Sixers basketball is back and they’re actually fun to watch
The Sixers beat the Celtics in Philly’s preseason debut, 108-99.
Here’s some quick analysis of each player who got some burn for Philly tonight.
Joel Embiid: The big man looked dominant in the first half (he sat out the second). He had 18 points in 17 minutes, and fittingly dominated Celtics big Robert Williams in the post. He also ran the floor with more energy and consistency than he has in a long time.
Ben Simmons: Simmons looked decent and played very solid defense throughout his three quarters of play — mainly slowing Jayson Tatum to a 4-of-13 night shooting. Offensively, Ben didn’t attempt a jump shot, he ran the floor, and dropped six dimes. Most notably (perhaps), Simmons looked fully healthy after an injury-riddled second half of last season.
Tobias Harris: Really solid scoring night for Harris (16 points on 11 shots), who looked more svelte than we’d last seen him, in my opinion. He seemed to make decisions a bit quicker — an improvement Doc Rivers said he was looking for. Defensively, Harris was solid, and even exceptional in one sequence when guarding Tatum, who tried and failed to break him down one-on-one.
Seth Curry: Not a particularly remarkable night from Seth, but fans can already see the developing two-man game between Curry and Embiid which figures to be deadly for opposing defenses.
Danny Green: Green, who only played the first half, was everywhere defensively. He played really solid man defense on Jaylen Brown, and he was all over passing lanes, racking up four steals in 13 minutes.
Shake Milton: Shaaaaaake! Shake was a beast. The talk of training camp, Shake proved that Rivers and Daryl Morey’s flowery compliments were worthwhile. Milton was a flamethrower in the third quarter, where he scored 15 of his 19 points. He was also in the right spots defensively and took a charge.
Dwight Howard: Howard’s energy was on full display, earning the Sixers a number of extra possessions with his strength and activity on the boards. Dwight caught a lob from Milton, emphasizing the vertical aspect he brings to the Sixers’ second units. He also provided strong rim protection in his stints.
Furkan Korkmaz: Korkmaz looked like Korkmaz. He didn’t hit a 3, but displayed some of the herky-jerky pick-and-roll ball-handling skills at which he’s become quite adept.
Matisse Thybulle: Not a great night for Matisse, who looked rather out of sorts on offense and didn’t do much of note on defense.
Mike Scott: Yeesh. Not much there. Scott looked fairly lost out there. He did knock down a 3, though.
Tony Bradley: The main Tony Bradley takeaway is that he appears to be at least two feet shorter than Tacko Fall. Not much else! He looked fine.
Tyrese Maxey: Maxey! He didn’t get in until the fourth quarter — I believe the Sixers are still working him in, as he’s only had two proper practices. Handed the keys with the late-game ball-handling duties, he showed real juice and touch offensively, hitting a handful of floaters and playing confidently. The tip of the iceberg for him.
Dakota Mathias: Looks like he wouldn’t start on Lower Merion this season. I ask him to please relinquish Willie Green and Robert Covington’s #33.
Isaiah Joe: This is sure to be a redshirt, Delaware year for Joe, who looks like he would be overwhelmed by NBA strength at this point. Looking forward to watching him develop in the minors before making the jump to the big club, like Milton.
Justin Anderson: He still shoots the hardest ball in the league, and nearly broke the backboard attempting a 3. Love Simba, thrilled he’s here, hope he doesn’t play.
Vincent Poirier: Apparently plays for the Sixers.
That’s it. There seemed to be great vibes on the Sixers’ bench, and here’s hoping this is the start of a fun season to come.
Up next: At Indiana on Friday.