The 31-45 Philadelphia 76ers are in Brooklyn tonight taking on the 44-32 Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Here’s three things to watch:
1) Jrue vs. D-Will. While Deron Williams continues his surge past respectability and into the elite point guard discussion with back-to-back 30-point games, Jrue Holiday had his first good game in April against the Miami Heat Saturday night in the Sixers’ most recent game, scoring 18 points on 7-17 shooting. In his previous two games, Holiday shot 5-38 — yes, 5-38 — from the field, including a 2-24 stinker against the league-worst Charlotte Bobcats. Here’s his shot chart from that game:
Feel better, Gerald Wallace.
2) Midrange. The 76ers lead the NBA in mid-range attempts, with 2,221 on the season. Coach Doug Collins runs a lot of cross-screens and curls to get open mid-range looks. Conversely, the Nets are fourth-lowest in the NBA in midrange attempts — which shocked me, even as someone who watches this team all the time. Luckily for the Nets, the midrange shot is the least effective shot in the game — it very rarely draws fouls, is further from the basket, but not so far that you get an extra point for hitting it — so if the 76ers rely on it heavily, they shouldn’t pose much of a threat.
3) Joe Johnson. The Nets starting shooting guard is active tonight as he continues to rehab with a quad contusion and sore left heel. Johnson entered the locker room less than 90 minutes before game time and after Nets interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo spoke to the media.
Bonus: Will minority owner Jay-Z, who according to a report has begun divesting his shares in the Brooklyn Nets, be in attendance?