Sixers, Nets preseason preview: What you need to know

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CHICAGO, IL – FEBRUARY 06: Philadelphia 76ers Center Joel Embiid (21) waits for the play to set during a NBA game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Chicago Bulls on February 6, 2022 at the United Center in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia 76ers will kick off their NBA Preseason schedule in Brooklyn this evening versus the Nets. Both teams have made some roster changes and added complimentary pieces around their core stars. The Sixers most notably added free agents P.J. Tucker and Danuel House, while the Nets added T.J. Warren and Royce O’Neale.

While the Sixers had a surprisingly normal offseason, the Nets had a tumultuous offseason. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving both demanded to be traded, and neither one got their wish. The Nets entered training camp with some questions surrounding the chemistry between their players, coaches, and the front office.

How to watch Sixers/Nets

  • Date: Monday, October 3rd
  • Time: 7:30 PM ET
  • Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
  • Channel: NBATV

Both teams are expected to be contenders in the Eastern Conference, but the intensity in this one shouldn’t be as high as it would be if it were a regular season game. Take a look at three things to watch for tonight’s matchup:

Simmons Returns to the Court

Monday night’s matchup will also be the debut of former Sixers PG Ben Simmons, who has not played since the Sixers’ Game 7 loss against the Atlanta Hawks in June 2021. His debut was expected during the Nets’ first-round playoff series against the Celtics but was hampered by a back injury and eventually needed surgery. Although it’s the preseason, it will be interesting to see how Simmons plays against his former team.

How Long Will the Sixers’ Starters Play?

After a grueling training camp, it remains to be seen if Doc Rivers will play his new look starting lineup and for long if they do suit up. When asked on Sunday by Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer if he would play his starters, Doc Rivers responded by saying, “It’s still not really decided, honestly. At least three will sit.”

That most likely means we won’t see Harden, Tucker, or Embiid in this matchup. Meanwhile, the Nets will debut their “Big Three” of Ben Simmons, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving, but how long will they play? Simmons needs to knock off some rust, so it would make sense to expect him to play more minutes than Irving and Durant.

The Fight for a Roster Spot

With training camp over, many camp battles will bleed into the preseason, especially those fighting for a roster spot. Reporting from camp last week indicated that it seems like there are three players fighting for the final roster spot.

Those players include Isaiah Joe, Charles Bassey, and Trevelin Queen, with Joe having the leg up. Rivers will give those guys enough chances to prove that they should be a part of the final roster, and their fight starts Monday night against the Nets.