Expectations are a funny thing. With years of not expecting much of anything, it was very easy to watch any 76ers game without the stress of consequence. Losses paved the road for tank, while wins were just feel good moments for the team. However, this year, there is a noticeable, maybe unrealistic, bar of expectation that’s been put on the shoulders of this young team.
While Ben Simmons’ much anticipated debut was everything fans have been dreaming of for the past year, Markelle Fultz had a hot-take producing nightmare of one. With all of the new parts being integrated, the 76ers as a whole did not look like a team that was ready to climb up from the depths of irrelevance. Too dramatic after one preseason game? Probably. However, it’s hard to ignore the chatter filled with skepticism after weeks of anticipation.
But, maybe that’s on us? Setting that bar of too high paints a very different picture. Or maybe that’s Joel Embiid’s fault for being so darn good, so fast that everything is skewed!
Tonight’s exhibition brings the new-look Boston Celtics into town. Speaking of expectations, who would have thought a few months ago that Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward would become the backbone to one of the top teams in the conference? Is this the iteration that GM Danny Ainge envisioned years ago after hoarding and recycling draft picks? Probably not. But, with LeBron James (supposedly) looking towards to future and possibly elsewhere, Boston is positioned nicely to take the reins for at least the short-term (BEWARE OF JOEL).
Maybe tonight is the start of a new era of rivalry, preseason be damned! Or, this will just be another game to shake off the rust and fight of the nerves!
- Date: October 6, 2017
- Time: 7:00 p.m. EST
- Place: Wells Fargo Center
- TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Philadelphia: Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, J.J. Redick, Robert Covington, Richaun Holmes
- Boston: Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, Aron Baynes
- Philadelphia: Joel Embiid, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, and Dario Saric are OUT.
- Boston: Marcus Morris is OUT