The Philadelphia 76ers opened the season 2-1, losing their opener to the Boston Celtics before picking up back-to-back home wins over the Chicago Bulls and Orlando Magic. Being realistic, this is a good start for Philadelphia. Let’s run through some quick hitters on the 76ers start the 2018-19 regular season.
The Celtics game was rough, but let’s not overreact:
Boston is simply a step ahead of the 76ers, and have a loaded roster. Dating back to last postseason, it seems as if the 76ers do not have an answer for Boston. The Celtics have championship-caliber depth and will have no issue scoring with all of their weapons, including Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum. Philly lacks a significant secondary scoring option and will continue to rely heavily on Robert Covington and Dario Saric to score on the wings.
All eyes on Markelle Fultz:
It has been an exciting week for 76ers fans as they finally got to see Markelle Fultz’s new jumper in a real NBA game. After spending the summer with Drew Hanlen, Fultz has looked massively improved from his lowest point last season. While Fultz’s shooting metrics aren’t pretty, it’s a much better situation than it was a season ago. Through three games, we’ve seen some good from Fultz, and some bad. It will be a year of growing pains for the 2017 No. 1 overall pick.
The offense needs work:
One of the main questions fans still have is how Fultz and Ben Simmons will play together. Both players thrive with the ball in their hands, which presents an obvious problem. It looked noticeably problematic against Boston in the season opener. What do the Sixers do when both guards on the floor are passing up open looks on the perimeter? More importantly, how can the 76ers continue to force defenses into making tough decisions? Forcing teams to guard the perimeter is crucial to keeping defenses honest, and if they know neither guard will pull from distance consistently, it adds a layer of difficulty to scoring.
JJ Redick with the four-point play!
— Basketball Society (@BBallSociety_) October 19, 2018
What’s up next:
The 76ers open up next week on a brief road trip starting in Detroit. The Pistons have sneakily opened the season 2-0 behind some solid play from their big man duo of Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond, as well as a resurgence from Reggie Jackson. Expect them to present a tough challenge for Philly.
The 76ers then have a game the following day against the Bucks in Milwaukee. Giannis Antetokounmpo and his squad will be tough to handle, but Philly should be ready for war. If you are a fan from the Philly area and have not been keeping up with the Bucks, this will be your first chance to see former Villanova Wildcat Donte DiVincenzo in NBA action.
Philly will wrap up the following week with a Saturday night home game against the Charlotte Hornets, led by the scorching hot Kemba Walker, who has notched at least 25 points in Charlotte’s first three games, including a 41-point outburst in their season-opener against Milwaukee.
For all things 76ers, make sure to keep up with Basketball Society on social media. Talk to me personally on Twitter @PhillySportsMax, and I will see y’all next week.