Well, it could have been worse. The Brooklyn Nets haven't won in San Antonio in over a decade, and that streak continued with a 99-87 loss on Saturday night. They are 5-8 and have lost six out of their last seven games. After this game, they have a few days off before facing the Chicago Bulls on Sunday afternoon.
Speaking of things being worse, the Philadelphia 76ers will be the opponent this pre-Thanksgiving evening. The Sixers are off to an 0-14 start and yeah...
Where to follow the game
On television, head over to the YES Network. On the radio, head over o WFAN 101.9 FM. Tip off is a bit after 7:00 PM.
The Nets are healthy.
Nothing to report on the Sixers here.
Still no Andrei Kirilenko There were rumors that the Sixers will try to acquire him, and now we can add the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Utah Jazz to the rumor mill. The Cavs aren't officially "interested," but watch this space.
The Nets were on the commissioner's mind this week. Adam Silver was interviewed in GQ Magazine and said that Brooklyn's spending was unhealthy for the league. And on that note...
Expect lots of discussion surrounding the ethics of
gaming journalism tanking in this contest. The Sixers clearly aren't looking to do anything this season and are focused on stockpiling quality assets so they can get back into contention for the foreseeable future. The team probably should've begun the rebuilding process years ago, but that's neither here nor there at this point. It's gonna get ugly, but it's all part of the process.
The Sixers will also try to avoid making history Nets fans know all too well. The longest losing streak to begin a season is New Jersey's 18 from 2009 and if the Sixers lose tonight, their next best chance at a win is December third in Minnesota. Having history chase you is no fun.
The Nets have struggled against fast paced teams, and Philadelphia is one of the league's fastest. They are third in the league in pace, averaging about 100 possessions a night. If they can force Brooklyn into committing turnovers and attack in transitions, then they will be in great position to pick up their first win of the year.
It's been a rough second season for the reigning Rookie of the Year. Michael Carter Williams has struggled so far as he is working his way back from a shoulder injury. One aspect of his game that needed to improve was his jumper, and seven games in, it hasn't been there. MCW is only shooting 36.3 percent from the field and 20.8 percent from three point range. Making matters worse is Carter-Williams' turnover problem. He's one of the league worst in this area, coughing it up four times a night. The tanking conversation has been irking him as well. Writing in the Players' Tribune, he says:
I seriously live basketball and I don’t take it for granted that I made it to this level. This entire summer, I spent hours face down on the trainers’ table getting my shoulder stretched to regain full range of motion. Some of the stretches are excruciating even without an injury. When physical therapy was over, I’d sprint up and down hills with an altitude mask strapped to my face looking like Bane from Batman. Try doing 10 sets of hills with hardly any air. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. All that hill work was just so I could get back to the court as soon as humanly possible.
So please don’t tell me I’m on the Chillin’ List.
The Williams matchup should be fun. Deron Williams is coming off a pretty solid game in San Antonio, scoring 25 points and handing out six assists. Deron should look to be as aggressive as humanly possible against MCW. The Sixers don't have any depth behind him, and if he gets into foul trouble, the Sixers will be severely limited.
Player to watch: Nerlens Noel
Like Joel Embiid currently, Noel missed an entire year due to injury. He tore his ACL while at Kentucky in 2013 and while he had a rough draft night, he's back in action.
So far, he's off to a pretty respectable start. Noel is averaging about eight points and six rebounds a game while shooting 47 percent from the field. Most of his attempts have come from close to the basket, and he can stand to improve on his 51.4 percent in that area. Like the rest of his peers, he has a turnover problem, coughing it up 19 percent of the time he has the ball. He has played well over the last two games, making 12 of his last 18 field goal attempts. As the season progresses, he should become more comfortable.
Kevin Garnett will be back after taking Saturday off to rest. Garnett has been playing a lot more this season than he did last year, and he's on pace to surpass the amount of minutes he did last year (it's also important to note that KG missed over a month due to injury). He's still great on the glass and is the league's best at collecting defensive rebounds. For Noel, this represents a good challenge and a chance to display his developing game against a future Hall of Famer.
From the Vault
There was a time when Allen Iverson and the 76ers couldn't get by the Indiana Pacers. Also, I never knew Marv Albert and Hubie Brown worked together. That's a nice pairing I would have loved to heard more often.
More reading: Liberty Ballers
- Brooklyn Nets: Game Notes - Brooklyn Nets
- Philadelphia 76ers Game Notes - Philadephia 76ers
- Nets-76ers Preview - Jeff Bartl - STATS LLC
- Nets: Try to keep focus against winless Philly - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- The State of Brooklyn: The Nets Offense Doesn't Get A Pass - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
Brooklyn's Big Problem With Brook Lopez - Allen Robertson - We Must Be Nets
- Sixers vs. Nets at a glance - Keith Pompey - Philadelphia Inquirer
- Sixers 'not that far away,' Brett Brown says - Matt Breen - Philadelphia Inquirer
- Nets provide a golden opportunity for a win - Dennis Deitch - Delco Times
- Brett Brown still searching for Sixers' best recipe - Dei Lynam - Comcast Sports Net
- Sixers: Brown keeps searching for answers - Tom Moore - Bucks County Courier-Times