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Embiid-less Sixers face first NBA competition of the preseason

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Nothing could be finer than a preseason game in Carolina

Philadelphia 76ers v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers started their preseason action Tuesday night by coasting to a 144-86 victory over the CBA’s Guangzhou Loong Lions. Now, they’ll shift their attention to NBA competition, with the Charlotte Hornets providing a nice way to ease back into a higher level of opposition.

In the future, if you ever find yourself feeling down about something going on with the Sixers (seems unlikely now, but something is bound to come up, we are talking about Philadelphia sports, after all), just think how much worse things are for the fans in Charlotte. The Hornets are pretty easily the most direction-less franchise in the NBA. Miles Bridges, Malik Monk, and PJ Washington are all young and potentially promising, but none project to be franchise-altering players. The front office had the audacity to say they were “blindsided” by Kemba Walker making All-NBA, and their solution was to let Kemba walk and pay more than half as much money for a fraction of a player in Terry Rozier. The scariest thing about Terry is that three-year, $58 million contract.

The big news for the Sixers tonight is Joel Embiid sitting out for Load Management, Preseason Edition. We’ll get our first look at Al Horford as the starting center, something we’re likely to see no fewer than a dozen or so times over the course of the season. Embiid will be back in action Sunday to face the ascendant Markelle Fultz and the Magic.

First, though, Ben Simmons will be looking to extend his consecutive games with a made 3-pointer streak to a career-high two. I’m sure you’ve watched this 100 times already, but let’s make it 101.

Smooth like butter.

We’ll also continue to chart the rise of rookie Matisse Thybulle. They say 71 percent of the Earth is covered by water, and the rest is covered by Thybulle. Matisse had five stocks and two made 3-pointers against the Loong Lions, and tonight will be his first test against non-Summer League, non-China-based professional competition. Joel Embiid’s absence and the corresponding positional shift in the frontcourt will open up even more minutes for Brett Brown to “release Matisse.”

Unfortunately, all those fun storylines won’t be televised locally in the Philadelphia area, so get those VPN software applications and questionable internet streams ready, and buckle up for Sixers-Hornets.

Game Info

Who: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Charlotte Hornets (preseason)
When: 7:30 pm ET
Where: Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Winston Salem, NC
Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic
Follow: @Liberty_Ballers