That’s a vibe. Without Kevin Durant, the Brooklyn Nets went into Tuesday’s game against the Utah Jazz smarting and in need of a win in the worst way. They did that and then some by putting together their best game of the season with a 34-point victory. Put more games like that together and every one will calm down a bit.
The opponent tonight will be the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers are looking a bit different than last year and it’s been a good start for Doc Rivers in his first year with the team. They tricked off a 21-point lead against the Washington Wizards last night, but managed to course correct in time and came away with the win.
Where to follow the game
YES Network for the locals. TNT for the outsiders. WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Tip off after 7:30.
No Kevin Durant, Spencer Dinwiddie, or Nicolas Claxton. Kurucs (left ankle sprain) and Reggie Perry (left groin soreness) are questionable.
Mike Scott and Furkan Korkmaz are out. Seth Curry (left ankle soreness) is questionable.
After this one, the Nets will hop on a flight to Memphis to play the Grizzlies on Friday night. A blowout win and keeping the starters minutes low would be the best of both worlds for the team tonight.
Will the Sixers be tired? They played a close, fast paced game last night and the Nets play at the fifth fastest pace in the league (for what it’s worth, Philly is sixth). Doc Rivers usually has
With the Nets reeling, Steve Nash decided to shake things up. With KD out, he flipped the entire lineup around Kyrie Irving and put in Bruce Brown, Jeff Green, Taurean Prince, and Jarrett Allen. More on Allen in a few. The new lineup was marvelous and while Nash said he’s likely due to experiment some more, I’d let this starting five cook for a while.
Irving has been excellent all year and has the advantage over new 76er Seth Curry. Curry provides the Sixers with shooting and movement that they haven't had since JJ Redick was on the team and having a player shoot 59.5 percent (I had to do a double take when I read that) is a godsend for this team.
Before we get back to business, I just wanna say that Daryl Morey is a real sucker for this
This is from @TrueHoop, and it's not great! pic.twitter.com/V2C3NeZfQB— Patrick Hruby (@patrick_hruby) December 29, 2020
And no, I don’t wanna hear anything about how “smart” it is or whatever. I don’t care.
Like the Nets, Philly has been linked to Houston Rockets MVP James Harden. However, it would cost the Sixers Ben Simmons among other things. The big rap on Simmons is that he can’t/won’t shoot jumpers, but he does pretty much everything else at an exceptionally high level. Nets fans remember this well as he wreaked havoc in Game Four of the 2019 playoffs against Brooklyn and snuffed out any dreams Brooklyn had of pulling off an upset.
With this being a Thursday and considering the terror in Washington DC yesterday, there's a very good possibility the Inside the NBA crew dedicates a segment. To put it kindly, they (with the exception of Kenny Smith) tend to not stick the landing on these segments, so I'd probably skip it if you don't want to hear them say something tone deaf and piss you off.
Is this the year that Tobias Harris puts it all together? He's been a good player throughout his career but his numbers are up across the board in a major way. I'm not sure if he can be that second scoring option, third best player on a title team level good from now until deep in the playoffs, but stranger things have happened so who knows?
Player to watch: Joel Embiid
What can you do to slow down the best big guy in the Eastern Conference? That’s the issue facing a lot of teams that go up against Embiid and the 76ers. Embiid has always been an excellent scorer and defender, and his passing has been excellent as well. The big fella said something pretty interesting recently:
“I’ve been letting the game come to me. There hasn’t been a big change when it comes to spacing, compared to the last couple of years, it’s just the shooters and I just gotta be a willing passer and games like the last two games or the whole season, every game that I play, they keep doubling, triple-teaming me trying to take me out of the game. I just gotta keep making the right passes. I might not get a lot of assists, but the whole goal of it is to get someone else open. Invite the double or the triple-team and just get a lot of hockey assists
With the big fella in full control, the Sixers will be a thorn in the side of the Nets all season.
When you dominate one All Star big man, what’s your reward? Going up against another All Star big man! Jarrett Allen was reinserted into the starting five and had arguably the best game of his career as he thoroughly outclassed Rudy Gobert on Tuesday. For the short and long term, Allen should be in the starting five and getting as many minutes as possible. He provides much better defense than DeAndre Jordan and the Nets would benefit from Allen's energy and rim protection.
From the Vault
The Nets are rocking the tie-dye jerseys tonight, so let’s take it back to a great showing Drazen Petrovic had in them. It’s only right
Don’t diminish the desire of Kyrie Irving to make these uniforms a big deal.
More reading: Liberty Ballers
- Brooklyn Nets Game Notes - Brooklyn Nets
- Philadelphia 76ers Game Notes - Philadelphia 76ers
- Nets next face Joel Embiid, red-hot 76ers - Larry Fleisher - STATS
- Steve Nash still figuring out how to fill Nets’ Durant-sized hole - Greg Joyce - New York Post
- Can Jarrett Allen deliver encore for Nets against 76ers’ Joel Embiid? - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Nets see defense improve as Jarrett Allen, Bruce Brown step up against Jazz - Garrett Stepien - SNY
- 1990-91 NETS MIXTAPE (Video) - Brooklyn Nets
- NETS VS. SIXERS: BROOKLYN KEEPS OPTIONS OPEN FOR PHILADELPHIA - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets
- DERRICK COLEMAN SEES A CLASSIC NETS JERSEY COME FULL CIRCLE - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets
- Sixers shooting guard Seth Curry listed as questionable with sore left ankle vs. Brooklyn Nets - Keith Pompey - Philadelphia Inquirer