The Sixers have played their first three preseason at neutral sites and across the seas, including Spain, England, and Delaware. Finally, tonight the Sixers will return to a home crowd in Philadelphia to tip off against the Brooklyn Nets.
The Sixers will be taking on a Nets team that received an extreme makeover this summer. Remember that intense playoff series against the rival Celtics a few years ago that included the likes of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce? Well they are on their way back to the Wells Fargo Center, but as members of the Brooklyn Nets. How weird will it be to see Pierce and Garnett battling the Sixers in black uniforms and not green? It’s almost like seeing Andrew Bynum in a Clev…I won’t even go there!
The Nets will not be at full strength tonight. Missing the game will be Andrei Kirilenko, Jason Terry, and Deron Williams. Very integral pieces to the Nets success this year, but Pierce, Garnett, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez will still be in uniform. Even with missing three big pieces to their team, the Nets still have the ability to put a dominating unit on the floor. Must be nice! The probable starters for the Nets are PG Shaun Livingston, G Joe Johnson, SF Paul Pierce, PF Kevin Garnett and C Brook Lopez. The Nets are 1-1 so far this preseason.
Our Philadelphia Sixers enter this game with a 2-1 record in the preseason. Two wins against Bilbao and the Boston Celtics and the lone loss coming at the hands of Kevin Durant and his Thunder squad. The probable starting lineup for the Sixers will be: PG Michael Carter-Williams, SG James Anderson, SF Evan Turner, PF Thaddeus Young and C Spencer Hawes.
The starting unit played very well against Boston on Friday. Thaddeus Young had 20 points and five rebounds, Spencer Hawes had 17 points and seven rebounds, Evan Turner contributed 12 points and eight rebounds, James Anderson had 16 points and six rebounds and Michael Carter-Williams had six points, six assists and six rebounds. One important statistic to note is that all starters had a +/- of 10 or greater, with Michael Carter-Williams having a +21 performance. While these preseason games may not seem important to powerhouses like Brooklyn, a young Sixers squad should find every minute on the court to have some value.
There are some things fans should keep an eye out for tonight. Michael Carter-Williams has a team-high 16 assists with only one turnover in 79 preseason minutes. ONE TURNOVER PEOPLE! Hopefully Carter-Williams will continue his growth tonight against a stout Nets squad. Also, the Thaddeus Young three point experience should be continuing tonight. Thad is 3-7 from three-point land this preseason, shooting 60.6 percent from the floor overall. Journeyman James Anderson also deserves some spotlight on him tonight. Anderson is shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc this preseason and leads the Sixers in that category.
The Sixers and Nets will tip-off at 7 PM in Philadelphia. The game will be available on Comcast Sportsnet and on 97.5 The Fanatic FM. GO SIXERS!