5 Thoughts On Sixers’ Preseason Opener
The Joel Embiid era began in of all places Amherst, Massachusetts on Tuesday night as the Sixers beat the Celtics 92-89 in their preseason opener. Here are the notes and observations of the night.
1. Embiid logged just 12:57 of playing time: The Sixers followed through on their plan to only play Embiid only in the first half. Wade shot 2-for-6 from the field, including starting the game 0-of-3.
"I think when we first started the game, I think the shots I missed were pretty good, "Embiid said about his 0-for-3 start to the night.
"I just missed them, so I had a different mind-set, to just make all the plays defensively and let them game come to me offensively. At the beginning I kind of rushed all those shots."
2. Turnovers were a huge problem: Turnovers were a huge factor on Tuesday, as Philadlephia finished with 22 for the game.
One of the main culprits were Embiid and Saric who combined for seven turnovers in the game.
However, new point guard Sergio Rodriguez had four turnovers, and it was evident in the first game action that it will take the Sixers some getting used to playing with him.
Rodriguez added also added five points, six assists. T.J. McConnell started the game, scoring 13 points, four rebounds and four assists.
3. Point guard spot has a new name entering the completion: If you haven't heard of Brandon Paul, you might want to pay attention to him. The guard played in Spain last season, but played well enough this summer to get a deal with the Sixers. Between McConnell, Rodriguez and Paul the early returns were very good for Paul. He was outstanding Tuesday, scoring a team high 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting, making 2-of-4 from three-point range.
4. Rookie Dario Saric looked good: Making his professional debut, Dario Saric scored 10 points, adding six rebounds, two assists, one block and two 3-pointers in 18 minutes. On several occasions Saric showed his versatility, hitting two three-point shots, while moving the ball, starting the break and showing toughness as advertised.
“For 18 minutes, I thought Dario was excellent, just solid, old school solid," Sixers head coach Brett Brown said. "I think he’s a really appropriate complement to Joel.”
5. Richaun Holmes deserves some playing time, it’s worth noting that Holmes is full of energy and deserves some regular minutes, problem is they will be hard to find on a team loaded with front court depth.
He was an energizer bunny coming off-the-bench, scoring 10 points, grabbing four rebounds in just over 12 minutes of play. He blocked a shot, had two steals, and continued to impress, just like he did during the summer league.