Boy oh boy was this a good game. You know what, good is understatement. It was an awesome game! Joel Embiid made his much anticipated pre-season debut after going down last season with a knee injury and he was nothing short of impressive.
Embiid only played 11 minutes in the first half. He finished the half with 20 points, 7 rebounds and 1 block. In 11 minutes folks! He dazzled with a combination of off the dribble jumpers, Hakeem “The Dream” like post moves, and a nice stroke from the free throw line. He took 16 free throws and made 12 of them. In 11 minutes!
He did come back to play another 4 minutes in the second half, where he showcased his playmaking (3 assists) and added to his point totals with another two free throws. Embiid ended the night with a total of 22 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and a block. He was also a +15 on the night. All in 15 minutes. I repeat, 15 minutes!
There was much more to the team’s performance besides just Embiid. Despite a slow start, the team finished the end of the first quarter on a 19-1 run. The run was mostly in large due to the energy from the bench players, such as T.J. McConnell, Dario Saric and Amir Johnson. Their defensive intensity spread to the starters and before you knew it, the team was playing like they were in the playoffs.
Saric was a nice surprise shooting 5 of 8 from deep, finishing with a total of 26 points and 9 rebounds in 24 minutes. Ben Simmons totaled 9 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals. The hesitation from Simmons to shoot a jumper despite plenty of space was still very apparent.
No idea what the hell ben simmons was doing here pic.twitter.com/A3ikDDytjT
— drew (@Dcorrigan50) October 11, 2017
J.J. Redick had 18 points, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot ended with 11 points and T.J. McConnell with 10 points and 7 assists. D’Angelo Russell shined for the Nets with 24 points and 3 assists.
The 76ers shot 46 of 90 (51.1%) from the field and 13 of 30 from deep (43.3%).
The game should definitely be considered a success. The Sixers and their fans got to see their first look at Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid playing together while they routed the Nets in a 133 to 114 win. All in all, the team played very well. Now we look forward to what happens Friday in Kansas City when the 76ers take on the Miami Heat.
Mandatory photo credit: AP Photo/Julie Jacobson