Major Takeaways from the 76ers' Preseason

By Matt Gregan, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The Philadelphia 76ers had an exciting preseason filled with surprises, blowouts and one game where the team fell flat. You might be thinking it's just the preseason and none of the stats, trends and performances matter. The regular season is just days away, but that does not mean that we learned nothing from the preseason.

Throughout the preseason, we were able to learn some things about a couple of the team's young players as well as seeing some potential concerns surrounding the team come into fruition.

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76ers Fall Flat to End Preseason, Lose to Wizards 112-93

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Staff Writer

76ers fans all across the nation had their hopes and dreams of an undefeated preseason dashed on Friday night when they lost their preseason finale, 112-93, to the Washington Wizards at the Wells Fargo Center. 

The Philadelphia 76ers found themselves without the services of All-Star point guard Ben Simmons (lower back tightness) for the second straight game. The team exercised caution with Simmons, who, as multiple reports indicated, would have been on the court if it were a regular season game. Philadelphia went through multiple cold spells and committed 21 turnovers, both of which could have been avoided if Simmons were on the court. 

Philadelphia had a good preseason overall, finishing with a 4-1 record. Now the focus shifts to the regular season, where they look to be one of the teams in the mix to contend for a NBA championship this season. 

76ers' lack of outside shooting comes back to haunt them

The 3-point shot told the story in the loss to the Wizards. Washington was able to use good outside shooting to open up a sizable lead through the second and third quarters. Due mainly to their hot shooting, Washington outscored the Sixers 67-35 through both the second and third quarters. The Wizards shot 16-of-37 (43.2%) from beyond the arc, led by Jordan McRae's 17 points and perfect 3-point shooting. Meanwhile, the 76ers continued their preseason-long trend of poor shooting from beyond the arc. Philadelphia shot a lackluster 25.9% from 3-point range against Washington. Lack of outside shooting was looked at as a potential weakness of this team, and it was in full effect tonight. 

76ers can find success this season using a bully ball mentality

One of the lone bright spots for the 76ers on Friday night was their ability to put their size advantage to good use. From the opening tip to the final whistle, Philadelphia would control the boards on both ends of the court. Offensive rebounding was a focal point for the Sixers tonight, leading to 14 offensive rebounds. Attacking the offensive glass and creating extra possessions is something the 76ers will attempt to capitalize on every night. 

The 76ers' size advantage (their smallest starter is the 6-foot-5 Josh Richardson) is something they will have to take advantage of throughout this season, especially if they are not shooting a high percentage from 3-point range. 

Shake Milton leaves the door open for earning a spot in the 76ers' rotation

Shake Milton was one of only three players who scored in double figures against Washington. He finished with 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting in 22 minutes off the bench. At the beginning of the preseason, it did not look like there was a spot in the rotation for Milton. However, he has showcased his scoring abilities and as a result has potentially earned himself a role to start the season. 

Joel Embiid's efficient shooting 

Joel Embiid played only 23 minutes in the preseason finale, but he was very efficient on the offensive end en route to having one of his best games of this preseason. He finished with 17 points on an efficient 6-of-8 shooting from the field. 

Important stats and extra things 

    • Tobias Harris closed out the preseason with another solid performance, finishing with 13 points and nine rebounds.
    • Furkan Korkmaz failed to take advantage of the golden opportunity which was presented to him against Washington. With Simmons not playing, a spot in the starting lineup opened up and head coach Brett Brown chose to insert Korkmaz in at shooting guard. In 21 minutes, Korkmaz totaled only five points on 2-of-9 shooting from the field and 1-of-3 shooting from 3-point range. 
    • Matisse Thybulle continued to play active defense, picking up a steal and a block in his 18 minutes on the court.
    • According to the Inquirer's Keith Pompey, the 76ers have informed Isaiah Miles, Christ Koumadje and Haywood Highsmith that they will be waived. 

Up next

The 76ers will be back in action when they kick off their regular season with a nationally-televised matchup against the rival Boston Celtics on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Center. 


Josh Richardson Proving to be Perfect Fit for 76ers this Season

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Staff Writer

Things took a bad turn this summer when the Philadelphia 76ers traded Jimmy Butler to the Miami Heat. The lineup last season with Butler was one of the most talented in the NBA, but a lack of continuity doomed them in the playoffs. In the deal that sent Butler to Miami, the 76ers received the perennially underrated swingman Josh Richardson

It did not take long for Richardson to find his role in Philadelphia. His play in both training camp and the preseason has shown that he can be the perfect player to round out Philadelphia's potent starting lineup. Boasting an all-around offensive game (career averages of 12.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists per game with a 42.5/36.8/82.1 percent slash line) to go with his dominant defensive abilities, he is the perfect glue guy for the 76ers.

