Who would have thought? Just a month or so ago if I had told you that Thursday night’s Nets vs. 76ers game would have this much heat you would have called me crazy. Sure, yeah, the Nets and 76ers always put on a good show - but tonight...tonight...it’s got a bit of a different feel to it.
James Harden is going to be suiting up for the 76ers and will likely put up monster numbers against his former team; while Ben Simmons will return to Philadelphia, but in a Nets jersey...but not wearing a Nets jersey. He’ll be inactive, but on the bench.
The Nets, more so than the 76ers, need this game. They are on the outside looking in; meaning, sitting in the play-in grouping in the Easter Conference playoff scene.
It’s going to be intense to the max. Get hyped, Nets fans.
WHO: Brooklyn Nets (33-33) at Philadelphia 76ers (40-24)
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. EST
WHERE: TNT (national), WFAN-FM/AM (radio)
Seth Curry will see his old backcourt running mate this evening. Tyrese Maxey has had a breakout sophomore season and is one of the building blocks to the team’s future. Maxey can break defenders down off the dribble, had success running the offense and being the lead option this year. His growth has 76ers fans excited for what this and many other seasons holds for the youngster. Curry will look to make it happen from deep tonight and with this being his return to Philly, he ought to get a nice hand from the Philadelphia faithful. Curry was sensational for the 76ers in the Playoffs last year — 18.8 points and shooting splits of 58/51/79 — and stepped up in ways his teammates didn’t. That ought to get him a few cheers.
The best offenses make the most out of every possession, and the 76ers do well to limit their turnovers. The Sixers have only turned it over 12.8 percent of the time this season, third lowest mark in the NBA. They like to play at a slow pace (third slowest in the league) so the Nets will look to speed the game up and try to make it happen in transition.
Matisse Thybulle gets the unfun assignment of trying to slow down Kevin Durant. KD had a meh game against the Hornets on Tuesday, but the greats always bounce back. Against the 76ers this year, Durant has averaged 32 points, 10.7 rebounds, and eight assists a night on a smooth .515/.353/.909 shooting split. Durant has cooked every defender the 76ers have thrown at him, so we’ll see how Doc Rivers and the Philly staff try to slow him down this time around.
For more on the 76ers, check out Liberty Ballers.