The NBA playoffs return to New York for the first time in a long time on Thursday night as the Brooklyn Nets look to face off against the Philadelphia 76ers in a highly-anticipated Game 3.

SIxers vs. Nets game 3: Is it an Upset?

Thursday’s Game 3 will start at 8 p.m. EST and will air on YES and TNT. Many expected Philly to win the series, some even favored a sweep until the Nets stole Game 1 and home court advantage against this squad. Game 1 is always the feel-out game for both teams, it’s one of the most important games in the playoffs because it sets the tone for the next three contests.

D’Angelo Russell has been stellar for Brooklyn all year, having several breakout performances and even being named a reserve for the All-Star team. Several members of the media felt Russell deserved consideration for Most Improved Player, going from averaging 15.5 points a game to a potent 21.1.


Philly losing the first game at home had a lot to think about following big contributions coming from Jimmy Butler, who contributed a strong 36, and Joel Embiid with 22 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks. Yet Ben Simmons, star point guard and considered by many as the next Lebron James, was very passive in the first game against Brooklyn. He finished with nine points and three assists. Now Simmons is known to be an offensive star and a gifted playmaker. The fact that he played so limited was surprising to many.

In Game 2, Philly dominated early on and kept their foot on the pedal. Simmons was much more aggressive, especially in transition, slashing to the rim for easy buckets and a couple of tough layups. Butler was just as aggressive as ever, playing good defense and getting to his spot when open. Simmons even stepped up on the defensive end, shutting Russell down on several of his takes at the rim.

A big note is that Philly had some help from the players who aren’t stars but still contribute. Players like J.J Reddick stepped up big. Reddick only scored five points in Game 1 and fouled out, not being able to contribute on either side of the ball. In Game 2, however, Reddick was able to score 17 points and nailed two three-pointers over defenders.

In Game 2 for Brooklyn, the Nets were missing Jared Dudly, a good defender and another body that would have made a difference in Game 2. When facing Embiid and Simmons, you’re gonna need all the help you can get down low. Things are heating up in the series, as Embiid received a foul for elbowing Jarrett Allen in the jaw. The elbow sent Allen to the ground staggering.

Not Funny Joel

Embiid later apologized for the elbow in an interview, and ended up laughing with teammate Simmons while discussing the situation. Several players on the Nets found this disrespectful, and didn’t find it funny. Tempers are staring to boil as the playoffs continue to heat up.

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