The Sixers concluded their preseason with an impressive comeback win against the Hawks, finishing with a 2-2 record. In their final exhibition game, De’Anthony Melton led the team with 29 points, followed by Joel Embiid with 21 points. Despite missing all four preseason games, James Harden is still with the Sixers due to a personal matter. Terquavion Smith and Filip Petrušev were out with minor injuries, but the team was otherwise at full strength. The Sixers’ regular-season opener is scheduled for next Thursday against the Bucks in Milwaukee. Here are three observations from their preseason finale:
1. Embiid Shows Promise in Nurse’s Offense:
Starting off slow, the Sixers’ offense struggled early on. However, Embiid’s passing skills were sharp, as he made an impressive dish to Tobias Harris from the post. Embiid emphasized the importance of playing as a team and moving the ball to secure wins. The Sixers’ starters displayed aggressive defense, with players like Tyrese Maxey and De’Anthony Melton making steal after steal. Melton’s improved shooting and Maxey’s playmaking were notable highlights in the game.
2. Springer Proves Worthiness for Regular Rotation:
Jaden Springer continued to impress throughout the preseason, making an immediate impact in Friday night’s game. With his defensive skills and ability to read and make good decisions on both ends of the court, Springer looks like a strong candidate for NBA rotation minutes. His improved three-point shooting has also greatly benefited the team. While his exact role within the lineup is still uncertain, Springer’s versatility and variety make him a valuable asset for the Sixers.
3. Final Auditions for Korkmaz and House:
Prior to the game, Coach Nurse expressed interest in observing Furkan Korkmaz and Danuel House. Although neither player is expected to move up in the team’s depth chart, they had their moments in the fourth quarter. Korkmaz exhibited playmaking abilities and looked confident in his first game of the preseason. House showed some potential, recording three assists in limited minutes. Ultimately, Nurse will rely on players like Kelly Oubre Jr. and Danny Green, who have proven their value alongside Embiid.
In the coming days, the Sixers will determine their back-of-roster players and solidify their big man depth chart before the regular season begins. Ricky Council IV and David Duke Jr. were waived by the team late Friday night. With a strong preseason performance, the Sixers are ready to tackle their regular-season opener and build upon their success.
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