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Brooklyn Nets vs. Philadelphia 76ers preview: Nets come home to face division foe

Indiana Pacers v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Couldn’t make it three. The Brooklyn Nets took a trip down south to face the Miami Heat. Unfortunately for the Nets, they couldn’t overcome an excellent game from Jimmy Butler as Miami extended their winning streak to seven straight games.

The opponent tonight is looking pretty good. The Philadelphia 76ers have been pretty darn excellent to begin this season and put another good outing on the board when they beat the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV. WFAN on radio. Day time affair so we getting started after 3:00 p.m. ET.


No Ben Simmons or Cam Thomas. Dennis Smith Jr is questionable with lower back soreness.

Kelly Oubre is out due to a fractured rib he suffered when he got hit by a car.

The game

Nic Claxton gets to see his old nemesis for the first time this season. Joel Embiid has been a monster on the interior and is looking to build on his MVP season. He’s adapted well to new head coach Nick Nurse and is averaging a career best six assists a night. The big fella is an awesome passer from the elbows, but when he’s on the move, he forces defenders to collapse on him, which opens the rest of the court up for his teammates:

For Claxton, his job will be to use his length and physicality enough to bother Embiid and force him into bad decisions. Since Claxton returned from injury, we’ve gotten to see him deploy more of his arsenal on offense while continuing to play excellent defense.

On Saturday afternoon, Cam Johnson and the Nets held an event with Wellfare in the Marcy Houses in Brooklyn

Lucas and I will have a story on the event coming soon. To learn more about Wellfare, check out our report from when they worked with Didi Richards and the New York Liberty this spring!

On the court, CJ and the Nets will look to get a little bit of revenge against their division rivals. Philly swept the Nets in last season’s playoffs and sent Brooklyn into an off-season where they revamped the roster. If the Nets want to win, they’re going to need to keep firing from deep. Even though they lost on Thursday, they went a pretty impressive 14-36 from downtown. As Johnson gets further and further away from his injury, the more he’ll have success from deep.

Johnson will probably get the assignment of defending Tobias Harris. As a third option, Tobi is perfect in that role as you can count on him to give you buckets and overall solid play without having to ask him to do too much. He’s a perfectly suitable role player and someone the Sixers will count on as they advance deeper into the season.

Can’t forget about this…

That’s the good stuff.

Player to watch: Tyrese Maxey

Every so often, a young player makes the leap. The leap comes in many forms. It can be from promising to good, good to great, great to All Star, All Star to... you get the idea. That’s where Maxey finds himself these days as he has been electric to start this season. With James Harden off to Los Angeles, Maxey has gotten a full runway to work his magic, and he’s handled all of the newfound responsibilities placed on his shoulders. Maxey is averaging a career high 26.9 points per game on .481/.433/.951 shooting splits. Not to be outdone, he’s averaging almost seven assists a night to just 1.5 turnovers. Maxey’s growth has opened up a world of possibilities for the 76ers as they try to finally get over the second round hump.

Mikal Bridges is back in town after a special Friday night. He had his jersey retired by the University of Villanova and spoke about his journey from high school, to Nova, and beyond. It’s been a wonderful ride for Mikal thus far and as he continues on his journey with the Nets, all of his prior experiences will help guide him to the future he wants to build. In the meantime, we’ll see if he’s able to get to his spots on the court vs. Philly. When he faced them in the playoffs, he started incredibly strong but struggled as the series progressed and the 76ers were able to key in on him

From the Vault

A Sunday showdown between Allen Iverson and Stephon Marbury? Don’t mind if I do!

And in sad news, George Brown of Kool and the Gang passed away at the age of 74. Kool & the Gang were one of the best and most influential bands in the 1970s, so let’s pull up one of their many all timers

More reading: Liberty Ballers, SB Nation NBA, Nets Republic, The Sixer Sense, All PHLY