The 76ers enter on a six-game losing streak and their season seems to be heading right where many thought it would to begin the season. After such a promising start with quality wins over Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets, things have went south for them. Rookie sensation Michael Carter-Williams will likely miss this game with a knee injury and his absence has been felt on the team.
The Nets have experienced many health problems this season, but are slowly getting their players back on the court. Brook Lopez is questionable for tonight’s game after injuring his ankle and missing the Pistons game. The Nets need his scoring and defensive presence down low if they want to contend for the Atlantic Division title and beyond. Deron Williams continues to show no signs of lingering ankle issues as he has dominated every game since his return.
Jason Kidd has to be pleased with the way his team has been playing of late and with the soon-to-be return of Jason Terry, his bench will only get stronger. Paul Pierce is adapting to his new role off the bench. He provides a steady offensive hand and on-court leadership, which has been lacking with the absence of Terry and Andrei Kirilenko.
The Atlantic Division is still up for grabs and it seems like the race will still come down to the Nets and the New York Knicks. The 76ers can provide a scare into these teams, but by the end of the season they will have sunk to the lottery portion of the standings as they continue to build through the draft.
On paper, this should not be a close contest, but with the Nets anything is possible, even a loss. If the Nets resemble the team that have played magnificent basketball the last week, they could end the night one game behind the Boston Celtics for first place in the division.