Cavs have been one of this season’s darling teams due to elevated play from Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen, to go along with a breakout rookie performance from Evan Mobley.

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Once at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of expected success, these two teams will now meet on Tuesday with the winner moving on to face the No.2-seeded Boston Celtics in the first round, while the loser will have one more shot at making the postseason on Friday. Here’s everything to know before the Nets and Cavaliers face off on Tuesday.

(7) Brooklyn Nets vs. (8) Cleveland Cavaliers

  • When: Tuesday, April 12 | 7 p.m. ET
  • Where: Barclays Center — Brooklyn, New York
  • TV: TNT | Live stream: TNT
  • Odds: BKN -420; CLE +320; O/U 228.5 (via Caesars Sportsbook)

Nets: Let’s get straight to the point: Brooklyn goes as far as Durant and Irving take them. When Irving and Durant are clicking, the Nets are an incredibly difficult team to stop. We’ve seen both players explode for 50-plus points this season on multiple occasions, and while I won’t go so far as to predict that will happen in this game, I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them did pass that threshold. Given how limited the Nets are on offense outside of their two stars, a lot of Brooklyn’s production will fall on Irving and Durant’s shoulders.

Cavaliers: Cleveland will be without Jarrett Allen for this game, which was to be expected given he hasn’t played since early March with a fractured finger. That makes them a bit more vulnerable in the frontcourt, and against Irving who can get to the rim at will, that’s not ideal. But I don’t think the defense will be too concerning for the Cavs. What needs to be the focus is making sure Garland and Caris LeVert can produce on offense to try and keep pace with Durant and Irving. Brooklyn ranks 20th in defense, so putting up points shouldn’t be a problem, Cleveland just needs to make sure it’s taking advantage of that. 

Prediction

Being without Allen is a real detriment to Cleveland, and it’ll give Durant and Irving the green light to attack the heart of the Cavs’ defense. We’ll get to see just how impressive Mobley is on defense in this game, and it’ll be interesting to see how the rookie adapts. In the end, though, I expect Durant and Irving to be more than enough to take care of a young Cavaliers team. Pick: Nets -8.5

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