It took Tobias Harris hitting a 3 with 28 seconds left and Marcus Morris’ heave at the buzzer unsuccessfully clanking off the rim for the Philadelphia 76ers to top the Knicks Saturday night and end their six-game road losing streak. For those fortunate enough to be off work or school this afternoon for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday, you will be treated to some midday NBA basketball to see if the Sixers can make it two straight wins away from home.
Considering the Sixers were only able to overcome their road difficulties Saturday by the slimmest of margins against one of the worst teams in the league, things should prove tougher this afternoon. The Nets are looking for revenge following their defeat at the Wells Fargo Center last Wednesday, a game that was still tied with inside of four minutes remaining. Philadelphia could be even more depleted in the frontcourt today, as Al Horford enters the day questionable with a sprained left hand. The Sixers could be looking at a Norvel Pelle/Kyle O’Quinn tandem at center, which would only be slightly balanced out by the Nets missing one half of their center rotation in DeAndre Jordan (out with a finger injury).
Last Wednesday’s game sparked Episode 47 in the long-running series “Kyrie Irving: Not a Great Teammate”. Here were the Brooklyn’s point guard’s comments after the loss:
Kyrie Irving was asked after tonight’s loss to Philly about this game against a top East opponent showing how much work the Nets still have to do in order to compete at the highest level while waiting for Kevin Durant to return. Here’s Irving’s answer: pic.twitter.com/NAqA4OvQk2— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) January 16, 2020
He later tried to walk his comments back slightly, saying it wasn’t a shot at the current team, but that they just needed to add more talent, also including his now-infamous “if you’re not in our locker room, stay the f--- out” comment. Methinks you doth protest too much, Kyrie. Brooklyn would go on to lose by 20 points at home to the Bucks Saturday night. It’s always nice to be reminded that locker room dysfunction occurs in places outside of Philadelphia, and recognize how Brett Brown has, by and large, done a terrific job maintaining a harmonious environment over the years (a Jimmy Butler episode here or there excluded).
Of course, team chemistry isn’t the only thing, and the Sixers potentially being short their top two men in the frontcourt could be enough to turn the tide in Brooklyn’s favor. A victory over a playoff team (even a bottom-tier playoff team) in a weird time slot would qualify as a quality road win. We’ll find out if the Sixers are up to the challenge and can make it two straight victories away from home starting at 3:00 pm Eastern.
Who: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Brooklyn Nets
When: 3:00 pm ET
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic
Philadelphia: Joel Embiid (out - hand); Al Horford (questionable - hand)
Brooklyn: Kevin Durant (out - achilles); Wilson Chandler (out - hamstring); DeAndre Jordan (out - finger)