Coming off a win in Detroit, the Sixers (2-19) went into Atlanta on Wednesday looking to keep things rolling against the streaking Hawks. Unfortunately, the Sixers offense wasn’t able to keep up with the dangerous long-range shooting of the Hawks, who prevailed 95-79. Tonight, the Sixers are back in the Northeast for a matchup with the Nets (8-12).
The two teams completed a trade yesterday that sent Andrei Kirilenko and other pieces to Philadelphia in exhange for Brandon Davies. After the deal was completed, the Sixers waived Malcolm Lee and today, they waived the other player aquired in the deal, Jorge Gutierrez, to make room for Ronald Roberts Jr., who had been playing extremely well in Delaware with the Sixers D-League team. Roberts, through eight games this season for the 87ers, averaged 17.5 points, 11.8 rebounds per game while shooting 67.4% from the floor. Roberts, a power forward, will provide depth at the four and five spots with the departure of Brandon Davies to Brooklyn. Roberts played on the Sixers Summer League team but was one of the final players cut from their roster.
On Wednesday night in Atlanta, the Sixers looked sloppy, with Michael Carter-Williams accounting for nine of the team’s 18 turnovers. The Sixers were also dominated on the boards, getting outrebounded 52-39. Noel finished the game with just five boards and Henry Sims had only four. When your point guard leads your team in rebounds, something is wrong. The defense did look good at times, with Nerlens Noel swatting three shots while KJ and MCW contributed with two blocks a piece. Luc Mbah a Moute had five steals. The Sixers free-throw shooting continued to stumble as they missed nine of their 22 attempts on Wednesday.
The Sixers have some help on the way tonight with the return of Tony Wroten. With Wrtoen and Alexey Shved back in the mix, Michael Carter-Williams will get more time to rest during the game rather than playing 40+ minutes each night. Shved returned on Wednesday night in Atlanta and looked strong. scpromg 13 pointd on 4-for-8 shooting while also hitting five out of six from the line in 16 minutes of play. Meanwhile, Wroten has missed the last six games due to a sprained right knee that he suffered back on November 26th against the Nets. He will come off of the bench tonight, but still leads the Sixers with 17.9 points per game.
- The Sixers and Nets played each other on November 26th, with Brooklyn winning 99-91. Deron Williams scored 17 points, dished out 10 assists and grabbed eight rebounds in the win.
- Though the Nets are 8-12 on the year, they are 3-1 against Atlantic Division opponents.
- Michael Carter-Williams continued his impressive play on Wednesday night in Atlanta, despite scoring just eight points. The reigning Rookie of the Year grabbed ten boards and dished out nine assists. He’s averag8ing 17.7 points, 11.7 assists and 9.2 rebounds over his last six games.
- Nerlens Noel was barely a year old when Kevin Garnett was going through his first NBA training camp. Garnett is in his 20th season, which is more than the Sixers active roster, which has 17 years of experience.
- KJ McDaniels (1.8) and Nerlens Noel (1.5) are ranked first and second in the rookie class when it comes to blocks per game.
- According to Sixers.com, at 6’6″, McDaniels ranks as the most efficient shot blocker at his height in NBA history and is averaging more blocks per 36 minutes (2.1) than all but 12 players, all of whom are power forwards and centers.
PG – Michael Carter-Williams
SG – Hollis Thompson
SF – Luc Mbah a Moute
PF – Nerlens Noel
C – Henry Sims
Injuries: Tony Wroten (knee) will play while Joel Embiid (foot) and Jason Richardson (foot) remain out.
PG – Deron Williams
SG – Sergey Karasev
SF – Alan Anderson
PF – Kevin Garnett
C – Mason Plumlee
Injuries: Kevin Garnett (foot) didn’t play on Wednesday. Joe Johnson (flu), Brook Lopez (back) and Mirza Teletovic (hip) also missed Wedneday’s game against Chicago.
PREDICTION: I think the Sixers bounce back from their poor performance against the Hawks, but still end up on the losing end, 97-86.