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Sixers-Nets Preview: How Will Brett Handle the Logjam?

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NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Brooklyn Nets Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Oh, man. Sometimes it’s hard to believe the way life just sets you up. I haven’t had a single game coverage yet this year, in part because of the hectic nature of my life the last 6 months, in part just because of weird luck. Of all the times for my first game coverage to pop up, it had to happen right in the middle of the biggest Sixers’ blow-up due to their center logjam.

Just about everyone knows my feelings on this, so I won’t dwell for too long. That said, I can’t not point out that the “Twin Towers” lineup has no reasonable expectations of success and has only served to frustrate the team’s best player. It’s a tough situation for the team, because they really do need to find time for too many players at the same position. But I hope it’s handled better today than it was on Friday night.

Brett should use 2-center pairings as a way of getting minutes to players, not as the team’s go-to look. Perhaps the most frustrating part of Friday’s loss to the Lakers was that nearly all of Embiid’s minutes came with Okafor lined up next to him. Even if the team has decided that they need to use 2-center lineups, they shouldn’t be accruing more than 8-12 minutes together per game. Better discretion on how to allocate the minutes would go a long way towards improving players’ dispositions and the team’s play. Here’s hoping we see an improvement in that today.

The Nets roll into town having recently beaten the Lakers during LA’s East Coast swing, but are still losers of 7 out of 10, and are the only team in the league with a worse point differential than the Sixers (-7.9 to -7.8!).

Ex-87er Sean Kilpatrick has gotten a little buzz of late after scoring 38 points in an overtime win against the Clippers. That said, there’s not a lot of intrigue with this Nets’ team. Brook Lopez has extended his range out to 3 this year, where he is shooting 34.7% on over 5 attempts per game. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson has struggled a bit this year, but has strong potential on defense, and Caris LeVert has some modest upside on the wing (he’ll forever be a FUTURE SIXER to me).

But the Nets are a disaster and have no clear path to becoming anything but a disaster. This should be a good opportunity for the Sixers to try to right the ship and get some momentum going into the new year. We’ll see if they can take it.