The Sixers are struggling of late. Since the beginning of December they are just 5-14, including three consecutive losses heading into tonight’s matchup with the Nets. The 76ers have not scored more than 89 points since January 1st when they beat the Lakers 103-99 at the Staples Center. The Sixers have dropped three of their last five against the Nets, including their only meeting this year, a 95-92 loss on December 23rd at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn. The 76ers road struggles are seemingly the opposite of their play at home. They have won eight of their last 12 games at the Wells Fargo Center. Tonight is the first game of a back-to-back with the Raptors tomorrow in Toronto. They have struggled in the second game of back-to-backs going just 2-8. The Sixers are still undefeated (14-0) when leading after the third quarter but a dismal 1-20 when trailing or tied after three quarters.
Who to Watch: Thaddeus Young. In the last six games of the 2012 calendar year, Young averaged 17.0 points per game. However, in 2013, Young is only averaging 11.8 points per game in his last four games. He has scored in double figures in 25 consecutive games, which is the longest streak for a 76er since Andre Iguodala scored in double figures in 35 straight games in 2008-09. On the year, Young is averaging 14.8 points and 7.1 rebounds per game while averaging 35.3 minutes.
The Nets enter tonight with some off-the-court drama hanging over their heads. Early this morning power forward Andray Blatche was questioned in regards to a sexual assault at the Four Seasons Hotel in Center City Philadelphia. Two men remain in custody while a date rape drug was found in the suite where the assault happened. No charges have been filed and Blatche was at the morning shoot around today but issued no comment. The Nets enter having won three straight games to start off the new year, they recently pounded the Sacramento Kings 113-93 on Saturday. The team is 5-1 in the six games under interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo while averaging 7.3 points more per game (101.8 ppg v. 94.5 ppg) than under previous head coach Avery Johnson.
Who to Watch: Deron Williams. The Nets’ point guard is the most dangerous player on the court for the Nets at all times. GM Billy King went out and acquired Joe Johnson (17.1 points per game) which has made Williams even more of a threat. Williams is averaging 16.6 points and 7.8 points per game. He is coming off of a 15 point, seven assist night against the Kings on Saturday despite only playing 27 minutes.
Tipoff tonight is slated for 7:00 pm at the Wells Fargo Center. Tickets are still available. The game can be seen on Comcast Sportsnet and heard on 97.5 The Fanatic.
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