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Sixers vs. Nets: game preview and start time

Philadelphia culminates their January stretch against Brooklyn and hopes to develop momentum before entering the new month.

NBA: Preseason-Philadelphia 76ers at Brooklyn Nets Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Amid JJ Redick's absence, Brett Brown has relied on bandaid options to fill the void. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot was capably scoring on the offensive end prior to the past two games and Justin Anderson's two-way energy in the second unit is appreciated. Where the shooting guard rotation needs to address relatively soon is from behind the arc.

Compounded by Robert Covington's free falling shooting percentage, Brown's offense can't be reliant on three other positions for their three-point source. Wielding no pure shooter has compromised their offense's potential. However, against Brooklyn's 24th-ranked defense comprised of underwhelming defensive guards, TLC could break free from the 6-for-38 shooting rut he's currently in. According to reports from NBCSPhilly's Jessica Camerato, JJ Redick will return tonight, diminishing the need for TLC to bounce back immediately.

Philadelphia also receives an addition with the returning Jerryd Bayless tonight. Luwawu-Cabarrot deservedly should open as the starting shooting guard, but possibly moving Anderson to the small forward position to give Covington needed rest is an option.

D'Angelo Russell hasn't returned to his previously competent offensive version, only shooting 33 percent (12-for-36) since returning, and incumbent point guard Spencer Dinwiddie has exceptionally filled Kenny Atkinson's starting PG role. Dinwiddie's control and versatility are a unique challenge and deviate from the offensively gifted point guards.

Looking for a home win after a letdown five-game road stretch, Dinwiddie will be one of Brooklyn's deciding factors in whether they win their first game in 10 days. Conversely, getting center Joel Embiid back into their listless lineup they displayed Monday against Milwaukee is essential. Philadelphia matches up rather favorably against a bigger guard in Dinwiddie, but Brooklyn might be helpless against the 7-foot-2 big man.

Embiid's last matchup against Brooklyn had him at the free throw line 18 times in a memorable 15 minutes during their preseason tilt. A Jarrett Allen-Jahlil Okafor tandem could be at Embiid's mercy. Okafor tallied a season-high 13 rebounds against New York last night, but continues to log negative plus-minus results when paired with Brooklyn's bench.

With Nik Stauskas and James Webb III also part of Brooklyn's immediate rotation, Wednesday's 7:30 p.m. matchup will be littered with former and current Sixers. Stauskas has been plagued by injury and inconsistency this month and could have added motivation to catch fire against his former team and teammates.

It'll be interesting to see who Atkinson relies on to limit Ben Simmons. DeMarre Carroll appears to be a viable option leaving Allen Crabbe and Dinwiddie to cover both Redick and Covington. Crabbe wouldn't have to exert ample energy when covering Covington, whose one-dimensional style and inefficiency have limited Philadelphia's offense. Covington's bounce-back game has to eventually happen, and tonight could be a prime opportunity for him to assert himself as a sharpshooter once again.

Philadelphia (24-23) needs to handle the league's bottom-feeders and Brooklyn (18-33) vies to catch a positive run before the All-Star Break.

Game Time:

7:30 p.m. ET

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