You can't read much into preseason basketball, either good or bad. The Boston Celtics defense isn't the Boston Celtics defense without Kevin Garnett. Paul Pierce won't be playing 21 minutes when the chips matter.
But that doesn't mean the game wasn't fun.
With strong performances off the bench from Spencer Hawes (17 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists), Nick Young (14 points on 7 shots), and Maalik Wayns (9 points, 8 assists, only 2 turnovers), the Philadelphia 76ers showed off their depth and offensive versatility in the viewing public's first chance to see the new-look team in action.
Well, most of the new-look team. Andrew Bynum, the player whom the team is now built around, is still out, and will be out the rest of the preseason.
Still, today was a positive for basketball starved fans, and a few players clearly stood out.
Spencer Hawes came in and played an efficient, impactful 17 minutes. Were this a regular season game, he'd most certainly be the player of the game. But this isn't, and I think everybody here generally knows who and what Spencer Hawes is, including who he won't be able to defend this year.
Thaddeus Young played well, with 15 points and 6 rebounds, albeit on 15 shots. This is the dilemma with a player who neither gets to the line or has three point range.
But the story of the game is clearly Maalik Wayns. Dismissed by many heading into the season, myself included, Wayns played an intriguing role of both scoring spark off the bench and setup man. Making a three, getting to the line 3 times, dishing out 8 assists? I don't care who it was against, those are encouraging signs. He looks quick and strong, and for the most part has been under control and a willing passer.
Maalik headed into camp in a competition with Royal Ivey for a spot in the rotation. A couple of more games like that and the competition will be closed.
There really weren't very man negatives. The Sixers played good D, passed the ball very well, made their open shots, and rebounded the ball.
Plus, we got to watch NBA basketball.
Player of the game: Maalik Wayns (9 points, 8 assists, 2 turnovers, 1 three pointer made, 2-3 from the line.
Next up: Wednesday, against Cleveland at the Wells Fargo Center. Also on TV (CSN) at 7 PM eastern.