The Nets took a tough loss in a winnable game against the Rockets on Friday night. They were cruising for the first quarter and a half, but the Rockets clawed back within striking distance and then had the legs to finish it off in the second half. Chris Paul was getting anything he wanted, finishing with 32 points, 11 assists, and seven rebounds while the Nets just couldn’t buy a bucket in the closing minutes. Annoying. Time to move on.
Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and presumably the rest of the 76ers will be heading up to the Barclays Center to play the Nets on the second half of a back-to-back following a game against Detroit Saturday afternoon. Again, a tough but winnable game. The Nets are going to need to execute better defensively and try to contain Embiid as best they can. Let’s get into it.
Where To Follow The Game
YES has this one at 6 p.m. So does WFAN.
DeMarre Carroll and Treveon Graham are still out. Rodions Kurucs is healthy again, but has been yo-yoing, along with Dzanan Musa, between Brooklyn and Long Island. We’ll see if he’s called back up for this one. Both played big minutes vs. the Westchester Knicks ... Musa, 37, and Kurucs, 19.
On the Sixers side, Wilson Chandler (hamstring) is day-to-day, Zhaire Smith (foot) is out maybe until Christmas, and Jerryd Bayless (knee) is also going to miss some significant time.
Joe Harris has truly been incredible this season. He’s indispensable. He’s built on his success from last season and is now somehow shooting 54 percent from the field and 58 percent from three. Video game numbers. Among players who have played at least 200 minutes this season, Harris ranks third in the league with a 71.4 percent True Shooting Percentage behind Rudy Gobert and Steph Curry. There’s a reason he’s second on the team in minutes played this season.
Joel Embiid is going to be a problem for Brooklyn on Sunday. Heading into the matchup with Detroit, Embiid was averaging 28.6 points with 11.9 rebounds. Then, on Saturday, he scored 39 and grabbed 17 rebounds, bringing him very close to 30 and 12.
He’s dominant on both sides of the ball and has such a unique style of play being an extremely mobile 7-footer with a jump shot that to not gameplan for him specifically is silly. He also has a tendency to get inside his opponents’ heads. Ask Andre Drummond.
Jarrett Allen, Ed Davis, Jared Dudley, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson are going to need to have a plan, and a good one. Now, last season Embiid sat out of the second halves of back-to-backs, and while he’s beginning to feel more confident in his body, it wouldn’t be shocking if he played somewhere around 30 minutes in this one, which would be helpful for Brooklyn.
D’Angelo Russell sat out the end of the game against the Rockets, making his late quarter benchings a pattern rather than an anomaly. It makes sense why Kenny Atkinson would try and go with the backcourt that helped them win late against the Pistons, but the offense was struggling mightily in the closing minutes vs. Houston and a couple of DLo dribble-drives leading to a floater couldn’t have hurt. It’s just unclear why it has to be an all-or-nothing situation. If this game is close and he’s playing at least okay, he should see some minutes in the fourth. He is the starting point guard.
Player To Watch
Ben Simmons is the other freak of nature on this 76ers team. He can do everything you could ever want on a basketball court except for shoot. He’s a triple-double threat every night, and is somewhat reminiscent of Nets legend, Jason Kidd in that regard. He just happens to be 6’10 and Australian. He’s a matchup nightmare, but if his lack of shooting can be exploited then the Nets might be able to focus on some other ancillary threats like J.J. Reddick and Robert Covington.
From The Vault
Simmons is great and all, but man, Kidd was special. Have a nice Sunday everyone. Enjoy.
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- Brooklyn Nets Game Notes - Brooklyn Nets
- Philadelphia 76ers Game Notes - Philadelphia 76ers
- Embiid looms large as 76ers visit Nets - STATS/TSX
- D’Angelo Russell can’t get off Nets bench when it counts - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Lack of defense may have D’Angelo Russell on bench late in games - Greg Logan - Newsday
- NETS VS. SIXERS: LEVERT, HARRIS COMING OFF BIG NIGHTS WITH PHILLY VISITING BROOKLYN - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets
- Joel Embiid scores 39 for Sixers in 109-99 win over Detroit - Keith Pompey - Philadelphia Inquirer
- Sixers-Pistons report card: Grading Embiid’s first-half dominance, Shamet and Muscala’s sparks, and more - Mike O’Connor - The Athletic Philadelphia