With Preseason Over, Team Ready for Road Ahead
The 76ers' bid for an undefeated preseason came up short Friday, as the team lost to the Washington Wizards, 112-93, at The Center.
Joel Embiid ended the evening with a game-high tying 17 points on an efficient 6 for 8 shooting. He posted six rebounds and two blocked shots in his fourth and final preseason outing of the fall.
The Sixers received solid showings from starters Tobias Harris (13 pts / 9 reb) and Al Horford (6 pts / 7 reb / 5 ast) as well. Matisse Thybulle held his own once again, coming off the bench with six points, and providing quality defense stretches against Bradley Beal, who's widely regarded as one of the best scorers in the NBA.
Regardless of Friday's outcome, the Sixers have plenty of reasons to look towards the regular season with optimism. They played only two of their five tune-ups with their projected Opening Night starting line-up, yet still managed to put up impressive scoring, defensive, and rebounding numbers relative to the rest of the league.
"We have had their attention and they have had each other’s attention in a tremendous camp," Brett Brown said about his players Friday. "I’m very proud of what they’ve done in camp."
On an individual level, newcomers like Horford, Thybulle, and Josh Richardson seemed comfortable, while mainstays Embiid, Tobias Harris, and Ben Simmons (who sat out Friday with back tightness) appear ready to go.
The bench delivered positive moments during the preseason, too.
Over the course of the past few weeks, Harris has been encouraged by the Sixers' potential.
"I thought we showed a lot of progress in preseason of how good we can be defensively," the veteran wing man said following Friday's game. "We showed offensively how we can pretty much create a mismatch night in and not out."
But now, the focus swiftly shifts to the journey ahead. Excitement is rampant, the anticipation palpable.
"As I’ve to the group, camp is finished and Sunday we begin in getting ready for our first NBA game," Brown said. "The group is great and they have had a prideful, competitive and physical camp."
"I think there were a lot of positives in the preseason we've gained as a team," said Harris, "and we'll continue to gain in the regular season."
October 23rd is just a few short days away.
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We usually try not to call our own number, but this defensive effort was worth highlighting and speaks for itself.
keep your eyes on no. 22 pic.twitter.com/pbTzwuy9oy
— brianseltzer (@brianseltzer) October 19, 2019
Regular! Season! Basketball! Yes, with their five-game preseason schedule now in the books, the 76ers have only meaningful basketball on the horizon. The franchise will begin what it hopes will be a long, fruitful path to title contention Wednesday, October 23rd against the Boston Celtics.