In the immediate aftermath of his teams 105-87 loss to the Celtics, Brett Brown didnt sound entirely surprised by some of the disjointed issues that surfaced.
It was, after all, the Sixers first game of the year. There were, despite decent looks, missed shots; a spate of turnovers, especially in the first half; new personnel combinations to test out; and communication matters to sort through on defense.
The Sixers were also shorthanded Tuesday at TD Garden, which will likely be the case again Thursday at The Center. Mike Muscala has been listed as doubtful (right ankle), while Wilson Chandler (left hamstring) and Jerryd Bayless (left knee) are out.
The 2017-18 campaign was a tough one for Chicago. The Bulls went 27-55, and saw a string of nine straight seasons finishing .500 or better come to an end.
As a result of its record, Chicago landed the seventh overall pick in this years draft, and used it on Wendell Carter Jr., the promising, multi-faceted big man from Duke. He averaged 7.0 points and 5.6 rebounds per game during the preseason.
During the summer, Chicago also re-upped with explosive guard Zach LaVine, and inked homegrown forward Jabari Parker to a one-year deal. Over the first four seasons of Parkers career, all of which were spent with the Milwaukee Bucks, he missed 145 games (more than 44 percent) due to injury.
Its looking like the Bulls will be shorthanded Tuesday as well. Lauri Markkanen has already been ruled out (right elbow sprain), and Kris Dunn (personal reasons) was announced as a scratch following morning shootaround.
A 2am training in session in the dark after a first game loss helped set Ben Simmons up for a dominant display as he racked up a triple double in Philadelphia’s NBA win over Chicago Bulls.
Simmons reacted to the season-opening loss to the Celtics by arriving home from Boston and heading into the 76ers’ training facility for the 2am Wednesday morning workout.
“I want to be the best. Simple as that,” Simmons told reporters ahead of game two of the season.
“We had to work on things and fix things up,” Simmons said. “We have to pay attention to detail, lock in, focus and be disciplined.”
Simmons started on fire against the Bulls with an eye-catching assist and a driving dunk. He ended with 13 points, 11 assists and 13 rebounds in a 127-108 win.
The young Aussie became the first player in 76ers history to compete a triple double in the opening home game of the season.
Philadelphia began the season with high expectations and although Simmons was the best 76ers player by far, it wasn’t the start he wanted against the Celtics.
The Sixers showed many of the same weaknesses — primarily a lack of perimeter shooting — as they did in last season’s playoff loss to the Celtics. Simmons has been lauded for most aspects of his game, but his long range shooting continues to detract from his game.
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Pundits believe Simmons could become just the third player in NBA history to achieve a triple-double average – double figures in points, rebounds and assists – this season, and he grabbed his first of the season in the third quarter against the Bulls.
Joel Embiid scored 30 points and swept 12 rebounds for his second consecutive double-double this season for the 76ers. Embiid also had four blocked shots.