Nets 2019-20 Season Win Total: Will Kyrie & Co. Get Off to Fast Start?
Photo credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kyrie Irving
- Prior to the 2019-20 NBA season, Matt Moore (@HPBasketball) analyzes each team's win total odds.
- Below, Matt provides a case for the over and under + gives his confidence rating for the Brooklyn Nets' win total this year.
All odds as of Thursday. Check out PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
Brooklyn Nets Win Total
The Case for the Over (43, Caesars)
The Nets were a good team last year. They were well-coached with the second-best road record against the spread.
Here’s what they bring to the table:
- Size with Jarrett Allen and DeAndre Jordan
- Wing shooting with Caris LeVert, Taurean Prince and Joe Harris
- Guard play from Spencer Dinwiddie, Garrett Temple … and Kyrie Irving
They shouldn’t be necessarily bad in any particular area.
They have enough talent and coaching to ensure they won’t be terrible defensively. They were 15th on defense and 19th on offense last year, and even without Kevin Durant and several key contributors from last season, they should be able to hit that range again.
Irving is complicated, sure. There is a formula the Celtics provided two seasons ago for how to win with him as your best player: Play awesome defense, slug it out, keep it close and then have Irving deliver a flurry in clutch time — when he’s at his best as a shot-creator — to secure the win.
Irving plus competent defense plus playing in the East plus a weaker Atlantic division gets them to at least .500 — and from there, you’re well within range. They have a strength of schedule in the low 20s until Jan. 1. It’s manageable.
The Case for the Under (44.5, DraftKings)
I’m going to start with the more dubious trends and head to the stronger stuff.
Let’s begin here:
Players to play over 500 minutes for the Nets last season with a positive on-court net rating:
That’s the list.
What do all those players have in common?
— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) July 9, 2019
The answer: They are no longer under contract with the Brooklyn Nets. They’re all gone, every single one.
There are reasonable caveats here. None of those guys were considered to be real impact players, beyond Dudley, Russell and maybe Davis.
I was honestly shocked when the numbers showed that, just because it doesn’t mesh with the eye test. And the fact it does not vibe with the eye test matters.
But it’s at least notable that a lot of their guys who contributed to the winning minutes last year are gone.
Then there’s the China Problem: Since 2007, teams that have gone to China for the preseason have a 15-8-1 (62.5%) under record on their win total. Since 2013, the under has gone 10-3-1 (71%).
The reason I singled out that trend is it’s based on what teams have said about the experience: It’s exhausting. And it’s probably especially exhausting this year. All of it accumulates to create a heightened fatigue before the 82-game season even begins.
The Nets are younger as a whole, but that’s still another piece of the puzzle.
Then there’s the actual roster. They are going into this season without their best player — the player who absorbs the most salary and one capable of being built around on his own. Their team is, at least in parts, constructed with a Kevin-Durant-as-a-Net concept. Without him, there’s a huge chunk missing.
Irving, of course, comes with a slew of concerns about his leadership, locker room presence and understanding of basic astronomy. On-court, there’s no concern. He’s not worse defensively than D’Angelo Russell, and he’s better in every single offensive category.
Their non-Big-3 additions were positive: Taurean Prince, Garrett Temple and David Nwaba can all give helpful minutes. But they’re also wildly small now. Jordan simply may not have much to give; it’s an unknown.
Add all of this up, and a 45 win total is overly optimistic. With Durant? No question, easy over. Without him? A five-win jump year-over-year is too much.
- The pick: Over 43
- Confidence: 4 out of 10
Back when you could get this closer to 46.5 — as high as 47 earlier in the summer — the under had a lot of value. But now it’s firmly in stay-away range, with a slight lean to the over at the 43 number. They can finish two over .500, just not much more.