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Sixers try to keep the Nets slump going

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Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

From bad to worse. Things are moving south for the Brooklyn Nets in a hurry and they lost their fifth consecutive game on Wednesday night, this time by six points to the Miami Heat. The Heat won the season series 4-0. The Nets occupy the eleventh seed in the Eastern Conference (three games behind the Charlotte Hornets), have to pass three teams to get the eighth seed, and barring what seems to be an improbable stretch of good play, will miss the playoffs for the first time since the lockout shortened 2011-2012 season.

Waiting for the Nets will be the Philadelphia 76ers. This is another transition year for Philly as they try to build a team that will be competitive. This is the second night of a (home) back-to-back for the Sixers. They beat the Sacramento Kings 114-107 last night.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV, WFAN 101.9 on the radio. Tip-off is after 7:30 PM. Sarah Kustok will be in the second chair.

Injuries

Sergey Karasev suffered a dislocated patella and torn MCL in his right knee on Tuesday and will miss the rest of the season.

Nothing here for the Sixers.

The game

What's happening? Let's find out:

2014-2015 Season

Brooklyn Philadelphia

Record

25-38 15-50

Pace

94.57 98.3

Offensive Efficiency

100.4 92.2

Defensive Efficiency

104.7 101.7

Turnover Rate

15 18.5

Assist Rate

16.1 15.7

Offensive Rebounding Rate

23.9 25.1

Rebounding Rate

48.8 48.2

Free Throw Rate

26.9 29.6

Effective Field Goal Percentage

48.7 45.8

Opponent's Effective Field Goal Percentage

50.2 49.8

The Nets won the first game in December and Philly won the second in January.

At the deadline, the Sixers went to work. They sent rookie of the year Michael Carter Williams to Milwaukee and got back the Los Angeles Lakers' draft pick for this year. They also got Isaiah Canaan and a second round draft pick from Houston in exchange for KJ McDaniel. And to close it out, they got a first round pick from Denver after they took Javale McGee off their hands. Pierre McDunk was later waived.

This is the second night of a four game road trip for Brooklyn. Lionel Hollins believes they play more team ball on the road, and they're gonna have to prove him right starting tonight.

Maybe Joe Johnson should sit some games out. Johnson has been dealing with knee and ankle injuries since December, and on Wednesday he had another terrible game. He was supposed to help the Nets compete with the other teams competing for the final two spots in the East, but he's only shot 41 percent this half and more specifically, 34.7 percent during the five game losing streak. Johnson can't afford to sit games out with the deficit as it is, but he's taking away from the Nets chances of victory.

One bright spot for Philadelphia has been the play of Nerlens Noel. Noel is growing into a solid defender for Philly. They're two points better per 100 possessions when he's on the court, Noel is seventh in the Association in blocks, and holds defenders to 45.4 percent shooting when he is guarding the rim. When Joel Embiid debuts next season, they promise to make for an intriguing duo. In the meantime, he'll be defending Brook Lopez. If there's any positive you can glean from the recent run of games is Brook is taking almost all of his shots near the basket. Granted, he's shooting a subpar 50 percent on those attempts, but it's the thought that counts right?

Player to watch: Thomas Robinson

Robinson was all set to go to the Nets in late February, but at the last minute, Sam Hinkie and the 76ers swooped in and acquired him off of waivers. Since then, he has appeared in all nine of Philadelphia's games this half of the season. He doesn't start, but he has played reasonably well for the Sixers. He's collected ten or more rebounds in three of his last four games and while he isn't guaranteed to be a Sixer next year (who is?), he's making the most of this opportunity to showcase his skills.

Former 76er Thaddeus Young will be on the other side. If there's one bright spot on the Nets right now, it's Young. He's been playing well for the Nets since the trading deadline and is a good candidate to return to the team next season. Tonight, he'll try to help create room for Lopez on the inside. He's made eleven three pointers (on 20 attempts) since joining Brooklyn and while he's only a 32.5 percent shooter from deep in his career, the defense should be forced to pay him a little bit of attention out there.

From the Vault

We're gonna do this a bit differently today. Tonight is the Big East Championship, and with that in mind, let's take a trip back to 1996 and see if future 76er Allen Iverson could lead the Georgetown Hoyas past Ray Allen and the Connecticut Huskies.

More reading: Liberty Ballers