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Brooklyn Nets face another woeful team in the Philadelphia 76ers


Last season, the 76ers made the playoffs and even got to the second round, their second straight playoff run. Then in the off-season, they traded Andre Iguodala, Nikola Vucevic, Maurice Harkless and a 2015 first round pick for All-Star Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson, part of the Dwight Howard deal. It all looked so promising.

Not anymore. After losing to the Magic in Orlando Sunday night, Philadelphia are 16 games under .500 and have lost 12 of the last 13, winning only against Golden State. Their coach, Doug Collins, had a Jim Mora-like meltdown in the midst of their disastrous run. What went wrong? A lot, most of which can be attributed to the Bynum trade. The unrestricted free agent is unlikely to play this season and Richardson is out for the season as well. With those two out a total of 81 games so far (and Nick Young out long-term as well) the 76ers are likely to be among league leaders in games lost to injury. Last season, the Sixers lost the second fewest games to injury and illness, with six players losing only 43. The Nets, in comparison, lost 248 games to injury and illness and seven more to personal reasons. It all evens out.

The team's two best young players, Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner have been in a slump. Holiday is shooting just 20-of-73 overall (27 percent) and Turner just 17-of-57 (30 percent) in the 76ers losing streak. Thaddeus Young is the lone bright spot of late. In the losing streak, he's shot 63 percent and averaged 20 points a game, including 27 against the Heat on Friday and 26 on Sunday.

The Nets stayed over in Atlanta Saturday night and had Sunday off. They'll need the rest. They'll soon head out on an eight-game, 17-day road trip. The team remains concerned about Joe Johnson's heel but otherwise, they're healthy. The Nets have already beat the Sixers twice, once at home, once on the road. That was the game overshadowed by a police investigation into an alleged sexual assault in Andray Blatche's hotel suite.