The fun is finally here.
The Sixers (No. 3 seed) are taking on the Brooklyn Nets (No. 6 seed) in Game 1 Saturday afternoon at Wells Fargo Center.
Complete coverage of the Philadelphia 76ers and their rivals in the NBA from NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Here are the essentials:
• When: 2:30 p.m. ET with Sixers Pregame Live at 1:30 p.m.
• Where: Wells Fargo Center
• Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
• Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app
And here are three storylines to watch:
The Nets spent about the first two and a half months of their season playing a ton of zone defense. That tapered off quite a bit as the season progressed, but I'd be surprised if it wasn't in the Nets' plans for the series.
JJ Redick said the Sixers started prepping for it a few weeks ago and half the battle is just being organized when it's thrown at you.
The guard trio
The D'Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert types are what have really hurt the Sixers (and other teams) in the past. They can penetrate and get to the rim, drain threes and run deadly actions off their pick-and-rolls, and with two of those guys coming off the bench, it poses an even bigger challenge for a Sixers team that doesn't have the same depth. (i.e. Dinwiddie averaged 23.8 ppg in 26.9 mpg against the Sixers this season).
Brett Brown said that they do not want to be making multiple defensive adjustments off Brooklyn's pick-and-roll game. In Brown's words, "That means you're chasing."
Ideally, Brown said they've got Plan A and Plan B. As an example, if Russell starts going off, it might be time to throw Plan B at him. In their last matchup, the Sixers primarily had Ben Simmons guarding Russell. When the Sixers go to their bench, this becomes a little more tricky (see above re: Dinwiddie and LeVert).
And, watch out for Brooklyn attacking whoever Redick is guarding (Joe Harris had a lot of success against Redick last game).
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