This edition of “Fo’ with the Foes” – Philadunkia’s advanced scouting series which with the help of an accomplished journalist from around the NBA beat or blog world, previews key upcoming 76ers games – features tonight’s opponent, the Brooklyn Nets who have lost 6 of their last 7 and are 2-5 on the road this season, but boast a roster filled with veteran NBA players (Garnett, Johnson, D-Will, Lopez) who have simply killed the Sixers over the years.
After the jump, I’ll look a Fo’ key items for tonight’s game. Additionally, we’ll get a little more insight into this Nets team the Sixers face tonight from our colleague David Vertsberger at brooklynsfinestblog.com, as David will answer Fo’ questions on his Nets squad from us here at Philadunkia.
Here are Fo’ key items I will be watching for tonight…
1) Get A Win: Brett Brown said after Wednesday night’s loss, “We’re not that far away. I genuinely believe that.” I’m not 100% sure what Brown was referring to, but I assume he means the squad’s first win of the season and not being a solid basketball team. I can think of no better time than tonight to end this 14 game losing streak. The Nets are on a downward spiral, they are old & tired, they are terrible on the road (16-25 in 2013-14; 2-5 this season) and will likely be disinterested in this Thanksgiving eve game vs. a weak opponent. So I am looking for the Sixers to play with energy, score the ball as they did vs. POR and secure the first win of the season.
2) Henry Sims: The month of November has been a roller coaster ride for Sims. One night he’s putting up 16,8 & 5 vs. the Bulls. The next night his stat line reads 6 & 5 vs. the Knicks. However everything seem to come together for Sims against POR on Monday night as the Sixer big scored 22 points on 8-14 shooting and grabbed 4 rebounds. Sims looked aggressive and fluid on Monday night as he made several nice dives/rolls to the basket for buckets. His shooting stroke also seemed to return on Monday night as he splashed home a number of open jumpers. I’ll be interested to see if the 22 point outburst serves as a launching point for Sims to get his season on track. How #35 plays tonight against the solid Nets frontline that includes KG, Lopez, Teletovic and Plumlee could be an indicator of whether or not Sims has found his game.
3) MCW and Wroten’s Minutes Together: When Carter-Williams was in the game vs. POR on Monday, he stagnated the 76ers’ offensive flow as he attempted to rescue the Sixers via a solo act (24 points on 24 shots). When he was paired with Wroten, the offense was completely lost and ineffective. Wroten scored 20; handed out 9 dimes and outside of one or two bone-headed plays on Monday night, the Sixers looked better with him as the lead guard. So I will be watching tonight to see if Brett Brown noticed these same items and I will taking notes on how much run MCW & TWroe each get at the PG spot; how much time they spend on the floor together and who hauls more tick as PG1.
4) Mirza Teletovic: Please allow me to introduce myself…My name is Mizra Teletovic and I am one of the rising 4-men in the NBA. Unless you have NBA Ticket or watch a great deal of NBA.com, you probably are not aware that the 29-year old Yugoslavian born power forward is finally turning heads during his third season in the League. Tonight, keep your eyes on this Euro-baller who scored 22 points (8-14 FG, 4-8 3Pt, 2-2 FT) and grabbed 8 rebounds in 34 minutes Saturday against the Spurs.
Q&A with David Vertsberger at brooklynsfinestblog.com:
Philadunkia: After a 4-2 start, the Nets have lost 6 of their last 7. What have been the major issues for the Nets during this last stretch?
David Vertsberger at brooklynsfinestblog.com: What hasn’t been? Brook Lopez has killed ball movement and is providing little interior defense. Joe Johnson has fallen off the map offensively. Kevin Garnett is a shell of himself but generally the team is just out of sync and inferior athletically.
Philadunkia: I know it’s early, but so far Bojan Bogdanovic is having a roller coaster season. What’s your scouting report on Bojan?
David Vertsberger at brooklynsfinestblog.com: He got off to a shaky start and still struggles to play consistently but I really like him right now. He’s getting more confident with his shot which looks deadly at times. He understands the defense and can play multiple positions. I look forward to seeing him develop.
Philadunkia: What do you think the ceiling is on Mirza Teletovic?
David Vertsberger at brooklynsfinestblog.com: What is the ceiling on? Likely on fire if Teletovic is in the room. SEE WHAT I DID THERE?! In all seriousness, I think Teletovic can become one of the best stretch fours in the league if he keeps improving. His dribble-drive game has already taken a step forward and his defense and rebounding are overlooked. Dude’s a beast.
Philadunkia: What’s one thing the Nets have done well so far this season that the Sixers should be concerned about tonight?
David Vertsberger at brooklynsfinestblog.com: I’d say the Sixers should be concerned that the Nets aren’t playing mostly undrafted players
Thanks to David for his time and answers.
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