Team Primed for Promising Season

by Lauren Rosen

“Something just happened,” Brett Brown said Monday. “It’s fall.”

“You just go by the clock, the feel, the weather - it’s basketball.”

‘Tis the season, as the 76ers will on Wednesday host Atlantic Division rival the Boston Celtics to open the 2019-20 campaign. 

And what a season it’s gearing up to be.

“The baseline of the group that Elton [Brand] has given me is the best team that we have had here in Philadelphia,” Brown said Tuesday. “I’m excited to take this journey with them.” 

While it was a productive preseason - the squad finished 4-1 - the Sixers know that the real work is just beginning.

“It’s exciting because this one means something,” Matisse Thybulle said. “Those preseason games were a good chance for us as a team, and me individually, to get a good feel for each other, and get back into the swing of things.”

The Sixers have been open about sharing their lofty aspirations for the year ahead. But staring down the long end of an 82-game stretch brings its own daily challenges to be tackled.

“I expect us to play hard every day,” Ben Simmons said.

The Celtics present the new-look Sixers with their first real test. Although the C’s lost All-Star’s Kyrie Irving and, of course, Al Horford in the offseason, both teams should still expect a hard-fought outing.

“All the guys know the magnitude of the game, and the rivalry.” Horford said. “It’s going to be a fun game.”

And just the beginning of what figures to be a memorable season.

“I love coaching this team. I think that we have character, I think that we have talent,” Brown said.

There’s something in the air.

Grab a jacket, and let’s do this.

Opponent Outlook

All-Star and 2019 All-NBA selection Kemba Walker takes over as point man in Boston after eight seasons in Charlotte. Walker averaged 25.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 5.9 assists last season. 

Walker joins returning Celtics Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Gordon Hayward in the starting lineup. Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter will seek to fill Horford’s big shoes in the Boston frontcourt.

Follow Along

Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia / ESPN

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