Pregame Open Thread: New Jersey Nets @ Philadelphia 76ers

The Nets travel down the Turnpike tonight to face a very good Philadelphia Sixers team that currently stands at 39-36 and has leaped in front of the Knicks for the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference. Here are some keys to tonight:

Who Cares? The Nets are mathematically eliminated and after getting on national television for the first time in nearly two years on Wednesday, they blew an early double-digits lead to the rival Knicks. It’s easy not to care about this game if you’re a fan, but the fact that Deron Williams is going to suit up despite his hurt wrist indicates that these games should still matter. Anyone not giving 100 percent effort (like every game we saw prior to Wednesday since DWill went down) should be benched by Avery Johnson. Send a message. There’s still a season to finish out here.

The frontline: Kris Humphries is going to sit tonight with an injured foot and Avery said in practice that Johan Petro is getting the nod. Apparently Avery was taken by Petro’s scoring/rebounding line from Wednesday (9 points/8 boards) and forgot about the ugly turnovers and non-existent defense during a critical swing in the late 3rd quarter and early 4th quarter where the Knicks regained control of the game. Then again, it was Johnson was apparently wanted Petro this past summer when no one else was biting for three years and $3 million per, so I’m glad the Frenchman has a fan in somebody. Meanwhile, get ready for some PT Brandan Wright.

For the Philly viewpoint, make sure you check out Sixers’ TrueHoop blog Philadunkia.