Ahead of the 76ers’ playoff matchup against the Nets, Inquirer beat writers Keith Pompey, Sarah Todd and Marc Narducci and columnist David Murphy offer their predictions for the series.

Keith Pompey

Outside of the Boston Celtics, the Brooklyn Nets are the worst possible first-round matchup for the 76ers. The Nets have three solid perimeter players — Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert and All-Star point guard D’Angelo Russell — who can create their own shots. And Joe Harris, another perimeter player, led the NBA in three-point shooting at 47.4 percent.

Perimeter defense and lack of depth have been the Sixers’ biggest weaknesses all season. And it doesn’t help that Joel Embiid’s left knee and the starting lineup’s lack of continuity are concerns.

But the starting lineup of Embiid, Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris and JJ Redick is just too dominant to for the Sixers to lose four games to the Nets.

Prediction: Sixers in six games.

Sarah Todd

If Joel Embiid is healthy and ready to go, the Sixers shouldn’t have a problem bouncing the Nets in a relatively short amount of time. Yes, the Nets play exactly the type of basketball that the Sixers have problems with — multiple crafty guards who play off the dribble and in a spread pick-and-roll — but the Sixers’ talent will win out.

This is going to be the first playoff appearance for most of the Nets roster, and the first one for head coach Kenny Atkinson. The Sixers, for all their problems, at least know what it takes to win in the postseason.

Even if D’Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie are going off, I think the Sixers’ core four will come out on top. I expect the Sixers to make easy work of the Nets and make a statement in the opening round to quiet doubters after a dismal end to the regular season. Maybe the Nets sneak in a win.

Prediction: Sixers in five games.

Marc Narducci

The NBA has become a three-point game, and during the regular season, the Brooklyn Nets were third in three-point defense (34.1 percent) and the 76ers were fourth (34.2 percent). That will be one of the keys in this series.

The Nets’ Joe Harris led the NBA in three-point shooting (47.4 percent). In the four games against the Sixers, he was 10-for-18 (55.6 percent).

On the other hand, JJ Redick (39.7 percent from three) will be a key for the Sixers. He is considered the team’s best long-range threat, although Mike Scott had a better percentage (41.2 with the Sixers and 40.1 overall, including his time with the Los Angeles Clippers).

Of course, having Joel Embiid in top shape will be important, because the Nets couldn’t stop him. He averaged 30 points, 14.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists in the four games between the teams.

If the Nets decide to give him his points and let others beat them, Redick and Scott could be major factors.

Give the Sixers with their postseason experience the edge.

Prediction: Sixers in six games.

David Murphy

Given the spirited regular-season series between these teams — the Nets won two of four and lost a third only after a Jimmy Butler buzzer-beater — you might consider this a tough draw for the Sixers. But playoff basketball is a different sport from the 82-game version, and this matchup should serve as our living reminder.

In the regular season, one of the leveling factors between the Nets and Sixers was Brooklyn’s depth: specifically, its ability to roll out wave after wave of the exact sort of guard that has given Brett Brown’s defense fits over the last couple of years. The trio of Spencer Dinwiddie, D’Angelo Russell and Caris LeVert will still offer a significant challenge for the Sixers, particularly on the pick-and-roll.

But the Nets won’t have nearly as much opportunity to exploit the Sixers’ lackluster bench, with Brown using what he is referring to as an “eight-and-a-half”-man rotation. If one of Butler, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons is always on the court, and the three of them are on it together for 20-25 minutes, the Nets should find themselves with much less space to operate in than they saw in the regular season.

Rather than the first three games between these teams, the Sixers’ 123-110 win on March 28 is probably a better indication of where this series is headed.

Prediction: Sixers in five games.