For the Philadelphia 76ers, two words can describe their upcoming season, patience and growth. With an average age of 24 the 76ers will return a young roster this year, which has everyone predicting the Sixers will be one of the NBA’s worst teams.
The Sixers management is perfectly fine with going through the rebuilding process and they’ve made it evident in their actions. After only winning 19 games, Sixers fans wanted to build through the draft to ensure a quick turnaround for the team.
The Sixers showed patience by drafting Joel Embiid who is arguably the most skilled player in the draft. However just like Nerlens Noel did a year ago, Embiid most likely will not play this season due to injuries. The Sixers were very quiet during free agency and did not make any major splashes.
Instead the Sixers are looking to develop their young players. Rookie Of The Year Michael Carter-Williams is recovering from his shoulder surgery, but there are high hopes for him to build from his stellar season a year ago.
The Sixers are looking for Toney Wroten to flourish this season as well. In his third year with the team Wroten has proved to be a solid sixth man who can score and run the show.
Head Coach Brett Brown wants to continue his fast pace philosophy that had his Sixers ranked first in the league in pace last season. Fast pace offense starts with creating havoc on the defensive end and the Sixers have filled their roster with defensive minded players.
K.J. McDaniels is one of the newest draft additions to the Sixers. At Clemson he earned ACC defensive player of the year honors last season. Jeremey Grant, rookie out of Syracuse University was also brought as a defensive presence.
With Nerlens Noel entering his first season, coming off of injury, he’s been known for his shot blocking and defensive ability. The Sixers organization is taking care of the foundation because we all know that defense wins championships. However each player hasn’t nearly scratched the surface of their potential and will be a work-in-progress over the next couple years.
The new Sixers lost their first preseason game 78-98 to the Boston Celtics on Monday Oct. 6. Second year player, Hollis Thompson lit up the scoreboard in the first half, going 5-5 from the floor and 3-3 from three-point range to end with 15 points.
Wroten showed up and had 19 points and five assists. But the Sixers struggled as a team. They hung in the game until the Celtics went on a 21-5 run in the fourth quarter that the Sixers could not overcome.
All eyes were on Noel; he had a shaky first game. He went 2-9 from the floor and only ended with four points. His defense was great as he clogged the lane the entire game, but his offensive game is still a work in progress.
After the first preseason game the Sixers will continue to work hard and develop their players. As they lay the foundation, it is exciting to see what this young team with Carter-Williams, Noel, and Embiid as the nucleus will turn out to be over the next few years.
Sixer fans, prepare your self for another mediocre season, but know that losing due to the inexperience of young players will soon pass. The foundation that they have set makes the future look very bright.