Mavericks vs. Nets Odds
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Nets are reeling, coming off their third loss in four games, and now have to face the menacing Mavericks on the second night of a back-to-back. While the Mavs have lost two of three to open up the season, they have looked awfully better than their record.
Will the Nets finally look like a good team here on Thursday night, or will they continue to stumble out of the gate? Let’s discuss below.
Will the Mavericks Offense Stay Elite?
The Mavericks defense finally gave in when they fell to the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night, but once again this team looked like a very serious contender, even in defeat. The Mavericks carried a lead into the fourth quarter and blew an advantage late yet again, but it was no fault of the offense’s.
Dallas put up 119.4 points per 100 possessions on a pretty physical New Orleans team, even without Zion Williamson on the floor. That makes it the No. 1 offense in the league to this point in the season, and offensive dominance is hardly new for this squad.
The fact that the Mavericks mustered up so much offense on Tuesday without cashing in from deep was impressive, considering they shot 40% or better from the 3-point line in their first two games. Furthermore, their scoring output last season was mostly dictated by their success rate when shooting from beyond the arc.
The Mavericks continue to be tenacious inside, leading the league in Rebounding Rate despite running into the Pelicans, who for years now have been arguably the toughest team to rebound against. Despite that prowess, though, they are allowing a pretty crummy 62.5% shooting on defended field goals inside of 10 feet, which ranks in the bottom six of the NBA.
When Will the Nets Figure It Out?
The Nets are a mystery right now. Will they figure it out by season’s end and become a real Finals contender? Will they miss the playoffs altogether? Both are very real possibilities, though it should be said with their 1-3 start they’re a lot closer to the latter.
Perhaps it’ll just take some time. Ben Simmons, who was a little dinged up in Tuesday’s loss to the Bucks but says he’ll be good to go for this one, has yet to look like he’s back in rhythm. Brooklyn is a -16 per 100 possessions thus far with Simmons on the floor, getting roasted defensively and mustering up just a 102.8 Offensive Rating.
While it should be said that it’s early and that most players don’t have great splits given the rough start (including Kevin Durant and his -19.1 Net Rating on the floor), it’s worth mentioning that Brooklyn is still scoring the ball better with Durant on the court (105.7 Offensive Rating). In Kyrie Irving’s minutes, this team is just a -3.4.
Simmons’ Assist Rate is actually near a career-high, but he’s taken this not shooting the ball thing to the extreme. He’s averaging half of the field goal attempts per game he had in his last season in Philly in nearly as many minutes, taking just five shots per game. It’s no wonder Irving is shouting at Simmons to shoot the ball.
"SHOOT IT BEN" – Kyrie Irving 😂 pic.twitter.com/UBvvqiTJPb
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) October 27, 2022
It’s not just Simmons, though. The Nets are taking the second-fewest shots per game inside of eight feet in the league, opting instead for midrange jumpers. They rank fourth in attempts per game in that zone.
The Mavericks have not only defended inside of eight feet incredibly well, but they’ve also ranked fifth in defending midrange jumpers. They should put the clamps on this very confused offense and pull away here with their superior scoring ability.
Dallas should get whatever it wants here, going up against the fifth-worst 3-point defense in the league to this point. It should run it up on a Brooklyn team which is 11-17-1 against the spread since 2020 on the second night of a back to back and win handily.
This line is a little smelly to me, but I think you have to eliminate the “due” factor here and focus on the wild discrepancy between these teams right now. The Mavericks, at least right now, are worlds better than the Nets.
Pick: Mavericks -2.5 (-110)