Monday, December 16, 2013
W2W4: Nets vs. 76ers
By Mike Mazzeo
NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets look to get back on the winning track when they face the Philadelphia 76ers Monday night at Barclays Center. Here’s what we’ll be watching for:
BROOK-IN? Brook Lopez (ankle) says he thinks he’ll play Monday. The Nets (8-15) sure could use him. Lopez was averaging 24 points on 69 percent shooting in his previous three games before missing Friday night’s loss to the Detroit Pistons. The Sixers (7-18, 1-10 away) are among the league leaders in points in the paint (49.9). The Nets could use Lopez’s interior defense. In the eight games he’s missed, they’re giving up 44.0 points in the restricted area. In the 15 games he’s played, they’re giving up 36.3.
DICTATING PACE: Philadelphia has lost six in a row, all without Michael Carter-Williams, who will not play again Monday. The Sixers are first in the league in pace, so the Nets can’t let them get out and run. Brooklyn, which ranks 25th in pace, is 0-11 when allowing more than 100 points.
“It’s very important,” said Deron Williams, who is averaging 20.7 points and 6.7 assists on 55.3 percent shooting in his last three games since returning from injury. “We want to get easy baskets but we don’t want to be caught up in just running and gunning. We want to get good looks and make them guard -- they’re a team that doesn't like to play defense for the full shot clock.”