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Game 4: Nets try to avoid the sweep vs. 76ers in Saturday afternoon clash

Philadelphia 76ers v Brooklyn Nets - Game Three Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Chaos reigns supreme. In a wild, emotional, hectic game, the Brooklyn Nets fought to get back into this series. Unfortunately for the home crowd, the Philadelphia 76ers proved to be a bit too much and they handed Brooklyn a devastating loss. One more loss and the season is over for the Nets. It would also be the second straight season to end with a first-round sweep.

Where to follow the game

MY9, YES Network app, and TNT on TV. WFAN on radio. It’s a brunch and basketball special so we getting started after 1 PM.


No Ben Simmons.

Danuel House missed game three with a non COVID illness. He’s listed as questionable. However, it was announced late last night that Joel Embiid is out for at least Game 4 with a sprained right knee. This injury might have major ramifications across the NBA if Embiid’s injury restricts him beyond this afternoon.

The game

So what do you do when your best player is suddenly gone? That’s the question Doc Rivers and the 76ers have to answer now that Embiid is injured. Paul Reed will figure to get all the minutes he can handle, and BBall Paul has grown into a fan favorite in Philly. It took some convincing to get him on the court, but here he is.

The Nets have talked about pushing the pace and attacking as much as possible, and that’ll be even more important tonight. Even with Embiid on the court, the Nets have taken it to the basket and had some success

Throughout his tenure as a Net, we’ve seen Cam Johnson display more and more of his repertoire. He’s been attacking the basket and beating defenders off the dribble to go with his ace three point shooting. CJ had 17 points, five rebounds and four assists in 43 minutes, and the Nets are going to need a similar game this afternoon.

Speaking of driving to the basket, Cam Thomas made his way back into the Nets rotation! CT scored six points and handed out an assist in his 11 minutes on the court, and for a Nets bench that hasn’t been able to score, maybe Thomas can lessen the workload of the starters a bit if he sees the court? Jacque Vaughn essentially cut the rotation down to seven players on Thursday and with this being a must win, maybe he does it again.

As a rule, if someone kicks you in the junk on purpose, you’re allowed to flex on em if you put them on a poster. Unfortunately for Nic Claxton, Tony Brothers and friends do not live by that motto and Clax got ejected after dunking on Embiid again. It’s a shame too since Claxton was having the best game of his career up to that point.

Just an embarrassing display by the NBA and its officiating. Also, somebody tell the MVP it’s nasty business to kick people in the private parts. Yuck.

Either way, the Nets will need Claxton to continue flying all over the court.

Ultimately, if the Nets want to win, they have to figure out a way to slow down Tyrese Maxey. He’s been the series MVP and put the dagger in Brooklyn’s hearts on Thursday night

Maxey has taken full advantage of the attention thrown at the (likely) MVP and made the most of it. When you’re trying to make it to the championship rounds, you need another player that can get their own shot and carry the offense. Maxey has been doing that and we’ll see if he can put one more star making performance together.

Brooklyn will need a big game from Spencer Dinwiddie to put forth a big game to counteract Maxey. He’s still trying to find the proper balance between

Player to watch: James Harden

This game represents a flashback of sorts for the Beard. This is his first playoff game without a current or former All Star teammate since game seven of the 2018 Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors. This version of Harden isn’t the world destroyer that he was during the 2017-18 with the Houston Rockets, but he’s still excellent and one of the best guards in the sport.

With Embiid out, he’ll return to his role of leading man. He had his best game of the series in game three as he had an efficient 21/5/4. After some public lobbying, he finally got to the free throw line. With him having to take on more of a scoring role, look for him to get way more than three free throw attempts.

Harden’s night was pretty short thanks to this

You ever wind up in trouble because of some mess your friend did? James Harden can relate. Also, don’t hit people in the junk! It’s unseemly!

Mikal Bridges has maintained his aggression, but the percentages haven’t been there. He only shot 9-26 from the field, but he did go 4-7 from three point range in route to 26 points. The Nets need him to keep firing and keep attacking. In the postseason, your stars set the tempo and even when things go wrong, they stand in and take accountability for any errors that occurred:

Stuff like that sets a positive example now and in the future.

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