The Philadelphia 76ers welcome the Brooklyn Nets to the Wells Fargo Center for the first of four meetings between the two sides.
The Sixers come into the match off a 112-109 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, which highlighted the biggest issue facing the Sixers currently, injuries. Joel Embiid and PJ Tucker were the only of Doc Rivers’ usual starting lineup that took to the floor, as James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, and Tobias Harris all sat on the sidelines, with some of their injuries seeing the starters close to a month away from returning.
Despite their injuries, the Sixers stayed in the game until the end, with Embiid scoring 32 points, making his fourth 30-plus point game. Shake Milton, who was named in the lineup to take the spot of Tyrese Maxey, a trend that is likely to continue given the 26-year-old’s 27-point and six-rebound outing.
Embiid will have to wait for another day to continue his scoring streak, as he will sit out due to a left midfoot sprain. The Process will be joined on the bench by Maxey, Jaden Springer, and James Harden, as Furkan Korkmaz and Tobias Harris are listed as probable for Tuesday’s match.
On the other side of the ticket sits the Brooklyn Nets, who have had a similar start to the season as the Sixers, coming into Tuesday with an 8-9 record. This rough start can be attributed to a few things, such as a slow Ben Simmons return, a suspended Kyrie Irving, and the firing of former head coach Steve Nash.
Since Jacque Vaughn took over, the Nets have gone 6-4, with their most recent match against the Memphis Grizzlies resulting in a win. Their match on Sunday saw Kyrie Irving’s return, but all eyes were focused on Kevin Durant and Simmons, who combined for a total of 48 points against the Western Conference contenders.
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Vaughn will have a few injuries to play through, as both Yuta Watanabe and Nic Claxton are listed as questionable for the match.
Players to Watch:
Sixers: Shake Milton
Milton finds himself as the Sixer to watch due to his increased role for the foreseeable future with both Maxey and Harden out. With the guard stepping up against the Timberwolves on Sunday, he has more than a chance of doing the same thing against the Nets.
Nets: Ben Simmons
All eyes will be on Simmons as he makes his playing return to the Wells Fargo Center for the first time since game seven of the 2021 Eastern Conference Semifinals. Since being traded away to the Nets for James Harden last season, Simmons has had a slow return, making his way back at the beginning of the season, averaging eight points, six assists, and seven rebounds this season.
Declan Harris contributes to All76ers, a Sports Illustrated channel. You can follow him on Twitter: @DecIanH.
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