Fans from the first state in Wilmington, Delaware were treated to a first look of the Philadelphia 76ers in action live from the 76ers Fieldhouse. It was the “Blue x White” scrimmage featuring the starting lineup on the blue team versus the reserves on the white team. The blue team defeated the white team, 88-66. The 76ers Fieldhouse was packed to capacity. Seats were filled and more fans were filed courtside and on the concourse to have an opportunity to see their favorite players in action. From my view, Sixers fans have an awful lot to be excited about this season!
As I was touring the new facility, I had the opportunity to meet a couple of players and catch up with Coaty, the Delaware Blue Coats mascot. In the building, mixing in with the fans as a part of the very immersive experience was Philadelphia 76ers General Manager, Elton Brand, who took a few photos with lucky fans. Raul Neto, Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, and Josh Richardson were a handful of other players that I saw signing autographs and spending time with the fans. For a state that doesn’t have a professional sports team within its boundaries, this experience was extraordinary.
Ben Simmons was showing off his range and much improved three-point shot before the scrimmage began. He was draining long-range three-pointers from at least three feet behind the arc. This is unguarded and not a game situation at the time of the shots, fair enough, but definitely what you want to see. The “Mike Scott Hive” was in full effect in Wilmington when Mike Scott was spotted on the court warming up alongside Joel Embiid. However, this “Blue x White” scrimmage was taken over by the excellent play of Philadelphia 76ers rookie, Matisse Thybulle.
Matisse Thybulle is a player that needs to make a big impact on this Philadelphia 76ers team to live up to the tall expectations placed on them. He showed that he can be a special asset. The rookie stole the ball from Al Horford early on, just didn’t finish the play at the basket. Learning and improving quickly, Thybulle stripped Ben Simmons, broke up a two-on-one between Simmons and Raul Neto, and sent the ball soaring into the seats when Josh Richardson attempted a seemingly wide-open three-pointer. You hear the term “ball-hawk” a lot when talking about a great defender in football. In the basketball sense, Thybulle is just that.
Defensively, this Philadelphia 76ers team is terrifying. Offensively, they’ve proven that they can be explosive. With a deeper bench than last season, I am loving what I see from this team. When the experts say that the Sixers should be the Eastern Conference representative in the NBA Finals in 2020, I don’t disagree. I mean that without bias. If you had the opportunity to be at the 76ers Fieldhouse on Saturday, you know.
Be sure to make it out to Delaware Blue Coat basketball games this season. The 76ers Fieldhouse in Wilmington, Delaware is state of the art, providing an intimate experience to watch future NBA players take the court. The Philadelphia 76ers begin their preseason on Friday, October 11th at 7:30pm against the Charlotte Hornets at the LJVM Coliseum.
Mandatory Photo Credit: Saquan Stimpson/ZUMA Wire. Cal Sport Media via AP Images