Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets were supposed to wrap up their spot in the 2022 NBA playoffs long ago. The Nets were the preseason favorites to win the 2022 NBA championship, but after a roller coaster year the team is still fighting to officially make the playoff picture at the end of the regular season.
After finishing 44-38 on the year, the Nets will have to earn their way into the playoffs via the play-in tournament. Brooklyn faces the Cleveland Cavaliers in the play-in tournament on Tuesday night with the winner officially getting the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference and a first round matchup with the Boston Celtics.
Want to bet on the Nets beating Cleveland to make the playoffs behind a strong performance from Kevin Durant?? DraftKings Sportsbook has a deal for you. DK is offering an odds boost around a two-leg parlay: Durant to score 30 or more points and the Nets to beat the Cavs. It’s an enticing offer based around the best scorer alive and the most talented team in the play-in field. You have from 6-9 p.m. ET on Monday evening to get in your bet.
It’s been an up-and-down year for both Durant and the Nets from the very start. Days before the team entered training camp, it learned of New York City’s mandate that required all NBA players on the city’s two home teams to be have received the Covid vaccine. Kyrie Irving was unvaccinated and kept away from the team altogether at the start of the season. Irving began playing road games only in January, and was finally cleared to play in home games when the city mandate lifted just before the playoffs.
As Irving’s absence continued, fellow star James Harden reportedly started to lose interest in being in Brooklyn. Harden eventually forced his way to the Philadelphia 76ers in a deal that brought back Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, and Andre Drummond. While Simmons still hasn’t taken the court and won’t be available vs. Cleveland, there is optimism he could play in the playoffs if the Nets can qualify.
Durant’s injury issues also prevented the Nets from taking off. The superstar forward appeared in 55 games after missing six weeks with an MCL sprain. Since Durant returned to the lineup in March, Brooklyn has at times resembled the preseason favorite they were supposed to be. That’s what happens when you employ the greatest scorer in the world.
The Nets have won four straight games entering the play-in tournament. The Cavs have lost three of their last four games. While Brooklyn will be without Simmons and Joe Harris, Cleveland won’t have Jarrett Allen, Dean Wade, or Collin Sexton due to injuries.
Durant averaged 29.9 points per game on the season. KD has been playing huge minutes all year, and should get every opportunity to light up the scoreboard. Durant has scored 30+ points in three of his last five games entering the matchup with Cleveland.
You can win big with DraftKings if the Nets win and Durant scores at least 30 points. I’m going to predict this parlay hits. Durant will not want to mess around with an elimination game in the play-in tournament if the Nets lose. He needs to come out firing to carry his team to a victory. The game tips on Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
The playoffs are almost here, and it’s hard to imagine they could really happen without KD and the Nets.
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