The Sixers will again be short at the center position tonight as both starter Spencer Hawes (Achilles' strain) and Nikola Vucevic (quad) will be out. It is the fifth-straight missed game for Hawes and second straight for Vucevic.
"Neither one of them are ready to play yet," said coach Doug Collins at this morning's shootaround. "I don't know how much they've improved. Both are still a little ways away from playing."
With the shorthandedness, Collins again implored to his team this morning the importance of having a good attitude heading into the game. That and limiting Nets point guard Deron Williams.
"Basically everything on their team goes through Deron Williams," said Collins. "They get the ball in his hands the majority of the game. He's going to get in the post, he's going to penetrate, he's going to get into pick and rolls, get in the open court and they use the "three" as a big part of what they do.
"Once again, this is a game about our attitude. About us coming out and starting the game with the mindset we had the other night (a 103-83 win over Washington), You've got to move the ball and make the extra pass, and take care of the ball and do all the other little things we did the other night."
The matchup with Williams is something that excites Sixers guard Jrue Holiday, who has admired the veteran for a long time.
"It's a lot of excitement. He's one of the guards I grew up watching," said Holiday. "He's a tough point guard, big body, an All-Star. I've got my hands full. I just have to try to keep him out of the lane as much as possible.
The Nets have also been hindered by injuries as center Brook Lopez has yet to play this season due to a foot injury and Damion Jones has missed the last 11 games, also with a foot injury. Rookie MarShon Brooks is a game time decision with a strained left Achilles'