At 18-2, the Philadelphia 76ers have been beyond dominant at home this season. With Kyrie Irving and the feisty Brooklyn Nets coming to town tonight, the Sixers are seriously hoping their home dominance continues.
Philly enters the game at 25-16 while Brooklyn sits at 18-21. However, the records don’t tell the full story. The 76ers have seriously struggled since Joel Embiid left the team due to injury, and the Nets are expected to find their rhythm here as they continue to get healthier and healthier.
Considering the Nets have already defeated the Sixers once this year without their starting point guard, tonight should be a close contest all the way through.
Stories to Watch
Kyrie is Back
The Nets landed one of the bigger free agents this offseason in point guard Kyrie Irving, pairing him up with future Hall of Famer Kevin Durant. However, after just 11 games as a Brooklyn Net, Irving shut things down briefly as he rehabbed a right shoulder injury. He spent 26 games out on the bench, joining his co-star KD as he himself rehabs from his own personal injury.
Irving is a bonafide “Sixers killer”, especially when he was playing for Boston. In his last six games against the 76ers, Kyrie is 5-1 while averaging 26.7 points per game. Finding a way to slow down the 6x All-Star will be priority number one for Philly tonight.
In his two games since returning from injury, Irving is averaging 26.5ppg on over 70% shooting. Surreal numbers from the 27-year-old.
Bad Coaching? Or Bad Shooting?
In Monday’s loss to the Pacers, the 76ers attempted 33 total three-pointers. They made just six of them. Fans and reporters alike seem to be split 50/50 on if this is poor coaching (scheming up too many three-point attempts) or just simply bad shooting from capable NBA players. There will be a magnifying glass on both Brett Brown and the players alike tonight on how they handle their three-point shooting.
Avoid the Losing Streak
After losing their last two contests, the Sixers are in yet another situation where they could find themselves in the midst of a losing streak. Even with Embiid out, the 76ers must find a way to win some of these key Eastern Conference matchups if they want any shot at home-court advantage come playoff time. As of right now, Philly sits at 6th in the standings, but are just 3.5 games out of second place.
Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports