A huge part of basketball strategy is hunting mismatches on the floor. For the Nets, that mismatch was going small with 6-foot-7 Jared Dudley playing at center and forcing Boban Marjanovic or Joel Embiid to guard in space. The Nets attacked that mismatch all day in Game 1, scoring 46 points in the paint and taking 26 shots from the free-throw line.
76ers head coach Brett Brown had no adjustment to Kenny Atkinson’s strategy, and that is one of the other mismatches in this series. Brown, going back to the series against Boston a year ago, has been thoroughly out-coached by the opposition in the postseason. Embiid is not healthy and the Nets are allowing Ben Simmons to take any shot outside of 5 feet.
The number for Game 2 of this first-round series opened with the 76ers as a 7 ¹/₂-point favorite, and in a bounce-back spot for Philadelphia, could reach eight or higher. Brooklyn will be live yet again for this one against the 76ers in what could be a series of mismatches both on the floor and on the clipboard.
The pick: Nets +7 ¹/₂