Containing Jefferson tall order for Sixers

Charlotte Bobcats' Al Jefferson (25) reacts after he was fouled by Miami Heat's Chris Bosh (1) in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013, in Miami. The Heat defeated the Bobcats 99-98. At left is Charlotte Bobcats' Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14). (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

CHARLOTTE – Another game, another tough front-court matchup for the 76ers.

Charlotte Bobcats center Al Jefferson has averaged 19.3 points and 12.3 rebounds in the last three games. He’ll face a Sixers’ squad Friday night at Time Warner Cable Arena that has surrendered an average of 32 points to opposing centers in their last two games.

So how are the Sixers (7-12) going to defend the 6-foot-10, 289-pounder?

“With a group,” coach Brett Brown said following Friday morning's shootaround. “He’s seen it all. He’s seen double-teams from all angles, from different people, at different stages of the game. He’s seen single coverage. He’s seen bluff post defense in relation to coming from the top.

“And you know, he’ll see different looks from us. But by in large, it’s got to be done by a team.”

The nine-year veteran signed a free-agent contract with the Bobcats (8-11) this past summer.  He missed much of the preseason and nine regular-season game with ankle injuries.

Jefferson averaged 16.1 points, 8.8 rebounds 2.0 assists and 1.9 blocked shots in his 10 games played.  But he’s been a force lately, while getting in game shape.

The 28-year-old finished with a season-high 23 points and 12 rebounds on Nov. 29 against the Milwaukee Bucks. He followed that up with 16 points, 13 rebounds and three steals versus the Miami Heat on Sunday. Then he had 19 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots on Tuesday against the Dallas Mavericks.

“He’s one of the best post men in the league,” Sixers guard Tony Wroten said. “You know Top 5. So we can’t let him get established and get going, because if he starts going we are going to have to double. That opens up Kemba Walker for threes.

“So we just have to make sure we hold the thing down.”

- Keith Pompey

Follow and contact Inquirer 76ers beat writer Keith Pompey @PompeyOnSiixers

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