The Philadelphia 76ers (15-14) look to take on the Brooklyn Nets (20-8), who currently sit on top of the East. The Sixers have had two embarrassing losses in a row from Memphis and Miami and need to get a win under their belt if they wish to climb back up in the competitive eastern conference.
Georges Niang: Out (COVID-19 Protocols)
Furkan Korkmaz: Out (Illness)
Ben Simmons: Out (Personal)
Grant Riller: Out (Shoulder)
Georges Niang entered health and safety protocols before Wednesday’s tip-off against the Heat and was sorely missed coming off the bench. The Sixers could always depend on the 6’7 forward to energize the guys around them, leading the Sixers to look flat against Miami. There is no word on when Niang will be available, but Sixers fans can expect at least ten days unless he can provide consistent negative tests as required by the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
Sixers fans should also keep an eye out for Joel Embiid, as he had a nasty fall against Kyle Lowry last night. Embiid played the rest of the game, but fans should not be surprised if he is dealing with soreness.
The Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets are having their fair share of Covid woes. Currently listed on the team’s health and safety protocols are LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Bembry, Bruce Brown, Jevon Carter, James Harden, James Johnson, and Paul Millsap. The Nets are currently playing with the necessary eight players and have entered each game playing tough and with an edge. The Nets were able to outlast the battle against the Raptors Tuesday night at home and have shown that they can still do damage with only eight guys suited up.
Despite half of their team being on health and safety protocols and sans Kyrie Irving, the Brooklyn Nets have continued to dominate with the help of Kevin Durant. Durant is having a monster of a season in his 14th year in the league, averaging 29.6 PPG; he is single-handedly keeping the Brooklyn Nets at the coveted first place seed.
The Sixers have notoriously choked against depleted teams this year and have yet to capitalize on an opponent’s injuries. If the Sixers want a fighting chance against KD and the Nets, they need to put the past behind them and play better ball. They must tap into what won them the game against the Warriors, and that was defense. Without aggressive defense, they might as well hand KD his points on a silver platter tonight.
The Sixers take on the Nets tonight at 7:30 pm in Brooklyn.