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News » Nets-76ers Preview 2009-11-05

Nets-76ers Preview 2009-11-05

Nets-76ers Preview 2009-11-05The New Jersey Nets swept four games from the Philadelphia 76ers last season for the first time. The way the injury-plagued Nets are playing, it's unlikely that will happen in 2009-10.

New Jersey looks to avoid the first 0-6 start in franchise history when it visits Philadelphia on Friday night.

The Nets knew this would be a tough year after trading second-leading scorer Vince Carter to Orlando in the offseason. It's been even more difficult with All-Star point guard Devin Harris missing the last three games with a strained groin and starting forward Yi Jianlian sitting out Wednesday's 122-94 loss to Denver with a right MCL injury.

New Jersey has been hampered by poor third quarters, getting outscored in that period in the last four games - all double-digit defeats. The Nets were outscored 20-7 in the third in Monday's 79-68 loss at Charlotte and coach Lawrence Frank's halftime speech didn't work Wednesday as the Nets were outscored 44-26.

"Every game, including the preseason, we struggle in the third quarter," forward Eduardo Najera said. "I don't know what it is but we have to figure it out. We can't come out every third quarter and basically let the other team do whatever they want. We have to learn and stay patient. It's not going to happen overnight."

Frank is the longest-tenured coach in the Eastern Conference in his seventh season and will be going up against a friend in 76ers coach Eddie Jordan, who was an assistant with Frank in New Jersey when the Nets made back-to-back NBA finals appearances in 2002 and 2003.

Jordan is having his own problems in his first season coaching Philadelphia (2-2), which has yielded an NBA-high 51 3-pointers. The 76ers allowed Boston to make 14 of 20 3-point attempts in a 105-74 loss Tuesday.

"If we don't guard the ball, then we're not going to stop penetration," Jordan said. "We teach help defense so much that we're sort of hurting ourselves defending the 3."

The 76ers are allowing opponents to shoot 45.1 percent from beyond the arc. That was a key to New Jersey's success against Philadelphia last season, as the Nets shot 43.3 percent.

"It's up to us to really get down and buckle down on defense and get some stops," Sixers leading scorer Andre Iguodala said. "That's our biggest problem, defending the 3-point line."

Iguodala scored 17 on Tuesday as the Sixers shot 36.3 percent.

"As their confidence grew, our confidence sunk," Jordan said. "We couldn't make a pass, we couldn't make a shot that we normally make, we couldn't dribble. They just sucked the air out of us."

Philadelphia hasn't gotten much this season from oft-injured power forward Elton Brand, who is averaging 11.8 points and shooting 45.9 percent. Brand played in 29 games last season in the first year of a five-year, $80 million deal.

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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 5, 2009


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