G74 Philadelphia 76ers vs Brooklyn Nets: A Quest for 8-8 March Record
The Nets had an impressive road 107-92 win against Atlanta Hawks as they improved their record to 7-8 in March. JLin and the Nets gave their gift to Coach Atkinson as he won the first game against his former team when he worked as the Hawks assistant coach last season. Their recent improvement in defense has been the driving factor as they kept their opponents under 100 points in their last 3 wins. Jeremy Lin had a strong game to finish with 19pts/8asts/4rebs/2stls/1blk in 28 minutes.
Nets vs 76ers Matchup
Coach Atkinson credited Lin’s leadership to help the Nets pull away after the Hawks cut the margin to five points as the Nets have not been in that position before. Lin-Lopez duo will continue to be the emphasis as the young Nets also improve.
The Nets are 7-10 since Lin returned from the second injury and won the one game he sat out when Lopez hit a buzzer-beater against the Detroit Pistons last week.
On Sunday, the duo combined for 42 points. Lopez had 23 points and seven rebounds and Lin added 19 in a game where the Nets led by 22 and pulled away later after the margin shrank to five points.
“We haven’t been in that situation a lot,” Atkinson said after the Nets set season lows in points allowed and opponents’ shooting percentage (34.5). “Jeremy helped matters a lot, milking the clock, taking a little better care of the ball, knowing when to get in the pick-and-roll.”
Lopez and Lin have played 489 minutes together this season in 25 games and the Nets have a 106.5 offensive rating. This month, they played 281 minutes together and the Nets have posted a 109.6 offensive rating.
“I don’t want to say that earlier in the season we would have folded, but I don’t think we would have done a great job of holding on to our composure the way we did,” Lopez said. “That shows the growth and how much we’ve improved throughout the season mentally and in the intangible aspects of the game.”
Since Embiid’s last appearance, Philadelphia is 10-18. Not only will the Sixers be without Embiid, Jahlil Okafor is unlikely to play Tuesday. Okafor has missed the last two games with right knee soreness and the team is unclear when the second-year center will return.
KEY OF THE GAME: The Nets have a great chance to win with the absence of Embiid and Okafor but they would need to maintain their defensive intensity to keep the 76ers under 100 points to ensure a win on the road.
Let’s hope and pray JLin will stay healthy and continue to lead the Nets to win more games!
Let’s go, JLin and the Nets!