The 76ers needed to win against New Jersey in order to solidify their lead over the streaking 7th seeded New York Knicks as well as gain momentum heading into the playoffs. A loss against the Nets would have been pathetic and unacceptable, and may have given the 76ers a reputation around the League as an inconsistent team.
Luckily for us, the 76ers pulled through, eliminating the Nets with a great team effort and thus clinched a spot in the 2011 NBA playoffs.
The 7-6 started off strong with a quick lead over the Nets who were having obvious difficulty scoring the basketball. This was most likely due to the absence of interior presence, Kris Humphries, who has been a huge part of New Jersey’s offense down low. New Jersey’s complacency was evident throughout the entire game as they settled for difficult jump shots instead of working the ball into the paint. The result of settling for contested jumpers was that the Nets starting lineup shot a dismal 15-40 in the game. The only positive that the Nets showed in this contest, was how well their bench played. Contrary to the starting lineup, New Jersey’s bench actually decided to work the ball down low occasionally. When the Nets’ reserves were not trying to score in the paint, they scored well from outside, shooting an impressive 22-45. Still this effort was not enough to knock off the 76ers who defeated the Nets by a large margin of 25.
First of all, the Sixers were on fire throughout the game, shooting an incredible 56% from the field. Strong performances were constant throughout the 76ers lineup. Jrue Holiday led the attack, with a great all around performance. Holiday recorded 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 7 assists while shooting a scorching 67% from the field. Not only did Holiday play well, he also took good care of the basketball, only committing 1 turnover during his 31 minutes on the court. Elton Brand’s MIA streak (11 ppg. in his last 7) ended against the Nets last night as EB made his presence felt recording 21 points and 7 rebounds while shooting 58% percent from the field. Dre had an average night, only scoring 14 points and dishing out 7 assists but not much was needed from him to secure the victory.
Off the bench, Thad Young continued to shine the brightest. Thad scored 22, shooting 75% (9-12) from the field. Young also stole the ball from the disheveled Nets 3 times in his 24 minutes on the court. Louis Williams displayed his pinpoint accuracy, scoring 13 points while shooting 71% (5-7) from the field. The rest of the 76ers bench played well and efficiently in securing the win and guaranteeing themselves a spot in the playoffs. This win also gave the 76ers a 2.5 game advantage over New York which will be difficult for the Knicks to overcome with only 8 games remaining in the season.
Tonight was a must win for our Sixers and they delivered. By crushing the Nets 115-90, they also showed the NBA that they know how to take care of business against inferior opponents.
- Doug Collins continues to stick to his guns when it come sto playing Andres Nocioni over rookie Evan Turner. Noc played nearly 21 minutes and scored 8 points on 2-4 shooting from the field and 2-2 on FTs. Noc shot 2-3 from deep. Turner saw 11:16 of burn last night, went 2-3 on field golas and scored 4 points.
- Of course NBA.com has highlights of the Sixers win over the helpless Nets.