New Faces Debut, Fare Well

by Brian Seltzer
Sixers.com Reporter

The juice, as one of the newest 76ers described it, was in the building.

On the heels of some promising wheeling and dealing since the team had previously been in action, a slew of fresh faces were set to debut. Plus, a long-anticipated jersey retirement ceremony was on the evening’s itinerary, too.

From Tobias Harris’ first 3-pointer, to Boban Marjanovic’s massive welcoming, to Moses Malone’s no. 2 finally rising to the rafters, there were plenty of reasons Friday for The Center to rock, and rock the sellout crowd of 20,627 did.

To cap everything off, the Sixers notched a quality win, as each member of a bolstered starting line-up came together down the stretch to provide clutch contributions.

Here’s a quick look at how the Sixers’ trade deadline pickups fared in the club’s 117-110 victory over the Denver Nuggets:

TOBIAS HARRIS

The marquee acquisition of the four trades the Sixers pulled off in advance of Thursday’s deadline, Harris quickly made his presence felt.

About three minutes into regulation, the veteran wingman knocked down his first basket for his new team - a 3-pointer that broke a 6-6 tie. Moments later, he displayed a nice handle en route to flicking home a contested 8-foot interior basket.

All things considered, Harris played a comfortable game. At times Friday he seemed to let things come to him. In other instances, the 2011 no. 19 pick got a little more aggressive - like when he attacked the baseline and scored a floater that put the Sixers in front for good, 105-103, with four minutes to go in the fourth quarter.

In addition to his 14 points on 6 for 12 shooting (2-3 3fg), Harris added eight rebounds, three assists, and a steal in 32 minutes.

“I just wanted to play off the other talent we have on the floor,” Harris said. “I wanted to come out and show how I can really help this team.”

Check, and check again.

“I thought all over the place, you could see why people think he’s an All-Star,” said Brett Brown. “His personality, his basketball intellect stand out.”

Brown was also pleased with Harris’ defense in crunch time. The 26-year old chased around Denver sharpshooter Jamal Murray, took on Mason Plumlee inside, and switched smoothly in the halfcourt.

Throughout the night, Harris got a lot of love from the crowd. He showed it right back.

“It feels good to be appreciated and I really felt that tonight,” Harris said. “That was big for me and that was a good feeling.”

BOBAN MARJANOVIC

The love affair with Marjanovic was on before the endearing 7-foot-3, 290-pound Serbian even had a chance to snap off his warm-up pants to sub in for the first time.

When he finally did, there was a heartwarming standing ovation. It was a terrific moment.

Marjanovic said afterwards he didn’t even realize the roars were for him.

“That’s respect for them, and thank you for that,” he said.

Marjanovic tallied four points (2-4 fg) and two rebounds in 14 minutes. Highlighting his performance was a nice pick-and-roll scoring sequence with Jimmy Butler, and a notable block on Jamal Murray midway through Friday’s fourth period.

There was also this no-doubt-about-it second-quarter dunk. In signature fashion, Marjanovic barely left his feet.

“I really enjoyed it,” Marjanovic said of his first game as a 76er “You get nervous - how will everything happen today. Will they like me, not like me? In the end, it’s just being on the court having fun.”

JAMES ENNIS III

Prior to being dealt to the Sixers, Ennis was an important part of the Houston Rockets’ rotation, alternating roles as a starter and as a reserve.

Friday against Denver, he came off the bench, posting six points in 14 minutes on a pair of corner threes. His first triple stretched the Sixers’ lead to a game-high 16 points in the second quarter, while his second flipped the score back in the team’s favor, 96-95, in the fourth frame.

Of note was that both of Ennis’ 3-pointers came in a line-up that paired him with Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris, and Boban Marjanovic.

Later in the game, Ennis, who was part of Brett Brown’s first sub group, assisted on a pivotal baseline jumper from Butler that broke a 101-101 tie.

MIKE SCOTT

When Tobias Harris needed a blow late in Friday’s first quarter, Scott was summoned into duty for the first time. He ultimately finished with two points and an assist in 16 minutes, the highest total for any of the Sixers’ reserves.

Scott’s plus-6 rating was the best among Friday’s bench bunch. His lone basket was a fourth-quarter floater that leveled the tilt at 86-86.

Note: Jonathon Simmons, another player obtained at Thursday's trade deadline, was unavailable Friday.

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