The 76ers came into this first-round series as heavy favorites, and they showed why in game one with a 121-101 victory. Tonight they will be back in the Wells Fargo Center looking to extend their series lead, and we’ll preview the game before going over why I’ll be targeting a player three-point total in this one.
After their win on Saturday afternoon, the 76ers are now listed at (-1800) to win the series against the Nets, and with the dominance they showed on both ends of the floor, this is unsurprising. Philadelphia’s NET rating for the game was 23.5, and they put up the best offensive efficiency rating by a playoff team at 134.4.
It was expected to be the case, but Brooklyn had no answer for Joel Embiid, who finished the game with 26 points on an efficient 7 for 15 from the field and 11 for 11 from the free throw line. If Brooklyn wasn’t going to stop Embiid, then one would hope they could limit James Harden, which was not the case either since he finished with 23 points and 13 assists.
Offensively, the Nets shot 56% from the field, but they attempted 19 fewer field goal attempts than the 76ers. Mikal Bridges finished with 30 points, and Cameron Johnson added 18, but overall the team's offensive efficiency rating of 111 was 9th among all 16 playoff teams.
Turnovers played another significant role in the game, with Philadelphia forcing the Nets to turn the ball over 19 times, while the 76ers only had eight turnovers themselves. P.J. Tucker played a massive factor in this area as he ended the game with five steals, and to put it in perspective as to how sloppy Brooklyn was offensively to let this happen, Tucker had 39 steals all season which is an average of (.5) per game.
For my prop play in this one, I’ll be targeting Tyrese Maxey to make over 2.5 three-pointers at (-105). The young guard had 13 points in game one but did go 3 for 5 from three. Over his last ten games, Maxey is averaging 3.5 made threes, and with increased attention on Embiid and the way Harden is distributing, I expect Maxey to get his looks tonight.
Brooklyn was 21st in opponent three-point percentage during the regular season and just allowed Philadelphia to shoot 49% from three on 43 attempts in game one. With Brooklyn not having the defensive depth, guys like Maxey and P.J. Tucker reap the benefits since Embiid, Harden, and now Tobias Harris gets most of the emphasis on them.
Maxey is a confident scorer and is shooting 50.7% from three over his last ten games. One of the most impressive aspects of Maxey’s game is his ability to adjust to any role he is given, and tonight, I expect him to have more of a spot-up shooter role.
Tyrese Maxey Over 2.5 Three Pointers Made (-105)