Philadelphia 76ers vs. Brooklyn Nets: Preview

Game info: 7:00 @ Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA. Can be seen on CSN and heard on 97.5 FM.

The Sixers return home to face the Brooklyn Nets after going just 2-6 on a grueling eight-game road trip that began with a 95-92 loss at Brooklyn. All five Nets’ starters reached double figures in that game, led by Joe Johnson’s 22. Jrue Holiday finished with 24 and 9 assists for Philadelphia while leading them back in the final minutes before ultimately falling short.

While the road trip is an easy excuse for the poor play of late, there is no denying the Sixers are in trouble. Currently sitting 2.5 games behind Boston for the 8th playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with no timetable on when Andrew Bynum might make his season debut, things are looking bleak in Philly. If the Sixers are going to turn things around, they need consistent production from their bench. Dorell Wright and Nick Young, signed this offseason to provide a scoring spark off the bench, combined for just 10 points in 55 minutes in a loss to San Antonio last week. Spencer Hawes, who was terrific for a stretch of games in mid-December, failed to record double digit points in back to back games on the entire road trip.

Brooklyn enters tonights game winners of three straight and five of six since Avery Johnson was fired. Brook Lopez is averaging close to 24 ppg during that stretch and it will be crucial for Kwame Brown, Lavoy Allen and Hawes to contain him. If Lopez gets going, the Nets are a really tough team to beat.

Injuries: Jrue Holiday is battling a couple of injuries but is expected to suit up tonight for the Sixers. Andrew Bynum is still out with knee problems, and Kwame Brown is listed as day-to-day. The Nets do not have any injuries to report.

Notes: Nets forward Andray Blatche is being investigated by Philadelphia police for a sexual assault complaint that allegedly took place around 4:00 am last night. It is believed at this time that Blatche will be in the lineup tonight.


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