Brooke Lopez was the high scorer for the Nets, dropping 23 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Point guard Deron Williams was a close second with 22 points, while Joe Johnson added 18. The rest of the team struggled on offense, with C.J. Watson going 1-for-8 and Kris Humphries going 1-for-6.
Despite his struggles, Nets coach Avery Johnson said he was happy Watson was taking his shots, even if they weren’t going in Friday night.
“If you’re a cutter, I want you to cut,” he said. “I want all the players to take their shot and be strong with that.”
The Nets made a run at the end of the game with the score 97-96 at the 3:07 mark, but at crunch time turned the ball over too many times.
But the biggest criticism of the 2012 Nets is a lack of defense. Despite being seven feet tall, Lopez is not a big rebounder and the team is small at the forward position. Against the 76ers, the defense broke down several times, leading to easy baskets by Philadelphia’s shooters.
That said, Philadelphia did have the hot hand, shooting an impressive 70 percent from the field in the game. Forward Thaddeus Young scored 24 points, going 11-for-15 and hitting a big jumper to put a dagger in the Nets’ late-game rally.
Johnson didn’t seem too concerned, and said the team is still tweaking things on the defensive side of the ball.
“It’s a pick-and-roll league, and we have to work and get better at defending the pick-and-roll,” he said.
Johnson also said that his players were still getting used to playing at the Barclays Center in the team’s inaugural season in Brooklyn. It’s only their third game at the arena, but Johnson said so far the fan base has been great.
“I wish we could play every game here,” he said.
The Nets, who have a 3-2 record in the preseason, play one more exhibition game at Nassau Coliseum against the New York Knicks on Wednesday, October 24. They’ll see the Knicks again soon, hosting their new crosstown rival at the Barclays Center on November 1 for the start of the NBA season.