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76ers Notes: Team Plans to use Friday's Preseason Finale as Tuneup for Regular Season

By Matt Gregan, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The Philadelphia 76ers are planning on approaching Friday night's preseason finale against the Washington Wizards as a tuneup for the regular season opener against the rival Boston Celtics. 

Treating the preseason game against Washington as a tuneup is important for the 76ers. The starting lineup has only played together twice, against the Guangzhou Loong-Lions and the Orlando Magic. With the additions of Al Horford and Josh Richardson to the starting lineup and a tough early-season schedule featuring matchups with the Celtics, Portland Trailblazers, Utah Jazz, Denver Nuggets, San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors, the 76ers need to gain chemistry by playing on the floor together more than they have this preseason. 

"If health permits, I'd play it like I'd play Boston," head coach Brett Brown said Wednesday. "I think incrementally, we had a plan, I think we've delivered on the plan, executed a plan...I would like to play like I'm playing the Boston Celtics, and then take a deep breath with a day off and get through the game healthy, and come back ready to dig in."

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Embiid Dominates in Limited Action in 76ers' Preseason Win over the Detroit Pistons

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Staff Writer

The Philadelphia 76ers played in their second to last preseason game on Tuesday night, defeating the Detroit Pistons, 106-86, at the Wells Fargo Center. Although the 76ers were without the services of Ben Simmons, Al Horford, and James Ennis III, they were still able to walk away with a convincing win against Detroit.

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76ers' Bench has Talent to be Extension of Brett Brown's Defensive Identity

By Matt Gregan, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The Philadelphia 76ers have all the tools to become one of the NBA's best defenses this season. The starting lineup consists of players all 6-foot-6 and taller, including two potential Defensive Player of the Year candidates in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. However, the team's bench also has the talent and mindset to be great defensively.

General manager Elton Brand did a good job adding to the team's bench this offseason, working together with head coach Brett Brown to add players who excel on the defensive end of the floor. It is widely known that Brown highly values defense and hustle on that end of the floor, and the 76ers have become a team with a strong defensive identity. 

"I feel like when you look at the course of 82 games in the regular season, I think that our second team can establish that type of identity," Brown said after the game against the Guangzhou Loong-Lions, via an article by NBC Sports Philadelphia's Noah Levick. "But I've said a lot, I want to play aggressive defense. I want our defense to be the launching pad to our offense, not the other way around. And I think that our length and mentality can help me achieve that."

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76ers Continue NBA Preseason with 100-87 Win Against Charlotte Hornets

By Matt Gregan, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The Philadelphia 76ers moved to 2-0 this preseason with a 100-87 win over the Charlotte Hornets Friday night at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. 

Don't let the final score fool you, this game was not close at all. The 76ers held a comfortable 20-plus point lead throughout most of the contest before bringing in the end of the bench players for most of the fourth quarter. 

After getting off to a slow start, Philadelphia ended the first quarter on a 22-4 run, building up a lead they would never lose. Here are some observations on tonight's win over Charlotte.

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76ers 144, Guangzhou Loong-Lions 86: Observations from the Preseason Opener

By Matt Gregan, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The Philadelphia 76ers, as many would have predicted, easily defeated the Guangzhou Loong-Lions, 144-86, in the preseason opener at Wells Fargo Center. 

The game got out of hand relatively quickly, with the 76ers holding a 14-point lead after one quarter of play. Philadelphia opened up the second quarter on an 18-6 run, widening the lead to 26. The game was a blowout from there on out. 

While it is only the first preseason game, the 76ers looked impressive against Guangzhou. However, the Loong-Lions were several overmatched and this result was to be expected. With that being said, here are some of our observations from the 76ers' win in the preseason opener.

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76ers Preseason Opener Pregame Notes: Embiid, the Team's Rotation and More

By Matt Gregan, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The Philadelphia 76ers open up their 2019-20 preseason tonight with a game against the Guangzhou Loong-Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. 

The following are some pregame notes about the team's health and rotation for tonight's preseason opener: 

Joel Embiid only expected to play in the first half

According to the Inquirer's Keith Pompey, superstar big man Joel Embiid will only be playing in the first half against the Loong-Lions. With it being the preseason opener, there is no reason to play Embiid the entirety of the game.

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Takeaways from 76ers Training Camp and Blue x White Scrimmage

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By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Staff Writer

The Philadelphia 76ers concluded training camp with their annual Blue x White Scrimmage on Saturday afternoon at the 76ers Fieldhouse in Wilmington, Delaware. The team will kick off its preseason on Tuesday when they host the Guangzhou Loong Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association. Now that training camp has officially concluded, it is time to discuss some of the major takeaways from training camp and Saturday’s scrimmage.

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