Salvation in Philly

A night after suffering one of their worst losses in recent memory, the Nets traveled down the Turnpike and into the Wachovia Center to face the 76ers for their home debut. I was lucky enough to not only be at the game, but to also witness the complete turnaround of Kidd and Carter. A night after they combined for 8 points on 3 of 11 shooting, the dynamic duo led the Nets to a hard-fought victory over a division rival. Along with RJ, who keeps contributing and stepping up when needed (22 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists), Kidd and Carter combined for 34 points (9/24 shooting still not great), 20 rebounds, and 15 assists.* Like I said in my last blog, for the Nets to win any games it is imperative that at least 2 of the Big 3 are rolling, and tonight\’s game was a great example of this. Halfway through the 3rd quarter, Carter had only managed to score 7 points and in general was out of the flow of the game. Kidd and RJ stepped it up and kept the Nets a nose ahead of the Sixers, who couldn\’t break the NJ hold of the lead, constantly staying down by at least 2 points. Luckily, Carter managed to break free of his troubles and finished with 18 points, but between Kidd and Jefferson, the Nets already had the lead.

Big Man Update: For the second straight night, the big man rotation was lackluster to say the least. Magloire had plenty of opportunities but failed to capitalize on all of them (2 points from the FT line), Collins did what he always does and played good D and even came up with a very important offensive rebound late in the 4th, Krstic\’s shot (3 for 11) showed that it still needs some time to come back to its full potential, Boone played only 17 seconds, and Sean Williams did not play at all, although I personally feel that his athleticism could have matched up well with Dalembert. The bright spot was Malik Allen (10 points, 3 rebounds) who made timely jumpers and played good defense. It was also the return of Boki Nachbar, who had a trademark dunk after driving down the lane and a pair of critical threes in the fourth (8 points, 6 rebounds).

Stat of the Night: The Nets shot 8 of 17 (47.1%) from three point land as opposed to Philly\’s 3 of 15 (20%). The margin of victory, 5, was equal to the difference in 3 point shots made.

PS – If you thought IZOD/Continetal had a bad atmosphere, boy have I got news for you. The Wachovia Center is a beautiful building, but the crowd was so quiet that I could yell \”Go Nets!\” repeatedly without a single response from anyone. Even when the Nets had the ball and the music for \”D-Fense\” played, no one yelled or cheered. I know that Philadelphians are fed up with losing, but even I was surprised to find such a boring and quiet arena. The one positive is a new plan they offer with all-you-can-eat food, which was great; all the hot dogs, popcorn, nachos, and soda you want from the pregame until the beginning of the 4th quarter.

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