Quotebook | Encouraging Ecosystem Emerging
A span of four days brought five new faces, two big games, and two big wins for the 76ers (36-20).
After the squad took down the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers on the heels of the trade deadline, spirits have been high in South Philadelphia.
Here’s what the team has said...
After Thursday’s trade deadline, on very little practice time, the new-look Sixers beat the Nuggets, 117-110, and the Lakers, 143-120. Joel Embiid, who scored 37 points and grabbed 14 boards against the Lakers, says he likes what he sees so far from the team’s new core:
“It’s only been two games, but I think we’ve got a chance. We’ve got a lot to work on, obviously, our whole offensive package hasn’t been used. We’ve got a long way to go, but I think with the potential we have, especially come playoff time, we got to keep working, keep getting better and learn how to play with each other.”
Embiid has been stellar against the Lakers and LA Clippers in his career, never scoring fewer than 28 points against either team. Embiid discussed this trend Sunday:
“I don’t know, it goes for both L.A. teams. I must not be a big LA fan. But I don’t know, it’s just—it’s fun. I don’t know, I think I do it with every team, but I’ve been more constantly staying with both the L.A. teams, I got to make sure I do the same thing to every other team.”
Four-time MVP LeBron James (18 pts, 10 reb, 9 ast) shared his thoughts on the Sixers’ moves during trade season:
“I thought they were going to be very good before they made a move anyway before the season even started. And they have made a bunch of moves to help improve their club.”
In his first two appearances as a Sixer, Tobias Harris recorded 14 points, eight rebounds, and three assists against the Nuggets; and 22 points, six rebounds, and six assists against the Lakers. Harris discussed the fundamental values of chemistry and teamwork while assimilating into a new organization:
“I’ve been in a lot of different situations throughout my whole career. Something like I said last game, every new situation you just want to come in and kind of play off the love of the game and let everything else flow from there. I’ve been able to get better year after year to be able to understand the game, understand my spots on the floor, understand how I can help a team. A lot goes into it when you’re in a new situation and just trying to fit in the right way. It’s got to be a good balance trying to fit in, but also be aggressive and to play your game.”
At Monday’s practice, Brett Brown said he likes the early productivity of his new group. True to form, he prioritized sharing and caring:
“There is a good ecosystem, there is a good vibe. They are sharing the ball. We glorify it, we gamify it, I praise them about it all the time about the assist is king. Some of that has carried it over, and with Jimmy [Butler], I see it through that vision line. His nature fits with this type of team we now have fantastically.”
In their final home game before the All-Star break, the Sixers will host the Boston Celtics (35-21) for the first time this season. The C’s have bested the Sixers in each of their first two matchups this season. T.J. McConnell discussed the significance of Tuesday’s contest:
“I feel like when we’re playing against Boston, and you play in Philly, you don’t really need any extra motivation to go into that game. We all know what type of game it’s going to be like. We just have to go in and play like we did last night, and play together, and execute. Hopefully, that’ll take care of it.”