While the Brooklyn Nets believe that Kevin Durant will return from his hamstring injury at some point this week, it will not be Monday when the Nets host the rival New York Knicks. KD has been ruled out alongside Blake Griffin, Landry Shamet and Tyler Johnson. However, James Harden will return from his own injury absence. The NBA spread at William Hill Sportsbook opened at Nets -4.5 but is now -6 with Harden's return.
Brooklyn was upset Sunday in Chicago, 115-107, to see a four-game winning streak end. Kyrie Irving had 24 points and 15 assists and Jeff Green 21 points off the bench. Griffin (10 points, eight rebounds), Shamet (13 points) and Johnson (two points) all played but for various reasons will not in the second of a back-to-back – Griffin doesn't play both ends of those.
Harden last played on March 31 but isn't even on the injury report Monday with his previous hamstring issue. The Nets have a 15-2 home record since Harden's Nets debut, the second-best mark in the NBA over that stretch (20-0 Utah). Brooklyn is 15-3 overall this season when both Harden and Irving play and Durant doesn't. Harden had a triple-double in his lone game vs. the Knicks this season and is +250 at William Hill to have one Monday with no at -320.
New York isn't listing anyone of note on the injury report. The Knicks are 0-2 vs. the Nets this season and this is the final meeting; Brooklyn hasn't swept since the 2014-15 season. New York has the rest advantage as it last played Saturday and barely broke a sweat in a 125-81 rout in Detroit. It was the Knicks' biggest margin of victory since April 15, 1996 vs. Toronto.
The Knicks have covered six of their past seven against the spread in Brooklyn. Interestingly, a Nets win would even the all-time regular season series between the teams at 101-all and 106-all when including postseason matchups.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it has returned almost $8,800 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks over the past two-plus seasons. The model is up more than $900 on its top-rated picks this season, and dating back to last year, it enters Week 16 of the 2020-21 NBA schedule on a stunning 93-59 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread. Anybody who has followed it has seen HUGE returns.