It's Boban Marjanovic's world
The Brooklyn Nets left Boban Marjanovic open at the foul line in Monday night.
The 7-foot-4 reserve center made one jumper and then another.
Still, Brooklyn left him open. So, Marjanovic made two more.
Marjanovic sank 8 of 14 shots and scored 16 points to help the Sixers to a 145-123 in Game 2 of the best-of-seven, first-round series, which is tied 1-1. Game 3 is 8 p.m. Thursday in Brooklyn.
Marjanovic also grabbed eight rebounds.
“The defense gave him the same look all night,” Embiid said. “He kept knocking down those shots. That’s good to see when I come out others come in and step up.”
Jimmy Butler plays point guard
Jimmy Butler scored 36 points in Game 1.
On Monday night, he was much more of a facilitator.
Butler scored seven points, but he also had seven assists. He played point guard when Ben Simmons was out of the game.
“He doesn’t have to pepper the stat line to have a significant impact,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said of Butler. “The leadership, the physicality, the toughness type stuff with Jimmy was outstanding.”
Sixers change rotation
The Sixers made a change in their rotation Monday night.
They played James Ennis off the bench and did not play T.J. McConnell or Jonathan Simons during crucial minutes.
“It’s a difficult decision,” Brown said. “TJ has been part off a bloodline for a while. James ability to stretch the court a little bit more influenced that decision.”
Ennis scored six points in 12 minutes. The Sixers also wanted Butler to play point guard when Simmons was on the bench.
“I thought T.J. handled it as we all guessed he would,” Brown said. “He’s a wonderful teammate.”
Kenny Atkinson with the Brooklyn view
Nets coach Kenny Atkinson took a positive approach toward getting a split in the first two games in Philadelphia
“It’s the old story,” Atkinson said, “if you would've told us before we’re splitting here in Philly, I think we’d be happy. But [I’m] not pleased with the way we presented ourselves tonight. We were below average, quite honestly.”
Atkinson also took some positives from the Nets trailing by one at halftime. The Sixers outscored Brooklyn 51-23 in the third quarter.
“But I do think the first half really gives me hope. We can go toe-to-toe with these guys. One bad quarter—we’re going to have to flush it. One thing about the Brooklyn Nets, they’ve always bounced back and always responded after a game like this. I expect our guys to respond.”