— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) March 10, 2016
Since the Brooklyn Nets waived Joe Johnson on Feb. 25, they have played better. They look to continue that trend tonight against the 76ers.
Brooklyn Nets (18-46)
Philadelphia 76ers (8-56)
Friday, March 11, 7:00 PM on YES
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
The Brooklyn Nets are in Philadelphia tonight to face the 76ers, a guaranteed win for most NBA teams. Philly is on a 13 game losing streak, and the Nets shouldn’t have much difficulty extending it with the way they’ve been playing.
When looking at a team as bad as the Nets, you need to go beyond the box scores. The results are going to be predominantly losses but you can measure important improvements with the always reliable eye test.
Since the Nets waived Joe Johnson and moved Bojan Bogdanovic into the starting lineup the team’s play has improved. The ball is moving more and Brook Lopez looks even more dominant on the offensive end.
The real star has been Bogdanovic though averaging 15.1 points in 31 minutes he looks confident with his shot and his teammates have been raving about him. This is what Bojan was supposed to be, a starter and an integral part of Brooklyn’s success.
In the seven games since the switch, Brooklyn is scoring 106.8 points per game, almost 10 points greater than their season’s average in the category. The Nets are just 3-4 in that span, but that’s largely to their giving up 110 points per game. So yes they still have plenty of work to do.
Speaking of having work to do (trust the process), let’s talk a little about the 76ers. Jahlil Okafor gets all the talk for his incredible post moves, and his horrible defense but who fans should keep an eye on tonight is Ish Smith.
The 76ers’ point guard will be a free agent at the end of the season, and will certainly be a target of the Nets. Smith has been shooting more since being traded to Philadelphia, but his greatest ability is as a passer. He’s not a star by any means, but the Nets won’t be able to attract those players in free agency.
The Nets don’t really have anything left to play for this season but pride, and losing to the 76ers would have to damage that.