It’s Game 4 of the playoffs and the Sixers look to take a commanding 3-1 lead over the Brooklyn Nets. After an abysmal Game 1 performance, the Sixers handily won Games 2 and 3 and have all the momentum leading into Game 4. The fan base may be looking forward to future games and matchups, but the Sixers will have to win this weekend game and bring the series back home to Philly to put it away.
While many factors have played into the Sixers’ past two wins, I also think it can be broken down quite simply…Ben Simmons. Simmons was not himself in Game 1, and the fans let him know it. He came out in Game 2 and put up a triple-double with 18 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists. Some members of the national media choose to ignore that outing and I get it. A game with such a dominant win that the benches were emptied early in the fourth quarter should be ignored! Instead, we should focus on the fact that a man that contributed one rebound and two turnovers to his team’s loss really fired up our All-Star point guard. Thanks to Jared Dudley’s astute observations and criticisms of Simmons, Simmons had 31 points in Thursday night’s game, his season-high.
It has been announced that the Nets will be without Ed Davis in Game 4 as he is suffering from an ankle injury. The Nets are going to have to go small using Rondae Hollis-Jefferson or the aforementioned Jared Dudley at center when Jarrett Allen is on the bench. Both Hollis-Jefferson and Dudley check in at 6-foot-7, giving the Sixers somewhere between a 4- to 8-inch height advantage (Marjanovic is listed at 7-foot-3, Embiid at an even 7-foot, and Greg Monroe at 6-foot-11) under the basket. Speaking of Embiid, he is currently listed as doubtful for Game 4.
One thing that has been of interest to many is the 3-point shooting in this series. The Sixers shot terribly in Game 1, but have come back from the depths of despair and are currently averaging 31 percent from beyond the arc in Round 1. That is a touch below their season average of 36 percent, but they are trending in the right direction. The Nets are also shooting close to their season average from 3, but are trending in the wrong direction.
The Sixers were fired up after taking a 2-1 lead in the series and regaining home court advantage. Let’s get this W this afternoon so we can close out Round 1 at home.
Who: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Brooklyn Nets
When: 3:00 pm EST
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia, TNT
Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic