February 7, 2023

What to watch as 76ers look to take back first place in East against Nets

Photo by Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports

“I think it’s more than a regular game because there’s a number one seed at play… We’ve got a tiebreaker that we need. You never know. They’ve been playing well; we’ve been playing well. They’ve been winning games; we’ve been winning games. No one seems to want to lose any games, so you never know, we might have the same record at the end of the season. Having that tiebreaker, it’s important for us. I really want the number one seed.”

Joel Embiid said on Wednesday night’s game VS Nets

With that quote by Embiid, we lead into Wednesday night’s game where the Philadelphia 76ers and the Brooklyn Nets both sit at 37-17 after Brooklyn’s win Tuesday over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Tonight’s game starts at 7:00 P.M. E.S.T., not 7:30 like said in the post.

The stakes are clear. The winner will take a one-game lead in the Eastern Conference standings and seal the regular-season series, while the loser will be a game behind with 17 games left to play. 

Here’s what to watch:

Nets stand very shorthanded

The Nets’ status report for Wednesday’s game is pretty extreme. Here it is in full:

Kyrie Irving is available after missing Tuesday’s win due to personal reasons.

George Hill (right thumb surgery) was the only Sixer on Tuesday night’s injury report. New addition Anthony Tolliver will be available. 

Korkmaz is red hot

If Furkan Korkmaz can keep pulling together games like his last two, his case for a place in the Sixers’ postseason rotation will get larger.

Korkmaz totaled 40 points and seven steals in the final two contests of the Sixers’ 3-1 road trip. 

Thybulle corner threes are all powerful

Matisse Thybulle’s defensive skills would be very valuable in a Sixers-Nets playoff series, but any time he shows offensive development, whether it’s a pump fake, strong drive, or a finish at the rim or a smooth jumper, it has to be encouraging for head coach Doc Rivers and the Sixers’ staff. 

Thybulle said last month that he entered the NBA wanting to emulate Danny Green, calling the 33-year-old “a player who has a very similar skill set but just a little more refined than myself.” 

In terms of corner three-point shooting, there might not be a better player to look up to than Green. He’s made an NBA-high 67 corner threes this season, converting 42.9%. Thybulle is 10-for-46 on corner threes. 


When: 7:00 P.M. E.S.T.

Where: Wells Fargo Center

Broadcast: ESPN

Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic

Social media coverage: Philly Sports Reports’ Twitter & Instagram.

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