The Sixers are halfway through the 2023 preseason as they once again fell 112-101 to the Boston Celtics. Kelly Oubre Jr. was the game‘s high man with 18 points, put seven different Celtics scoring in double figures, overwhelming the Sixers.
Since your attention was once again likely elsewhere this evening, here are some thoughts at the buzzer.
- I’m starting things off with a uniform take: the extra red drop shadow has made the white jerseys a mess. We saw this addition on Sunday with the blue jerseys and it was hardly noticeable, but on these jerseys it makes the letters too hard to read. Now, let’s talk about the hoops.
- Just like Sunday, the Sixer who stood out early was Tyrese Maxey, who put up nine points in the first quarter on 4-of-7 shooting. Maxey’s played off the ball with Patrick Beverley on the floor but brings it up the floor more with De’Anthony Melton on the court, likely to simulate rotations once James Harden is back on the floor.
- Danny Green also had himself a nice first quarter. He hit two corner threes, the first a movement three just as he checked into the game. He proceeded to steal the next pass and take it all the way down the court for a fast break layup. Philly trailed by four after a high scoring opening frame.
- Jaden Springer is such a weird offensive player. Despite his size, it feels like one of the best ways the Sixers can use him is cutting to and passing out of the dunker spot. He’s already made a couple of plays happen there this preseason, so it’ll be interesting to see if that’s something Nick Nurse can unlock. More conventionally, he did have a really nice drive to the basket when he got Al Horford on a switch.
- In case you were wondering how aggressive Nurse has the Sixers playing around the perimeter on defense, Maxey recorded four fouls in the first half.
- Another wing who had an impressive first half was Kelly Oubre Jr, who put up 16 points in the half and his only miss came from the free throw line. His shot chart was just what the nerds want to see, only attempting threes or getting to the free throw line. The Sixers went into the break trailing by eight.
- The start of the second half was a marked improvement for Paul Reed on the offensive end of the floor. His defense has looked good so far this preseason but he’s looked pretty wonky offensively. In the third, after he finally saw some layups fall, he knocked down an elbow jumper, stole an offensive rebound and even threw a lob to Oubre. It should be worth noting that Jrue Holiday, Derrick White, Al Horford, and Kristaps Porzingis were all done for the night for Boston.
- For the second straight game, Mo Bamba really struggled against these Celtics. Through three quarters tonight he played about 12 minutes and was 0-for-3 from the field as well as being 0-for-2 from the free throw line. The only other stats he recorded through three was a rebound, a turnover and two personal fouls, he’s just looked completely out of sorts. Boston extended their lead to 15 after the third.
- Tonight felt like a pretty complete night for Springer offensively. He stepped into his threes confidently and was pretty aggressive in driving to basket when he saw a matchup he liked. He finished with 10 points, shooting 4-of-6 from the field The first highlight from the two-way guys tonight when Terquavion Smith found Springer on this lob.
- The two-way guys saw considerably less playing time tonight, but the fourth quarter was pretty much theirs. Ricky Council IV also got his rim destroying dunk of the night off a lob from David Duke Jr.
- The Sixers will finally see a different team this preseason. They’ll head to Brooklyn on Monday to take on the Nets at 7:30 p.m. ET.