Things to Watch: Sixers versus Pacers
The Sixers will play their second and final preseason game on Friday night, facing off against the Indiana Pacers. This will be their last chance to prepare before their start of the regular season on the 23rd. Here are three things to watch before the action tips off.
Keeping the pace
One thing that stood out right from the jump against the Celtics was the pace of play. The Sixers were off the races from the very beginning, pushing the ball up the floor and getting multiple easy looks in transition.
Playing a more up-tempo style is something that Doc Rivers has spoken about on multiple occasions. He also talks about "finding your pace" when talking about wanting the team to play faster.
The increased tempo on offense was a major standout in the first preseason game. Now in game two, the focus will be if they can keep that pace and play effectively at that speed.
More time for Maxey?
If there was one player that had Sixers' fans buzzing after the win after the Celtics, it was rookie Tyrese Maxey. He didn't take the floor until the fourth quarter but didn't take long asserting himself in the game.
In 12 minutes of action, Maxey scored eight points on 4-6 shooting and dished three assists. He also put his layup package on full display, scoring the ball in a variety of ways.
Despite spending limited time with the team, Maxey made a nice first impression in his first glimpse of NBA action. Now the question is will we see him more in the game against the Pacers?
With the regular season right around the corner, we could see the key players get a lighter load in this game. That said, it could open the door for the team's first-round pick to see more minutes on the floor in this one.
When discussing the rotation once the regular season starts, a 10-man rotation is the number coach Rivers has brought up a lot. He has said he has a "good sense" of how it could fill out, but Friday's game is going to be the last chance for guys to work their way in.
Watching how the minutes are distributed in this game should be a good sign as to what the rotation could look like to start the season. Rivers told the media he has four guys for sure he wants off the bench, making this game the audition for the final spot.
This game is a chance for guys like Matisse Thybulle, Mike Scott, and Justin Anderson to show why they should be given everyday minutes. The bench unit played rather well in the preseason opener against Boston, a similar performance could create a tough decision for Rivers as to who should take the last spot in the rotation.