After five months without Sixers basketball, they returned to the hardwood for their preseason opener against the Brooklyn Nets, winning 127-108. The Sixers were without Joel Embiid, James Harden and P.J. Tucker, but this game provided us a look into some of the new additions made in the offseason.
The Sixers will look for their second preseason win against a newly revamped Cleveland Cavaliers squad in Philly on Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 7 PM EST. Without further ado, let’s discuss our nominees for the first Bell Ringer of the 2022-23 season:
Tyrese Maxey: 20 points, one rebound, three assists, one steal
At first glance this seems like a really solid line for Maxey in an entire game. He managed to achieve this line, along with 75 percent shooting, in under 14 minutes of play. Maxey started off this game by hitting two threes and a floater within the first few minutes. He relentlessly torched the Nets who simply didn’t have an answer for him.
Tyrese Maxey wasting no time to open Year 3 by knocking down a pair of pull-up 3s and a floater for 8 points in 90 seconds lmao pic.twitter.com/8hGr0V0jq5— Jackson Frank (@jackfrank_jjf) October 3, 2022
We all know Maxey can score, but I believe some of his assists tonight should deserve the most recognition. His playmaking is where he can take the next step in his development, and he showed some nice flashes tonight.
This game is everything you’d want to see from Maxey without Harden and Embiid. He was arguably the best player on the floor tonight, which is a huge statement in a game featuring Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Paul Reed: 10 points, five rebounds, three steals, one block
In a somewhat surprising move, Doc Rivers opted to start Bball Paul in Embiid’s absence. It paid off well for the most part. Reed did an excellent job switching on defense and keeping Nic Claxton off the glass. Reed shot well from everywhere, hitting three of his four field goal attempts and all four of his free throw attempts.
Fouling was a huge topic of Reed’s season last year, and this is another area where he held his own. He logged roughly twenty minutes and only committed three fouls.
The Sixers will need to rest Embiid throughout the season to keep him fresh if they legitimately want to make a deep postseason run. Reed, along with Montrezl Harrell, look like they can hold down the fort without him if need be. There’s no replacing Embiid entirely, but this is the best center group the Sixers have ever had behind him. Speaking of Harrell...
Montrezl Harrell: 10 points, five rebounds, three assists
Montrezl Harrell is undoubtedly the best offensive center they’ve had behind Embiid. His activity came as advertised, as he was constantly fighting for loose balls and finished with four offensive rebounds overall.
Unfortunately, Harrell did foul out in just under 12 minutes of playing time. He did manage to have one of the highest plus-minus on the entire team, however, logging a plus-13. Normally single game plus-minus doesn’t mean much, but I personally think this lines up with the eye test. The Sixers bench unit valued his production tonight.
The Sixers have two great options behind Embiid with Reed and Harrell. They’re very different players and it ultimately falls on Doc Rivers to use both of them correctly.
Furkan Korkmaz : 15 points, two rebounds, four assists, one steal
Something you probably didn’t expect to see: Korkmaz ended up with arguably the best line behind Maxey. Korkmaz’s job is to take and make threes, which he did tonight: hitting two of his four attempts from range.
Remember early on in the season a year or two ago when Korkmaz was used as a secondary playmaker and had a terrific start to the season? Similar flashes of that occurred in this game. He put the ball on the floor and it led to great results. Korkmaz shot 4 of 8 from the field and set up his teammates well, logging four assists in roughly 19 minutes of play.
Korkmaz’s role will be minimized with the Sixers’ depth, but it’ll be hard not to give him minutes if he can perform this well consistently. He reportedly had a wrist injury last season, and he looked healthy tonight — which is great.
Honorable Mention: Isaiah Joe: nine points, two rebounds, two assists
I can only pick four nominees for the Bell Ringer, but I wanted to show Isaiah Joe some love. He hit 3 of his 6 three-point attempts and held his own defensively. It’s hard to imagine that he lost any ground in securing the last roster spot if it comes down to him Charles Bassey or Trevelin Queen.
Who is the Sixers’ first bell ringer for 2022-23?
This poll is closed