Wyatt struggles as Sixers get routed by Nets

Posted: October 16, 2013

Khalif Wyatt mostly had to watch from the bench before Tuesday's preseason game against the Brooklyn Nets.

The rookie guard had played in just two preseason games for the 76ers, logging 18 minutes against the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Boston Celtics.

But in front of the home crowd at the Wells Fargo Center, Sixers coach Brett Brown decided to give the former Temple standout extended minutes against the Nets.

Although he didn't look overmatched, the 6-foot-4 rookie remains in a battle just to make the roster. He finished with six points, three assists, and three turnovers in a 127-97 setback. Wyatt made 2 of 5 shots in 23 minutes, 21 seconds.

But he appeared a step too slow on defense. He wasn't alone, though. The undermanned Nets (2-1) did whatever they wanted against the Sixers (2-2) before a crowd of 6,315.

Reserves Mirza Teletovic and Chris Johnson led the Nets with 21 points apiece. Joe Johnson added 18 points.

The Nets led by as many as 35 points late in the game. They had a 54-31 rebounding advantage that limited the Sixers' opportunities to get out and run.

"I think this is reality," said coach Brett Brown. "You go and you see the level of talent. And you go and you see the level of experience and physical stature of their players, I get stuff out of this."

The Sixers' physical stature will not change.

"We'd better spend a lot of time in box-out drills or trying to run is not going to pay the dividends that we need it to pay," Brown said.

On this night, the focus was on Wyatt and how he played compared with another rookie guard for the Sixers, Vander Blue. The 6-4 Blue was impressive after entering the game with 11 minutes, 6 seconds remaining. He had a breakaway two-handed dunk and played with a lot of energy. Blue finished with four points on 2-for-6 shooting.

"I think they are in a very similar situation, fighting for some last spots," Brown said before the game. "Maybe a last spot."

Wyatt can only hope that this game won't weigh heavily on the player evaluations.

"I stunk it up," he tweeted after the game. "Good learning experience for me and the guys, though."

Wyatt admitted in the locker room to making "dumb mistakes" and passing up shots on offense.

"I think I was trying to be a little bit unselfish at times," he said.

Evan Turner led the Sixers with 23 points on 8-for-16 shooting. Thaddeus Young and Michael Carter-Williams added 12 apiece.

Deron Williams, Jason Terry, Paul Pierce, and Andrei Kirilenko were among seven Nets who did not play.


kpompey@phillynews.com

@PompeyOnSixers

www.inquirer.com/deepsixer

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