Takeaways From Sixers First Scrimmage Game
The Sixers and their new starting lineup made their Orlando debut on Friday against the Memphis Grizzlies. They would walk away with a 90-83 victory and have a lot of positive things come out of this game.
Ben Simmons made his debut at the power forward position and seemed right at home. In 22 minutes of action, he recorded nine points, seven rebounds, nine assists, and three steals. Based on how he played today it does not look like there are going to be any growing pains in his new position.
Simmons found a good balance of attack in this game. He showed a lot of aggressiveness as a scorer but was still able to find his teammates as he did at point guard. All the buzz around Simmons was if he was going to attempt a three-pointer or not and he did not disappoint. He stepped out for two shots from deep and knocked one of them down.
Outside shooting was something that has hurt this team all year, but you wouldn’t have thought that in this game. Nine different Sixers knocked down a shot from deep, finishing the game shooting 10-30 as a team. This is an area of offense we will have to keep an eye on as the restart continues.
The time off did not seem to bother Joel Embiid in this game. Although he only played for 12 minutes, he still managed to score 10 points, grab six rebounds, and knock down a pair of threes. Tobias Harris also had a quietly good game, finishing the game with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Bench play was also strong in this game. Guys like Furkan Korkmaz and Glenn Robinson III came in and gave strong and energetic play for the second unit. Matisse Thybulle was a menace on defense like he was before the suspension, picking up three steals in his 16 minutes of action on the floor.
Defense has been the focus of the Sixers all year and it showed today. In the first half, the Sixers played amazing defense and were extremely active in the passing lanes. They would go on to cause 19 Grizzlies’ turnovers by the end of the game.
This was an all-around good game from the Sixers. The spacing on offense in the starting lineup was the best it has looked all year, mainly due to the addition of Shake Milton. He played well in his first game with the Sixers' stars and seems to be building a nice two-man game with Ben Simmons.
A common theme in media availability in recent weeks has been the chemistry of this team. More importantly how the team has come together in their time in the bubble. There was one moment in this game that showed just how much the team has grown in Orlando.
Norvel Pelle found himself in the corner with the ball with the shot clock getting ready to expire. He would go on to shoot a corner three and make it. As crazy as the play was it was what went on around it that is important.
When the shot went up the entire Sixers’ bench got out of their seat and when it went in they proceeded to all crazily applaud their teammate. Moments like that show how close this team has gotten in the time together and the fun they are having being back on the floor together.
This was a great first game to start to build momentum on. Now that they have been able to go out and knock the rust off, it’s time to dial in and get ready for the seeding games and playoffs. Hopefully, they continue to build on their good play on Sunday when they take the floor in their second scrimmage game.
Kevin McCormick is the 76ers insider for 97.3 ESPN and 76ers editor for Sportstalkphilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @KevinMcC973.