The Brooklyn Nets scored the third-most first-half points in league history on Wednesday and are rapidly advancing in the championship futures odds. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
The Brooklyn Nets scored the third-most first half points in NBA history on Wednesday and are now the third favorite to win the Eastern Conference, according to betting odds.
Brooklyn’s historic night came without second-leading scorer Kyrie Irving, who sat out with right calf tightness. The team still managed to shoot 71.4% from the field and 68.4% from outside the arc in a 143-113 defeat of the defending champion Golden State Warriors.
Only the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks have better conference winning odds
The Nets have received their share of criticism, but they are quickly moving up the rankings and onto the list of championship contenders. Only the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks have better conference winning odds, but the gaps are closing.
One of the best shows ever
Not only was Brooklyn’s first-half dominance the third-best in league history, it was also the most by any basketball half in the organization’s 55-year history.
All ten players who occupy a position score at least five points. Kevin Durant led with 21 points, while Royce O’Neal and Nick Claxton trailed close behind with 14 and 10, respectively.
The Nets sit in the middle of the league standings, averaging 114 points per game, making their unprecedented dawn all the more impressive.
The record for scoring in the first half was set by 1990 Phoenix Suns, who scored 50 points in the first quarter and 57 in the second in an early regular season game with the Denver Nuggets. Phoenix went on to win the game 173-143 behind 33 points from rookie Cedric Ceballos and 20+ points from four other players.
Hack nights don’t always lead to long-term success, but Wednesday’s demonstration adds to the momentum the networks have gained over the past few weeks, and now it looks like a great force again.
The Nets climb the NBA Finals odds
Brooklyn entered the season with high expectations, just as it has in the past few years, only to be left on earth with a poor start. Underwhelming performances by Ben Simmons, a feud with former coach Steve Nash, and off-the-field controversy regarding Irving set the franchise on the path to what already seemed like the inevitable outcome of a failed season.
The past few weeks have stirred up very different feelings. The team has beefed up its defense and is playing great offensive basketball and has won 11 of its last 12 on its way to the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.
He has the sixth best odds of any team in the league
The Nets were +1,500 to win the Finals two weeks ago. They’ve since climbed to +1,200 and have the sixth-best odds of any team in the league, according to the Barstool Sportsbook.
There are still a few more potholes to come, despite the recent success. Simmons is an unknown number in the playoffs, and Irving can’t seem to avoid causing trouble for himself, asking Durant to handle a massive workload despite being in his 15th season and still only a few years away from a torn Achilles.
The Bucks and Celtics are also formidable foes (and are scheduled to meet on Christmas Day), the latter of which swept the Nets in the first round of the playoffs last season. But right now, there is no team in the league hotter than the one in Brooklyn.