By Kristian Cuaresma
NetsGC won’t have much time to celebrate its first sweep of the 2021 season as it prepares for a rematch with 76ers GC. This will be the third and fourth times these teams will meet in the last seven days. With Brooklyn’s hectic early schedule, the team has already played more than a third of its regular season games. 76ers GC project to be one of the teams that’ll be fighting for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference so it’s important NetsGC grabs at least one win tonight.
Since its last meeting with NetsGC, 76ers GC split a nail-biting two game set with defending champions Wizards District Gaming. Philadelphia currently boasts a 4-2 record, good enough for third in the east.
76ers GC Expected Lineup
Players to Watch
OneWildWalnut – 20.6 points, 12.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.0 steals, 1.5 blocks
In a league that consists of elite centers around nearly every corner, having to deal with OneWildWalnut four times in seven days would be a headache for any team. He has quickly moved on from the dream of playing with Radiant and has shared the limelight with 76ers GC rookie phenom Dre. The former MVP averaged 19 points and 12 rebounds in their split with the defending champions last night.
Caliraq – 11.8 points, 2.0 assists, 0.8 turnovers, 49% FG, 38% 3P
After a slow start to the regular season, Caliraq has settled into his comfort zone as the secondary perimeter scorer as 76ers GC had hoped. In Philadelphia’s last four games, Caliraq is averaging 15.8 points and set a career high with 21 points in game two against Wizards DG. The shooting guard took on an increased workload last night with Washington working to take the ball out of Dre’s hands. His scoring output will be integral to 76ers GC’s success tonight.
Bridge to Victory?
Last week’s split against 76ers GC was a tale of two different games. NetsGC was victorious in game one but later found itself on the wrong end of a blowout in game two. This meeting had also marked the debut of NetsGC’s double lock lineup to mixed results. With Brooklyn coming off its first sweep against Jazz Gaming, it is likely that the team go back to the double lock lineup, this time with the new wrinkle we saw last night. How 76ers GC adjusts to Faiz at lock on defense and as the corner shooter on offense will decide how the games go.
The direct matchup between NetsGC’s two locks and the 76ers GC backcourt of Dre and Caliraq will also be a significant point of interest. In last night’s game against Wizards DG, 76ers GC asked Caliraq to take on additional responsibilities which resulted in 38 points over two games. If NetsGC can supress Caliraq’s shooting percentages (49% from the field and 38% from three), it’ll go a long way to balancing the playing field.