We can finally watch Joel “The Process”Embiid and Ben Simmons play after losing to the Boston Celtics 134 days ago. The 76ers opened up the pre-season with a 120-114 team win against Aaron Gordan and the Orlando Magic. A lot of potential was seen on the floor tonight that one could hope for another deep run in the playoffs this upcoming spring. Now we evaluate each player on their performance from tonight’s pre-season game against the Magic.
Markelle Fultz: Fultz’s confidence in his performance has increased a lot over summer after training with NBA personal trainer, Drew Hanlen. What I saw tonight was Fultz being the perfect 6th man for Ben Simmons. Fultz did a great job shooting and rebounding while running the floor quickly on offense just like Simmons does. I would be excited to see Fultz for what he has to offer this upcoming season.
Ben Simmons: No surprise here, Simmons does things Ben Simmons does best; pass the ball and transition on offense. Can’t speculate on his outside shooting yet; only been driving to the basket or pass the ball last minute.
Joel Embiid: Embiid had a solid night scoring 21 points on the floor, his only problem was the 3’s he was missing at the beginning of the game. Other than that, “The Process” looks like he should be in mid-season form by next week after coming back from China.
Rob Covington: His 3’s were back to normal, we’ll see how long it takes for him to become the streaky shooter he is.
Dario Saric: “The Homie” was flat in his shooting after going 1-6 in field goals but his free throw shooting was on point going 6-6. In addition, his efficiency on the court was valuable with a solid +10 +/- in tonight’s game. Saric points will definitely go up once the season starts rolling.
Mike Miscala: After making his pre-season debut in a Sixers uniform, his shooting was flat in the corner threes he was shooting. His rebounding was good with seven total rebounds. We’ll let Miscala transition to the new system after playing for the Atlanta Hawks.
Landry Shamat: The rookie from Wichita State excelled on the floor with 12 points in 19 minutes he had on the floor. He took the best shots that could put up on the floor. I wouldn’t sleep on Shamat as he could add value to the Sixers bench depth including TJ McConnell and Amir Johnson.
J.J Redick: Sixers fans, the off-balance three’s are back. Redick will look to be the same veteran he is for the team this year.
Amir Johnson: Did well against the Magic, great player to dump it to in the paint and hustle back on defense. True team player with the hustle he brings this season.
Furkan Korkmaz: Furkan shot the lights out as he was the teams second leading scorer tonight with 18 points in the 19 minutes he played in. It’s great to see what he can do the floor after seeing him only play garbage time last season. The Turkish shooter is a good replacement from former Sixer, Marco Belinelli. Let’s hope his minutes could increase this season with the sharpshooting he provides.
Overall, The Sixers are destined to be a great team if they can clean up on their defense and loose balls. A lot of the points given up in tonight’s game were from pick and rolls the Magic used for the most part. Again, it’s the pre-season so I wouldn’t worry yet for its sloppiness. A lot of excitement from tonight’s game came from Markelle Fultz finally shooting the ball – correctly- with confidence. As the Sixers travel to China to play the Dallas Mavericks, I look forward to seeing the young core compete with the Boston Celtics and the Toronto Raptors.
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