Good news: The Nets have leapfrogged the Sixers in the standings with a 3-1 spurt. Bad news: MCW might be back for one of these games and it's very hard for any team to take two in a row in a home-and-home, no matter how hard the Sixers try to lose.
Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez and Mizra Teletovic are all questionable for the Nets tonight, with Daniel Orton (serving a suspension) and MCW probably missing for the Sixers.
OK, now the game. The Nets offense has been much, much better than their defense this season. Don't get too excited, though, because they only have the 21st-best offense. Their defense is dead last. Yes, worse than the Sixers. 30th out of 30. They're allowing a comical 110.1 points-per-100-possessions. They're "only" allowing 101.7 points-per-game, because they take the air out of the ball (26th in pace). The most interesting thing in this game might be seeing who wins the pace battle. Kidd has the Nets taking their time (possibly because they're so old) while the Sixers' specialty is allowing points as quickly as possible.
If the Nets questionables don't play, this could very easily be a win. Kevin Garnett is completely mailing this season in, shooting 36.7% from the floor and he's attempted 11 free throws in 21 games. Paul Pierce hasn't been much better, coming off the bench. Brook Lopez has been their lone bright spot, when he's on the floor, and Deron Williams continues to be the epic disappointment Billy King deserves. If the Nets are going to win tonight, it'll probably be behind some fluky performance by an alsoran (Reggie Evans scored 17 points and grabbed 24 boards the last time these teams met). So let's all hope Lopez and Johnson, at least, can rub some dirt on it and play tonight.
Evan Turner has now played 7,322 minutes in his NBA career and has accumulate -1.1 offensive win shares. He's one of 24 players since 1980 to have fewer than -1 win shares with as many minutes, a list headed by Michael Olowakandi with an impressive -11.3. The list is highlighted by offensive powerhouses like Manute Bol and Mark Eaton.
A final word on the Asik trade rumors: They don't make a whole lot of sense to me, or at least a three-team deal with Asik landing in Philly doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Asik isn't really a piece that fits, and he may just make the team better this season which would be horrendous. Either Thad or Hawes would fit really well in Houston, but if it's going to be a three-team deal, I'd think Asik would be sent elsewhere with the Sixers taking back some kind of young asset and/or picks. In the three-team scenario, you'd have Houston trading a redundant piece for a piece that helps them right now, Asik going to a team that needs help now in the form of a big euro bruiser to defend the paint, and the Sixers getting piece(s) for the future. Trading Hawes or Thad for Asik straight up would be another move where Hinkie is just helping out his buddy, in my opinion. Although I suppose you could make a salary-saving argument if it was Thad for Asik.
The tip is at 7pm. I'll probably be on a train reading a good book. Enjoy without me.