Tonight, the Sixers travel to the Barclays Center to take on the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets are currently in second place in the division, trailing only the streaking New York Knicks. Tip off is 7:30 PM.
Brooklyn currently leads the season series 2-1, but the Sixers took the last match-up at home. Philly has won six of the last seven meetings between the teams while on the road, but all six of those wins were before the move to Brooklyn.
Deron Williams has played much better since the All-Star break, and Joe Johnson has been solid all season long. Neither of those two former All-Stars are the Nets’ best player though.
Brook Lopez has developed into one of the best centers in the entire NBA. Lopez has been the leading scorer of all centers since the beginning of the season and hasn’t looked back. His post skill set along with his ruthless scoring mentality makes him a tough match-up for anyone.
Containing Lopez will be one of the keys to the game for the Sixers. Another is transition baskets. The nets have struggled all season long getting back on defense and stopping teams on the fast break. If the Sixers can get some easy looks early in the shot clock, it will go a long way towards winning.
The point guard match-up is another thing to keep an eye on. Jrue Holiday is known as a quicker guard that lacks some strength, and Deron Williams is a brute force at the point guard position. Williams uses his size and strength to absolutely bully his opponents while Holiday tries to use his length and quickness to blow by his opponents. How these two guys play will determine how their respective teams will play.
Regardless of the Nets being locked into the playoffs and the Sixers being knocked out, this is still a division opponent. Everyone playing tonight is playing for something. Nets’ players are playing for playoff minutes, and Sixers’ players are playing for jobs next season.