#502 Brooklyn Netsvs.#501 Philadelphia 76ers
Written by Chris Kubala
Philadelphia 76ers (9-25 SU, 18-16 ATS, 16-17-1 O/U) vs. Brooklyn Nets (8-27 SU, 18-15-2 ATS, 20-14-1 O/U)
NBA: Sunday, January 8, 2017, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York, 12 pm ET
Line: Brooklyn -2.5; Over/Under: 214
It’s an Atlantic Division contest between the two teams battling for the cellar taking place in the Big Apple. The Philadelphia 76ers are on the road as they take on the Brooklyn Nets Sunday afternoon. Philadelphia had their two game win streak snapped with a 110-106 road loss to the Celtics Friday night. Brooklyn lost its fifth straight with a 116-108 home loss to the Cavaliers Friday night. The 76ers hold a 106-79 lead in the all-time regular season series between the teams, including a 108-107 home win in the first matchup this season on December 18, 2016.
Philadelphia had their chances but blew an opportunity for a third straight win. The 76ers had an 11 point halftime lead after outscoring Boston 39-26 in the second quarter. Philadelphia was outscored 59-44 in the second half as they were bombed from three point range by the Celtics. The 76ers shot 46.8 percent from the field while holding Boston to 40.2 percent shooting. Philadelphia was done in by Boston’s hot three point shooting as the Celtics hit 19 of 40 from beyond the arc to the 76ers’ 9 of 28. Joel Embiid had 23 points and eight rebounds to lead the 76ers in the loss.
The 76ers are miserable on the offensive end of the floor. The team is 26th in the league in scoring offense with 99.1 points per game. Philadelphia is 19th in rebounding with 43 boards a night and 11th with 22.6 assists per contest. The 76ers are below average on the defensive end, ranking 23rd by allowing 106.2 points a game. Joel Embiid leads the 76ers in scoring with 19.3 points plus 7.4 rebounds a game. Ersan Ilyasova contributes 15.1 points and 6.4 rebounds since coming over in a deal from the Thunder. Jahlil Okafor (10.7 points, 4.8 rebounds) and Dario Saric are a couple of the other guys the 76ers are trying to rely on offensively. Gerald Henderson, Nik Stauskas, Robert Covington (10.1 points, 5.6 rebounds) and Sergei Rodriguez all are key pieces in the rotation. Philadelphia hopes to have #1 overall pick Ben Simmons back in the near future as he has managed to practice in the last couple of weeks. The 76ers are 28th in the league shooting the ball as they hit 43.5 percent from the floor. Philadelphia is tied for 6th in threes per game with 10.5 triples a night and 17th in three point shooting as they hit 35.3 percent from beyond the arc.
Brooklyn continues to flounder as their loss to the Cavaliers Friday marked their 22nd defeat in 26 games. The Nets made a run in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Cavaliers 40-30 in the final quarter but the damage was already done. Brooklyn was down 18 after three quarters as they couldn’t handle LeBron James and company. The Nets shot 45.1 percent from the field in the game but misfired on 21 of their 30 three point attempts in the game. A free throw disparity proved to down the Nets as Cleveland cashed in 31 of 43 at the stripe compared to the Nets’ 17 of 19. Bojan Bogdanovic led the Nets with 23 points in the loss.
The Nets are 12th in the league in scoring offense with 105.7 points per game. Brooklyn is 12th in the league on the glass by collecting 44.3 rebounds per game. The Nets are 24th in the league in assists with 20.8 dimes per contest. Brooklyn is last in the league in scoring defense as they allow 114.3 points a game. Brook Lopez is good for a team leading 19.9 points a night while Sean Kilpatrick chips in 14.9 points per game from the backcourt. Bojan Bogdanovic kicks in 14.1 points plus 3.1 boards per game while Jeremy Lin averages 13.9 points and 5.8 assists per contest. Lin is out again after suffering his second hamstring injury of the season. Joe Harris (9.1 points), Trevor Booker (10.2 points, 9.2 rebounds), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Luis Scola and Anthony Bennett are key pieces in the rotation as well. Rookie Isaiah Whitehead has gotten a good chunk of minutes at point guard for Brooklyn. The Nets are 23rd in the league by shooting 44 percent from the floor. Brooklyn is 5th by sinking 11.1 triples per contest. The Nets are tied for 27th in the league in three point shooting as they shoot 33.7 percent from long range.
Brooklyn has had their issues regardless of venue of late as they’ve fallen apart after an okay start in the first 10 games. Philadelphia had won two straight and had Boston on the ropes before being done in by hot outside shooting from the Celtics. It’s a fairly safe bet that the Nets won’t hit nearly 50 percent from beyond the arc on 40 attempts. They may jack up 40 threes but Brooklyn struggles from the perimeter. Until the Nets can actually win a few games, you have to fade them. Take the points and the 76ers as they get a rare road win.
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Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. He keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college, the NHL, the NBA and college basketball and MLB.