Early Carryover Shines Through

by Lauren Rosen

Prior to the 76ers’ first preseason game, Brett Brown said his top priority was seeing carryover from his team’s first week of work.

From Ben Simmons’ leadership, to Matisse Thybulle’s disruptiveness, to the impact of the team’s overall size and itsdefensive potential, it’s safe to say that training camp themes were reaffirmed Tuesday night as preseason got underway.

Simmons’ Leadership

While popular narrative will focus on Ben Simmons’ 3-pointer to close the first half, Brett Brown said that the point man’s overall development was the night’s more significant takeaway.

“[Ben’s] got a right to be excited,” Brown said. “I feel like that enthusiasm, along with the growth of leadership which we’re seeing, I think produces a more confident player.” 

Simmons racked up a team-high 21 points in as many minutes Tuesday, along with eight rebounds, seven assists, a steal. and a block. He shot 9 for 14 from the field, and was a team-best +40 overall. 

Stars Continue to Gel

The new-look 76ers shared 35 assists in their first preseason game together, with every starter (and 13 players total) getting at least one dime. d.

Despite overall newness among the team, its core continues to rapidly develop chemistry. 

“Everyone has the same goal and mentality when they step out on the floor,” Simmons saidd. “Defensively, you kind of saw it tonight where everyone was having fun playing defense and getting steals, so it was good.”

Brett Brown feels it too.

“There’s an excitement in our locker room, and I know that they feel, and so do I, that we have a chance to do something unique,” Brown said.

That quick chemistry is developing among the bench unit toas wello. James Ennis III called his group “bulldogs” during camp, and Mike Scott has doubled down on the squad’s commitment to intensity:

“Our identity: Come in, play with energy, move the ball, share the ball, shoot it, pass it, play together, be physical on defense,” Scott said postgame Tuesday.

Rookies Shine

Early on, Matisse Thybulle continues to be one of the most exciting players not only from that bench unit, but on this team.

Thybulle, one of the first substitutions in Tuesday’s contest alongside James Ennis III, finished his exhibition debut with 10 points, three rebounds, three steals, two blocks, and two assists.

The 20th overall pick is adapting remarkably well to NBA competition.

“For me, I just wanted to feel like I belonged out there and I was able to feel that,” Thybulle said.

Known and praised for his outstanding defensive instincts, Thybulle has also showcased his offensive skillset at the Blue x White Scrimmage and in his preseason debut. The rookie went 4 for 6 from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers.

“I’m glad he’s on our team. Defensively, he’s incredible,” Simmons said. “If he’s open, he’s knocking it down. He’s a great shooter, and a great person off the court.”

Marial Shayok also had a solid showing Tuesday, adding 10 points of his own, shooting 4-7 overall.

Tobias Harris (7 pts, 9 reb, 4 ast, 1 stl) gave both rookies props.

“They’ve been solid all throughout training camp, the both of them,” Harris said. “They come to work every day, they’re professionals, they’re very hard workers. You can see the impact that they can make.”

The next opportunity for impact, and that all-important carryover, comes Friday, as the team visits Winston-Salem, NC, to face the Charlotte Hornets in their second of five preseason games.

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