The 76ers play basketball against an opponent today for the first time since April, which we confirmed an hour ago here. Summer has never felt so long... remember like Sergio Rodriguez? He plays in Europe again. Justin Harper? I have no idea. Those guys are being replaced by Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons. We’re in for a hopefully very different ride this year, as preseason kicks off with the Sixers hosting the Memphis Grizzlies.
The full team won’t play. Joel Embiid is out, due to the team covering him with bubble wrap until games matter. Dario Saric played for the Croatian national team is summer and getting rest now. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Amir Johnson are also out due to injury. But everyone else appears ready to go.
We’ll have the customary game thread ready to go half an hour before game time at 6:30, a recap afterward, etc. In the meantime, here are your links.
Captains to pick teams for NBA all-star game (Brian Windhorst, ESPN)
So when the Sixers have 12 all-stars do they just face the Western Conference?
Sixers Mailbag: Thoughts on Markelle Fultz’s shooting form (Derek Bodner, The Athletic)
I thought Derek’s reaction to the hoopla surrounding clips of Fultz in preseason to be the most measured, informed, and reasonable of any. Go ahead and read that. As it is most times, subscription recommended and required.
Joel Embiid Runs Through Philly, etc.
I don’t need to link this as we covered it already, but Spike Eskin made a good point on Twitter yesterday. Embiid’s ubiquity might be for some sort of campaign or advertisement that we’ve yet to hear about.
Puerto Rico Needs Our Help (Carmelo Anthony, The Players Tribune)
(I’ll continue to post this in links until further notice)
Puerto Rico and other islands in the Caribbean have been ravaged by multiple hurricanes over the past month, including Maria, which devastated the island and is expected to leave parts of the island without power for six months. Other islands like Barbuda and Dominica are bordering on uninhabitable after the storms. They need - and deserve - our help in the recovery process. Kudos to Melo for using his public platform to call for this aid.
A Reintroduction to Ben Simmons (Kevin O’Connor, The Ringer)
Kevin (no relation) has been on the Ben Simmons hype train pretty much from the start, so he’s a good pick to introduce the world back to Ben Simmons, the best rookie in this year’s field. While I’m not convinced of his opinion on Simmons’ shooting hand, I am convinced Simmons is going to be special.