The first round series between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Brooklyn Nets was an exciting series. It was full of drama and intensity. Although it was great, the series did not last long. The 76ers won the series 4-1. After the Nets shockingly won game one of the series, the 76ers established their dominance, winning the next four games. They won three out of the four games by at least 16 points. The 76ers will move on to the next round and battle the Toronto Raptors. Let’s take a look back at this series and discuss the future for both teams.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Brooklyn Nets Series Recap
The Nets proved to the world that they are the future of the NBA. They beat the 76ers on the road, 111-102. The Nets held the 76ers at 40.7 percent shooting. All-Star D’Angelo Russell established himself greatly, finishing with 26 points. This game also included the controversial footage of 76ers player Amir Johnson checking his phone. Joel Embiid was caught looking at Johnson’s phone as well. In the post-game interview, Embiid stood up for Johnson. He stated Johnson was checking on his sick daughter. Many people questioned the commitment of the team. Ben Simmons was booed by the 76ers fans while shooting free throws. It seemed like the Nets were destined to pull off an upset. But, the 76ers quickly put the negativity to rest.
Games Two to Five
From game two to game five, the 76ers were dominant. They outscored the Nets by 64 points within those four games. Defensively, the 76ers played well. They held the Nets to a mere 42 percent in overall shooting and were plus 12.6 in rebounding. In game five, the 76ers were able to keep Russell in check, holding him to a playoff-low 8 points and 18.8 percent shooting. Nets shooting guard Caris LeVert was the only starter who reached double digits in points. Going into the series, the Nets did not have enough scoring power to keep up with the 76ers. It proved to be their downfall.
The Future of the 76ers
As mentioned before, the 76ers will take on the Raptors in the next round. The 76ers have a great shot of beating the Raptors. Embiid will be a force to be reckoned with. Against the Nets, Embiid averaged 24.8 points per game, 13.5 rebounds per game and shot 50.7 percent from the field. The 76ers are the dark horse of the Eastern Conference. If they click, they can hang with almost any team in the NBA. Last year, the 76ers were eliminated in the second round by the Boston Celtics. An improved roster has the 76ers in a better position to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Future of the Nets
The Nets took the NBA world by storm. They emerged as one of the surprising teams this season. The Nets established their brand of tough, grind-it-out basketball and will look to build to ensure success in the future. Their main priority will be to re-sign Russell, who will be a free agent this summer. Russell will be looking for a max contract. After re-signing Russell, the Nets must look to add another scoring dimension. They need a veteran who can take over for Russell late in games. Another player to look out for is LeVert. He shined for the Nets in the first round and was more consistent than Russell. If LeVert improves more along with adding an established veteran, the Nets will climb higher in the Eastern Conference next season.
PHILADELPHIA, PA – JULY 25: Philadelphia 76ers center #21 Joel Embiid attends the 2017 Mylan World TeamTennis New York Empire vs Philadelphia Freedoms match at Michael J. Hagan Arena at St. Joseph’s University on July 25, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)