76ers Blog: Pre-Game Notes ~ 12/20/2013 vs. Brooklyn Nets
12/20/2013 7:08:00 PM
The 76ers (7-19) host the Brooklyn Nets (9-16) in the Sixers' final home game of the 2013 calendar year. Brooklyn arrives at the Wells Fargo Center having won four of its past six games. On Monday, the Nets rolled past the Sixers, 130-94, at the Barclays Center in New York City.
The activation of Michael Carter-Williams will give the Sixers a full-strength roster for the first time in eight games; the team's current season-high seven-game losing streak has coincided with the absence of its rookie point guard, who missed time due to a skin infection that surfaced on his right knee. With Carter-Williams back in the fold Tony Wroten will reprise his role off the bench.
Brooklyn suffered a home loss on Wednesday to the up-and-down Washington Wizards, 113-107, a match-up sandwiched in between two meetings with the 76ers. The Nets, though, have played improved basketball since All-Stars Deron Williams and Paul Pierce returned from their respective ankle and hand injuries five games ago. Head coach Jason Kidd told reporters earlier this evening that forward Kevin Garnett will sit out tonight's game in order to rest; shooting guard Joe Johnson - who put up 37 points versus the Sixers on Monday - did not accompany his team to the arena, and will be a game-time decision.
With Michael Carter-Williams being cleared to play, the Sixers will get their second-leading scorer back; he's averaged 17.7 points through 15 games. Additionally, Carter-Williams will provide his team a potentially disruptive presence on defense; he's posted three-plus steals per game. During Carter-Williams' time on the shelf, the Sixers offense managed 94.4 points per game, while the defense gave up 112.1 points per game.
"We miss what he brings on both ends of the floor," Spencer Hawes said this morning, following the Sixers' shoot-around. "It will be nice to have him back here. Especially the last couple days, we tried him and Tony [Wroten] at the same time, and that puts a ton of pressure on defenses, you have two guys out there, three with Evan [Turner] that can attack in pick-and-rolls and get to the cup."
Carter-Williams himself said, "I'm just going to go out there and try to play my game, let the game come to me, be in attack mode on offense, and stay disciplined on defense."
Just when it was looking like Brooklyn was establishing some stability in its starting line-up…
Brook Lopez had two miss two games this past week as a result of an injured ankle, Kevin Garnett - at 37 years old - now needs a night off, and Joe Johnson was not with the Nets when the team reported to the Wells Fargo Center late this afternoon.
Tonight, first-year head coach Jason Kidd will put together a five-man unit that could end up representing his 12th different starting line-up used over Brooklyn's last 19 games. Joe Johnson had been the lone member of the organization to start each of its first 25 games. A year ago, the Nets needed only 13 different starting line-ups to get through the entire 2012-2013 season.
Linked beneath the image in the upper right corner of the article is a conversation with Michael Carter-Williams.