The New Jersey Nets and their "best guard combo in the NBA," will bring a 3-game losing streak to the court with them tonight. They've also dropped 8 of 9 and over that stretch they've cracked the century mark once, while allowing their opponents to average 102 points. Simply put, they've been horrible.
Samuel Dalembert is now listed as a game-time decision
. DiLeo has said Elton Brand will start at center if he can't go. I'll be shocked if Sammy does play, sprained ankles rarely heal over night. Sammy does have a history of recovering quickly from injuries, though. Prior to last season he had a stress fracture in his leg that was threatening his availability early in the year. Not only was he ready on opening night, but he played all 82 games.
After the jump we'll take a look at the stats and a few quick keys to the game.
I bolded the eFG number, because it's rare that the Sixers come in as the shooting favorites. The numbers are bleak for the Nets, especially on the defensive end. Allowing .519 eFG to your opponents is just horrible. They don't force enough turnovers and they foul way too much. On offense, their strengths lie in above-average three-point shooting, getting to the foul line and taking care of the ball (.129 is a very good turnover rate).
The three-point efficiency is obviously a concern, but tonight I think there will be premium on rebounding. The Wizards didn't exactly send a big front line at the Sixers last night, and they managed to dominate their offensive glass. The same cannot happen on a regular basis for this team. The running game needs to be started by securing defensive boards, not by assuming someone else will grab the ball and heading up the court early.
Devin Harris and Vince Carter, the aformentioned "best guard duo in the league," have been offensive dynamos all season long. They both sport an excellent 115 offensive rating. Of course, they've also both been defensive seives the entire season. Their defensive rating is 112, and they've both accumulated 0.8 defensive win shares. As a point of comparison, Reggie Evans has accumulated 0.8 defensive win shares this season, in 1,200 fewer minutes than Carter has played, and 900 fewer minutes than Harris. In fact, all of these Sixers have accumulated more defensive win shares than VC and DH:
- Andre Iguodala - 2.3
- Samuel Dalembert - 2.1
- Andre Miller - 1.6
- Thad Young - 1.5
- Elton Brand - 1.4
- Marreese Speights - 1.0
- Lou Williams - 1.0
Point being, this team either doesn't care about playing defense, or they just don't have the horses. Either way, the Sixers should hang triple digits on them tonight and they should walk away with a win.
The tip is at 7 p.m., I'm well-rested and I'll be here, ready to make up for last night's lackluster effort in the in-game discussion. Join me if you're watching at home.