Sixers’ Redick focused on improvements, not positives
The Philadelphia 76ers opened their season last night with a 120-115 loss to the Washington Wizards on the road. The amount of excitement that went into the game carried throughout as the Sixers kept pace with one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. At this point in the process, though, is that something that's okay?
Given all of the positive performances we saw on Wednesday night, it's tough to really have a sour taste in your mouth after the opener despite the late game turnovers. Ben Simmons looked spectacular, Robert Covington's three-point shot was falling from everywhere, Joel Embiid played more minutes than anyone anticipated and Markelle Fultz had a strong debut as well. Again, a lot of positives here, but J.J. Redick isn't about to look at it that way. With a better team comes higher expectations and the sharp-shooting veteran made sure to emphasize that after the game.
“I don’t like taking positives from losses. We need to clean up a lot of stuff,"said Redick. "We need to be better. It takes a lot to win in this league. We need to figure that out, and we will. We are good enough to do that.”
Redick brings up some very good points here. There are a lot of areas for this young team to grow and improve. This team hasn't had a whole lot of time for their starting lineup to gel and having two rookies playing in their first NBA game, it's going to take time for them to learn how to win and win together. Being critical is key and although there are positives to take from the game, but it's equally as important to focus on how they can improve and build towards a win the next time out when Boston comes to the Wells Fargo Center on Friday.
One of the biggest aspects the Sixers will have to pay attention to is turnovers. After a first half that saw them turn the ball over just four times, the second half was a different story as the Sixers coughed up the ball 13 times, resulting in 20 points from the Wizards.
“We’re not going to try to lose this season and take a bunch of positives from that,” Redick said. “We’re trying to win. We’re trying to be in the playoffs this year. That’s got to be the mindset.”
Redick finished his first game as a Sixer with 12 points on 4-for-10 shooting, adding four assists and two boards as well.
Brandon Apter is a contributor to 97.3 ESPN and managing editor at SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @bapter23.