The Sixers traveled to Charleston this week for a special team-building training camp. Sean Kennedy and David Early discuss the major storylines emerging from camp and Monday’s team Media Day. Thursday’s televised practice available from the NBA App made for some interesting fodder, in particular a candid conversation between Doc Rivers and James Harden. One of the main topics was how horrible the team has been at post entry passes. As Dave says on the pod:
“When he [Doc] says we were a horrible post entry pass team, he’s definitely referring to that Heat series where we last remember seeing Joel fronted, doubled, and a lot of lobs, including lobs sent by James Harden, Maxey, and Tobias Harris that just went right out-of-bounds. They couldn’t get it to him.”
Whether the Sixers have improved in that area will certainly be something to keep an eye on in the preseason and early part of the regular season.
Another point of interest this week was Joel Embiid’s assertion that he will be more defensively focused this season. Here was one comment from him during Monday’s Media Day:
“I believe we’ve got the right pieces [to be the the best defensive team in the league]. Obviously adding P.J. [Tucker] and De’Anthony [Melton] is going to be a big help, and I plan on getting back to the level I was probably before I had all that offensive load. I’m just excited to go out and compete. Whatever happens, happens, but our goal is to just go out and compete together and try to win games. Whatever it takes, defensively and offensively.”
Interesting thoughts from the man who led the league in scoring last season. Is dialing back his work on offense to save more energy for the defensive end of the court the right move for the team as a whole?
We also hit upon the defensive havoc potential of playing both De’Anthony Melton and Matisse Thybulle together, and debate whether we’ll see much of that pairing from Doc Rivers. Also, Danuel House Jr. didn’t get as much hype as some of the other offseason additions. How much are we overlooking his contributions?
It all leads up, though, to Monday’s preseason opener against the Brooklyn Nets. Do you expect everyone to participate for Brooklyn? How many of those individuals following the Nets are currently suffering from “Ben Simmons Derangement Syndrome” seeing him shoot threes in practice? Is Steve Nash the right type of coach to get through to the core there?
Check out those conversations in this week’s Talking About Podcast episode, which you can listen to below:
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