July 28, 2020, what is a normal world would have been just another Tuesday. But it wasn’t because it’s 2020 and nothing is normal. The NBA finished up all it’s pre-season games last night, including the Sixers, who lost, to the Mavericks in overtime, in a game that doesn’t matter. It’s in July! There was nothing normal about last night’s game, except maybe that Joel didn’t play due to an injury (lol it’s just a joke relax he is fine). However, sitting on my deck watching Tobias Harris trade buckets with Luka Donicic in the third quarter of a pre-season game in July, I couldn’t shake the feeling of how out of wack everything is. Including the 76ers starters last night.
It felt from the jump to being a game with very little energy for the 76ers, In their defense, it is the final preseason game. Dallas didn’t miss in the first have, but out of half time they came out with some pace (this should be a trigger word, I have a feeling we will hear it a lot more in Orlando), Tobias took over the scoring load, and the Sixers bench players crawled back into it to force overtime, where they eventually lost.
Now that that is out of the way (I really don’t care about the actual game) let’s run down some quick key points:
- Outside of Tobias, the bench played better than the starters.
- Tobias Harris was cooking, getting Buckets (Ralph Rosa Voice)
- Pace (trigger) was much better after half time, it did help that the Mavs started missing
- Matisse Thybulle was an absolute menace
- Despite finishing the 29.7 percent from 3 their 3 point shooting wasn’t bad for most the game
- Matisse 40%
- Horford 40%
- Tobias 50%
- Shake 50%
- Richardson 33%
- Furkan Korkmaz continues to struggle, only shot 16% from 3, and maybe something to keep an eye on
Postgame Brett was asked about how he felt overall after the 3 scrimmage games. He is what he had to say:
We play pretty good defense when we have our core players in the game. I think the first three periods of each of our games, I like what I’m seeing with our defense. I think that trying to uncover who are going to be some of those wing players that come in and assume major type of roles when the regular season comes around; I feel like we learned a little bit more in that capacity. Now we’ve just got to try to get Glenn [Robinson III], Joel [Embiid] and Raul [Neto] back on track. And those guys have played heavy minutes tonight, whatever it is now [11 o’clock] tonight, we hope to get them a good recovery session tomorrow.
Tobias Harris when asked about Joel Embiid absence and how he feels after the scrimmages with the new starting lineup:
I think, obviously, coming into this new starting lineup, the biggest thing is our conditioning. So I thought that we came into Orlando with a good base of conditioning and being able to get out and run. Obviously, we’re going to continue to feel one another’s game out there, but I think the pace and the flow has been good. It would have been great to have Joel [Embiid] playing, but health is our number one goal. To get him right and to get him ready for when we open up. That’s on the horizon. But, I’m pretty satisfied with where we’re at right now, as we’ll continue to grow and get better. The biggest thing for us as a team is our vibe and how we approach game-to-game. And how we really try to build our chemistry throughout this time. (did you get triggered? see it? you’ll see it and hear it a lot more this season)
Coming out of the three scrimmages, I am pleasantly surprised. Outside of the first half of last night’s game the Starting unit played really well, even when they didn’t have Joel. The defense was good, Matisse and Ben are a defensive nightmare for the opposing team, and the pace (!). It seems like the emergence of Shake Milton has allowed Brett Brown to open up the playbook a little bit, picking up the pace (!), and getting easy high percentage shots. The first two games the 76ers were able to basically get anything they wanted at any time, the third and final preseason game not so much. Depending on what team shows up when the regular season begins will determine how far the 76ers can go. I’m leaning towards the team in the first two games.
The 76ers will begin the start of the continued regular 2020 season, this Saturday, Aug 1 when they take on the Indiana Pacers at 7 pm Eastern, live in NBC Sports Philadelphia. (Because that sentence is something that we all thought we would read one day right? Nothing makes sense anymore, but at least we have hoops back).
Stay tuned the next day or so, I plan on posting a top 10 or so plays from the 76ers scrimmages in Orlando.