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Will it Work as Designed?

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After spending the first two months of his coaching career as a laughing stock (10-21), Jason Kidd has seemingly righted the ship in New Jersey Brooklyn. The odd thing is he's done it without his core group on the floor together. In fact, his superstar was only in the starting lineup for two games in their impressive 10-1 run back from futility. Currently, Deron is back and the team is riding a three-game losing streak.

Tonight should be a pretty easy win for the Nets. MCW sat out Saturday's embarrassment in Detroit, basically for rest (or tanking). He's listed in the starting lineup tonight, but I'd say there's still a chance he doesn't play. The Sixers seem to have unraveled and the Nets have something to play for, I suppose.

Let's assume MCW is in the lineup. The last time these teams met, the Sixers squeezed out a defensive battle 121-120, powered by an above average game from Evan Turner (29 points on 22 shots, plus 10 boards), MCW's steady hand (15 pts, 10 dimes, 3 steals, 3 turnovers) and Thad (29 pts on 18 shots). Just one more example of why Evan Turner's presence hurts this team, no matter what the goal is (tanking or competing).

These games get harder and harder to watch, let alone write about. Hinkie's lack of movement has threatened the ultimate goal of landing a top pick in this draft. If they fall out of the bottom four, it's going to take some serious luck to land one of the prizes of the draft. If they finish out of the top four on lottery night, it's going to take even more luck to grab a guy from the next tier and turn him into a superstar. But as Sam Hinkie sits and waits for an opportunity to fall in his lap, the things to keep an eye on are Hawes' dwindling production (and relative value), Evan Turner's hot nights adding undeserved wins, and the health of those two plus Thad. One thing we've rarely talked about when assesssing the foolish risk being taken by not moving whoever he's planning to move earlier is the risk of injury...whatever.

Let's hope tonight isn't another needless, avoidable win while the GM works the phones hoping for a miracle. Let's hope Jason Kidd can squeeze some life out of his old roster and firm up his team's stranglehold on the seven seed for what will undoubtedly be an epic four games against the Heat or Pacers in the first round of the playoffs.

The tip is at 7:30 in Brooklyn. If the Sixers cared at all about putting a worthwhile product on the floor I would've been there. Instead, I'll catch what I can when I get home. Enjoy.
by Brian on Feb 3 2014
Tags: Basketball | Brooklyn Nets | Game Thread | Sixers |