It’s finally here! After what has been a long and drama-filled summer for the Philadelphia 76ers, it’s finally time to play some basketball.
The Sixers will begin a new era under head coach Nick Nurse tonight as they begin their regular season on the road taking on the Milwaukee Bucks.
James Harden will not be playing and did not travel with the team as his trade request debacle continues. Nurse, however, has told reporters the team has been preparing to play without him. Instead, it’ll be up to the leadership of reigning league MVP Joel Embiid and the continued growth of young star Tyrese Maxey to lead the way for the Sixers.
It’s likely the starting lineup will reflect that of the last preseason game, with Embiid and Maxey joined by Tobias Harris, P.J. Tucker and De’Anthony Melton. The grouping looked promising, even with Embiid still shaking off a bit of rust to get things started in that preseason matchup. The backcourt of Melton and Maxey found a lot of success that night, and will be something to watch for tonight. Also, keep an eye out for who comes off the bench and for how long for the Sixers, with a lot of new faces looking to be integrated into this lineup.
Finally, fans will have a chance to see how this team might look different under Nurse than it did under Doc Rivers, in a game that actually matters.
But the competition is tough. As if the Milwaukee Bucks weren’t enough of a threat with Giannis Antetokounmpo, the team was able to snag Damian Lillard in a surprise move this offseason. The duo is going to be no small task to control, especially with the supporting cast of Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez and Malik Beasley. A number of Sixers, including Maxey, have stressed working on defense in the offseason, and it’s all going to be needed tonight.
The Sixers and Bucks tip off from Milwaukee at 7:30 pm EST on TNT.