Four takeaways from the Sixers wobbly season-opening win

NBA: MAR 01 76ers at Clippers
LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 01: Philadelphia 76ers Guard Shake Milton (18) looks on during a NBA game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Clippers on March 1, 2020 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

It wasn’t pretty, but it didn’t matter. The Doc Morey & Daryl Morey era is off to a positive start after the Sixers were able to pull out a 113-107 win over the Washington Wizards. Here are three quick takeaways from the game.

Perimeter defense??

The Sixers started off positively when it came to stopping Russell Westbrook from wreaking havoc inside the paint. The bad news is that this came at the expense of leaving wide-open looks from the arc and that wasn’t something that went away.

The Wizards were 14-27 from three-point range at the end of the game, but 4 of those buckets came from one man. Davis Bertans led an emphatic run that saw a strong Sixers lead vanish deep into the second quarter by doing what he does best – pouring in shots from range. He ended up with 25 points on the night, going 4-6 from range. Tobias Harris was the man responsible for defending him at times and this leads us onto the next takeaway.

Come in Clippers Tobias

With a real consensus that Doc’s ability to get the best out of Tobias Harris would translate from their time together in L.A. to their current tenure in Philadelphia, it’s hard not to say that he was beyond disappointing.

Harris was sloppy on defense and going 3-13 from the field wasn’t exactly a good way to make up for it. He was active in getting rebounds but his 10 points (4 of which from the free-throw line) simply wasn’t good enough.

Harris’ contract has been largely discussed this season and I can’t see that changing any time soon if performances like this become the norm. Doc Rivers has to find a way to get more out of him.

Bench production

In a game where the first unit struggled mightily, seeing Furkan Korkmaz and Shake Milton combine for 30 points was a sight for sore eyes. Rivers had been high on Milton all offseason and it’s easy to see why. Many perceive him to be a potential candidate for the NBA’s Sixth-Man of the Year and with such an impressive season opener it’s hard to disagree.

Maxey flashes

It didn’t take long for Tyrese Maxey to make an impact. The 21st overall pick burst onto the court and into drove into the paint for his first NBA bucket, showing no hesitation, nerves, or jitters. His explosiveness was on show from the jump and while he only played 11 minutes, he certainly left a lasting impact.

Teething problems for Sixers offense

Fitting Danny Green and Seth Curry into the Sixers’ offense seemed ideal on paper, but in reality, it could be trickier than we thought. Having said that, watching Curry score beautiful a rainbow sho ton one foot kind of made up for the lack of three-point production from the two.

Green looked beyond hesitant to pull the trigger and went 0-4 from range, while Curry only nailed one of five attempts. Considering this was supposed to be a heavy offseason focus and a real area of improvement, 1-10 from the two free-agent signings is anything but a good sign.

It’s obviously early days and we can’t be too heavy with the Hammer just yet, but this is obviously now something to watch moving forward.

Up next for the Sixers

The Sixers will next be in action on Boxing Day (December 26th) at 7:30 PM EST in a clash with the New York Knicks who dropped their season opener in a big loss to the Pacers. Can the Sixers move to 2-0?

Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

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