Nets Playoff Watch: How Tonight’s Games Affect Brooklyn

Nets Kevin Durant Kyrie Irving
Kevin Durant sits next to guard Kyrie Irving during the second half against the Miami Heat at FTX Arena.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets are in action against the Utah Jazz on Monday, but there are multiple games around the league that could certainly affect their current standing in the East. As it stands today, Kevin Durant and the rest of the boys from Brooklyn boast a record of 37-34, good enough to place eight in the Eastern Conference.

With 13 games remaining this season, there’s still plenty of opportunity for this team to move up into the top six and out of the NBA play-in games. Brooklyn will have to play their best basketball if they’re going to make that jump, but they’ll need some help from some of the teams playing tonight as well.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Los Angeles Lakers (7 p.m)

The Cleveland Cavaliers will face off against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers — like the Nets — have dealt with a plethora of injuries this season that has contributed to their humble position in the standings. For the matchup, the Lakers will be missing Anthony Davis and Kendrick Nunn while Talen Horton-Tucker is probable, and LeBron James and Wayne Ellington are listed as questionable heading into the matchup. The Cavaliers meanwhile will be without Jarret Allen, Collin Sexton, Dean Wade, and Rajon Rondo.

Currently, four games above the Brooklyn Nets in the standings, a loss could be the beginning of a slide that allows Durant and company to make up some ground in the East.

Betting Lines

Per FanDuel, the Cavaliers open tonight’s game as the favorites to win the matchup.

  • Spread: Cavaliers -5
  • Cavaliers Moneyline: -215
  • Lakers Moneyline: +180
  • O/U: 227

Toronto Raptors @ Chicago Bulls (8 p.m.)

The Toronto Raptors are coming off of a thrilling victory over James Harden and the Philadelphia 76ers. Tonight, they face off against Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, and the Chicago Bulls. The Raptors — led by Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet — currently rank three games ahead of Brooklyn in the Eastern Conference standings. A loss against the Bulls is certainly feasible, especially as health currently favors Chicago — Lonzo Ball notwithstanding.

The Raptors will be without Gary Trent Jr., OG Anunoby, Malachi Flynn, and potentially Fred VanVleet tonight and are in the second night of a back-to-back. Brooklyn could make up some ground, especially with a win against Utah.

Betting Lines

Per FanDuel, the Bulls open tonight’s game as the favorites to win the matchup.

  • Spread: Bulls -4
  • Bulls Moneyline: -172
  • Raptors Moneyline: +144
  • O/U: 218.5
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Charlotte Hornets vs. New Orleans Pelicans (7 p.m)

While the Nets are playing catchup against the Cavaliers and Raptors, Brooklyn is trying to keep Charlotte below them in the standings. Currently 36-35 and just one game back of the Nets, the Hornets have the opportunity to tie Brooklyn’s record, which cannot happen if the Nets want to make it out of play-in territory.

The Hornets will play the New Orleans Pelicans, who have fought tooth and nail to work their way up to ninth in the Western Conference. It will be an exciting matchup between two young, up-and-coming teams on the verge of a playoff berth.

Small forward Gordon Hayward continues to be out tonight due to an ankle injury while the Pelicans will be without Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, Larry Nance Jr., Kira Lewis, and possibly even Devonte Graham. The Hornets have a real chance tonight making the Nets game against the Utah Jazz even more important than it already was.

Betting Lines

Per FanDuel, the Hornets open tonight’s game as the favorites to win the matchup.

  • Spread: Hornets -6
  • Hornets Moneyline: -240
  • Pelicans Moneyline: +198
  • O/U: 234.5

While there are multiple games that will affect the Nets’ standing in the East, the team will still have to control what they can control against Utah.