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A Work In Progress, Sixers Fall to Celtics 110-102

No Fultz, Embiid, or Saric? Bring on more Simmons!

NBA: Preseason-Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

So, about that game...

Hours before tip-off, another name appeared on the injury report, as it was reported that Markelle Fultz would be sitting out to nurse an injured shoulder. Quite honestly, after a rough outing, it was a little disappointing to hear that we’d have to wait for a bounce-back game.

With Fultz joining Joel Embiid on the sidelines, Jerryd Bayless and Amir Johnson slid into the starting squad. On the whole, the 76ers competed. While hot shooting kept them in the game in the first half, the “Sixers-of-consequence” couldn’t really close the gap before back-ups and the deep back-ups came in to close out the game. To be honest, it’s hard to really get too worked up over these preseason contests, as the combination of rust and unfamiliarity seems be ever-present.

None the less, let’s get some quick hitters:

  • Everything starts and ends with Ben Simmons. He’s the POINT (GOD) Guard, after all. After a mostly exciting debut against Memphis, would we have another stat padding encore? The highlights were there, from some exciting passes to dazzling transition attacks. While foul trouble, turnovers (5), poor shooting (2-6 from the charity stripe!) put a slight damper on his game. it’s undeniable that he belongs in the NBA. That is, he’s a special talent that may one day do special things if he puts it all together.
  • The battle for back-up big man is... well, it’s happening. I’m not really sure which guy has separated themselves from the pack as none of Amir Johnson, Richaun Holmes or Jahlil Okafor have provided comfortable amount of defense (or at least not a drastic drop off from Embiid) from the center position as of yet. But maybe that’s nit-picking too much, especially in an exhibition and especially since we’re using Embiid as the comparison?
  • There’s been some fan chatter about how Jerryd Bayless may be the eventual starter over Markelle Fultz for the start of the season. Tonight, it was noticeable how the experienced combo guard worked well on and off ball. With the amount of spacing that will be provided by both Simmons and Embiid, having a reliable off-ball play maker (cuts to the basket!) and knockdown shooter will be monumental. Unlike seasons past, it’s not clear how much rope coach Brett Brown will give towards development versus winning. While the long-term play would be to just ride out Fultz and his rookie struggles, is that feasible?
  • Is it just me or are there quite a few “ugly” shooters on the team? I guess you can’t really argue results as the trio of Justin Anderson, Richaun Holmes and Amir Johnson went 5 for 6 beyond the arc, for example. Or maybe I’m just a stickler for jump shooting aesthetics?
  • The 76ers will play the Celtics once more on Monday, this time up in Boston! Be sure to stay tuned for updates as to who will or won’t start in the hours leading up to tip-off.

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