With the win-less New Jersey Nets playing with out Yi Jianlian, Chris Douglas-Roberts and Devin Harris this figured to be a cake walk for the Sixers Friday night.
It was a seesaw game and the Sixers were able to battle through 22 lead changes, for a 97-94 victory. Louis Williams continued his impressive start to the season finishing with a team high 18 points.
Elton Brand only played a little over 18 minutes, being benched in favor of Willie Green. Green allowed the Sixers a smaller line-up as the Nets seemed to be frustrating Brand, in-turn slowing down the normally coast-to-coast running Sixers.
Once again the Sixers defense came into question early, as the Nets seemed to be getting lots of open looks. Having bogged down the Sixers running style it allowed the Nets to set up their half court offense, and better opportunities from the field.
What does it say about Eddie Jordan’s confidence in Brand? Not much, then again not much to look into either. Jordan is clearly going through his bench and putting certain guys in certain situations to see how they respond. Trying to find out what he’s working with, then they’ll go from there. It will make things a whole lot easier for everyone once everyone knows their roles. Recently, Willie Green, Jrue Holiday, Marreese Speights and Jason Kapono have been given opportunities to show what they can do. Kapono and Speights responded Tonight with both finishing in double-figures.
Jason Smith’s playing time has been increasing every game, something that has taken much too long if you ask me. Perhaps Smith coming off of last seasons injury is being slowly introduced to Jordan’s offense, so that he can focus more on the health aspect of his transition back into the line-up.
Not having their regulars in the line-up may have benefited the Nets. A team that is win-less in 6 games doesn’t have much to lose, guys sitting on the bench of an 0-6 team and getting an opportunity to play? Certainly nothing to lose their.
In the end this game should not have been close, it was an ugly game on both ends and if the Sixers plan on being a playoff team they need to get things together.
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About the Author
Written by Mike Santa Barbara
Sports writer covering mostly Philadelphia sports for over 10 years. Work has been featured on RealGM.com, GCobb.com and Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia (CSNPhilly.com.)