The Nets host Sixers and try to stop the losing streak

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

They almost pulled off the upset. After getting demolished at home by the Thunder on Friday, the Nets made their way to Indiana on Saturday. Despite a great effort, Brooklyn ultimately fell short and ended up with their third consecutive loss. The last time the Nets played Philadelphia, Brook Lopez broke his foot., If they can make it out of this game without losing anyone to injury, it'll be an improvement.

Visiting the Barclays Center this Monday evening will be the Philadelphia 76ers. After a decent start to the season, Philadelphia has entered the Tank Olympics. At 15-33, the Sixers have the third worst record in the league, trailing only Milwaukee and Orlando.

The season so far

What's the story with these two? Let's check the numbers:

Metric

Brooklyn

Philadelphia

Record

20-25 15-33

Pace

93.72 102.31

Offensive Efficiency

103 97.1

Defensive Efficiency

105.4 106.0

Offensive Rebounding percentage

22.6 25.4

Turnover rate

15.4 16.5

Assist rate

16.6 16.2

Rebound rate

47.9 48.6

Free throw rate

31.4 26.4

Effective Field Goal percentage

50.1 47.7

Opponent Effective Field Goal percentage

50.6 51.6

Andray Blatche and Andrei Kirilenko both missed the Indiana game due to injuries and there hasn't been an update on their availability for Monday's game as of this writing.

Deron Williams returned to the starting lineup, but had a really poor game. He only made three of his twelve field goal attempts, and after the game said:

"It’s been tough being in and out of the lineups, missing two weeks here and there, I feel like I get my legs back in shape, get back in shape and then just do it all again."

With Williams trying to work his way back into the flow of things, Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce will look to carry the load for the Nets. Philly's perimeter players a bit undersized so these two should live on the inside. They've also had big games against the Sixers this season. Johnson hit a career high ten three pointers in the 36 point win on December 16 and Pierce had 24 points and 10 rebounds on December 20.

Despite his early struggles, Kevin Garnett has turned it around. On a bad rebounding team, he stands out as he's been leading the league on the defensive glass throughout the year. His jumper has returned and shot 56 percent from the floor in January (Romy Nehme has more on Garnett here).

One thing that has been consistent with Philadelphia this season has been their fast pace. They're leading the league in pace, averaging 102 possessions a night. This fast pace has led to a plethora of shots in the restricted area. They get close to 37 field goal attempts inside the restricted area (tops in the league), but are only shooting 57 percent (fifth worst in the league).

The defense is still a work in progress. They're allowing 106 points per 100 possessions and their three point defense has been particularly problematic. In between allowing record-breaking performances by Joe Johnson and the Trailblazers, they are allowing teams to shoot close to 37 percent from three point range. They're a bit undersized, but the Nets have been one of the worst rebounding teams in the league so that may not bite them.

Evan Turner & Spencer Hawes haven't been traded yet. Hawes has worked to become more versatile and as a result has been having the best offensive season of his career. In 31.5 minutes a game, Hawes is averaging 13.7 points on a true shooting percentage of 56.5, thanks in large part to shooting 41 percent from deep. As for Turner, he hasn't been able to advance past mediocre. The only positive for Turner this season has been his increased frequency in getting to the free throw line. Outside of that, despite being more active on offense, he's barely shot better and isn't as good a rebounder as he was two seasons ago.

Player to watch: Michael Carter-Williams

Carter-Williams has been having a solid rookie season. In 34 minutes a night, he is averaging 17 points, 6 assists and five rebounds. For all of his talents, he hasn't had the best season shooting the ball. His true shooting percentage is only 48.3 and one look at his shot chart will tell the tale. The overwhelming majority of his offense comes from inside the paint, but is only shooting 45.8 percent on the inside. He's had a bit of a turnover issue this season, but that should change as he gains experience and (hopefully if you're Sixer management) better teammates around him.

One big issue for Carter Williams this season has been the injuries. He missed seven games earlier in the season due to a knee infection and most recently missed the Pistons game on Saturday night due to a sore right shoulder. No update on his status as of this writing.

If he does play, he'll have a good challenge against Shaun Livingston. Livingston is coming off a tremendous game against Indiana and will probably draw the initial assignment on Carter-Williams. He's got the length to match up with Carter-Williams' 6-6 frame and is more than quick enough to stay with him as he drives to the basket. Garnett has been doing a good job defending the rim so Carter-Williams will probably struggle even more than usual in the paint.

From the Vault

Head on back to 2007 & watch Allen Iverson and Vince Carter face off in New Jersey.


More reading: Liberty Ballers

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