The Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers could match up in the playoffs, but Jimmy Butler says there’s no extra preparation for Thursday.
Jimmy Butler and the Philadelphia 76ers are in a spot where they are running out of time to find their stride. They have made a number of moves to re-jigger the roster, including trading for Butler, and at this point, they’re thinking NBA Finals or bust.
For that reason, Butler says there’s no extra preparation for the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday. Although the Nets present a potential playoff matchup, Butler and the Sixers are looking inward to improve.
— Ky Carlin (@Ky_Carlin) March 27, 2019
“Nah, no matter who we face, if we focus in more on ourselves rather than the opposing team, we give ourselves a chance to win,” Butler told Ky Carlin of Sixers Wire.
Butler has a ton of respect for Brooklyn and he knows they’ve given Philly trouble before. He would go on to talk about the different elements of the Nets that give the Sixers problems.
“They’re a good team,” said Butler. “They have a lot that can really score the basketball. They guard well, big fella [Jarrett Allen] protects the rim extremely well. I don’t know, good matchup for us. In the end as long as we win, I’m good with it.”
Sixers head coach Brett Brown also spoke about the Nets and how much they can bother Philly.
“Brooklyn has always bothered us,” said Brown. “Their style of play has bothered us. Multiple pick-and-roll players that can shoot threes, those types of teams bother us.”
Taking advantage of Philly’s size is a smart tactic that Brooklyn is built for. D’Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie are comfortable running the high pick-and-roll and they aren’t the only ones. Caris LeVert hasn’t looked himself since returning from injury, but he’s still a dangerous threat in the pick-and-roll. Even Joe Harris can run it from the wing when looking to exploit the matchup.
The Sixers are thinking NBA Finals this season. Trading for Butler and Tobias Harris were “win-now” moves. But they might be staring down at the Nets in the first round and that could be a problem.
Of course, the Nets are unproven and less talented. The Sixers should still be heavily favored in a series. However, the Nets present an interesting matchup that exploits some of Philadelphia’s weaknesses.
If nothing else, Thursday night could be a mini-preview for an opening-round series—even if the teams aren’t preparing like it will be.
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