Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid at 76ers Practice

Quotebook | "We're Focused On Us"

by Matt Murphy

With the State Farm NBA Play-In Tournament beginning Tuesday night, there are a handful of teams still awaiting a first-round opponent.

That includes the 76ers, who will host the eventual No. 8 seed in the East on Sunday.

Philadelphia practiced Tuesday afternoon.

Here's some of what was said following practice...


Regarding practice structure this week, Rivers laid out the plan:

"We have our own rhythm. We'll go hard a couple days. Light [on Thursday]. Probably hard [on Friday]. And then, probably, Saturday will be more of a shootaround-focus."

Rivers said the focus remains on their own group, without a set opponent just yet for the opening round:

"We're pretty much focused on us right now. Honestly, let's say we knew our opponent, we probably wouldn't work on our opponent until Thursday anyway. So, I would say the first couple days, we are really focused on what we do. But we still work on NBA sets. And in this case, there are four teams available, and we probably work on a couple sets that they all run. But we do that every practice. Every practice, we work on an NBA set."

After declaring his dinner plans for the week, Rivers voiced his excitement over watching the upcoming Play-In Tournament:

"Clearly, you watch every game. Both conferences. First of all, it's fun. It's something you want to watch. The best part of the playoffs is, when you're not playing, you can sit there and watch all the different things that happen in a playoff game. And they're teachers for you as well."


Harris stressed where the team's defensive focus lies this week:

"Number one: transition defense, for us. That would be an understatement throughout these couple of days that we have to practice. Transition. Communication, that's another thing. A lot of times, we're out there playing and not using our voices on the defensive end, which has cost us a lot of easy points for other teams. So, those two things I think would be at the top of the list. And then, on top of that, just us knowing each other's spots on the court and knowing how we can help one another out there."

When asked about last season and motivation for this year's playoffs, Harris talked about staying in the present moment, and explained why this team is different:

"New culture, new status, new confidence, new vibe. Here we are. It's a great opportunity. To be on this special of a team is a blessing and this is the opportunity that we have to do something great."

Harris on the Play-In Tournament:

"I think it brings excitement to the league and the fans."

The veteran then revealed his viewing plans:

"I'm going to sit on my couch, watch the games, and may the best man win...and come here and see us."


Curry detailed the intensity level of the team's first practice of the week:

"We had a couple good, live segments to go pretty hard. That's kind of what you need. You want to go hard, try to stay in good shape as a team and try to get those live reps. But, also, use the days to get healthy. It was good. And then you get some good individual work before or afterwards to sharpen some skills."

The start time for Sunday's Game 1 is still to be determined.

Related Links: 
76ers Announce 'Phila Unite' Playoff Campaign
Thybulle Primed for Playoffs


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