The Brooklyn Nets came into Thursday matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers extremely shorthanded. However, despite missing no less than three of their starters, the Nets still somehow managed to upset the Sixers, who according to Philly head coach Doc Rivers, were fast asleep throughout the evening.
Rivers did not mince words in his criticism of his own team:
“We didn’t come to play is what I saw,” Rivers said, via Brian Lewis of Fox Sports. “It was just one of those games. It was disappointing.”
When asked what he believes his team must improve on for their next game, the Sixers coach responded with a bit of disheartened sarcasm:
“Nothing really, other than being awake,” he said.
The Nets were without Kevin Durant (health protocols), Spencer Dinwiddie (ACL – out for the season), and in a mysterious turn of events, Kyrie Irving as well. There have been reports that emerged pertaining to Irving deciding prior to the game that he “just didn't want to play.”
It all didn't matter, though, as the Nets still managed to defeat a hapless Sixers side, 122-109.
Shake Milton was inserted into the starting five on Thursday, and he was arguably the best player on the court for Philadeplhia. The 24-year-old guard finished with a team-high 24 points (on 8-of-13 shooting) to go along with one triple, one board, and seven assists in 36 minutes of action.
Milton was deputizing for Seth Curry, who recently tested positive for COVID-19. It remains to be seen what type of health protocols this will require for the rest of the squad, but it would not be surprising if other Sixers players are asked to isolate after contact tracing efforts are completed.