The most important thing about the Philadelphia 76ers’ first three preseason games is that there isn’t a single one. It’s not a real basketball, according to Sixers security guard Seth Curry. The team will know their true identity once the regular season starts.
The elephant in the room – currently more of a whale – is Ben Simmons. His return could have a dramatic impact on the way Philly conducts his offense, as well as the way it attacks matchups on the defensive. For now, Curry can only judge the Sixers by what he saw on the training floor – with the guys who have been in the gym since the training camp began.
“Preseason, it’s hard to say. It’s not a real basketball. ” Curry told reporters. “It’s hard to take too much from these games. I take more with me from training and what we’ve done is getting better every day. But in the preseason I wouldn’t take too much of it, either positively or negatively. Besides getting some of the young people burned, these guys get some confidence and find out who they will be as players. “
Curry has given an assessment of how the squad has looked over the past two weeks. They tweaked both offense and defense to accommodate Simmons’ absence. Very small changes that are easily toggled should Simmons enter the square.
“Our offensive is going pretty well. It looks pretty good, ”said Curry. “We made a few adjustments defensively to the things we’d like to do without going into details. We also try to defend without Ben, so different matchups and such. It’s a little different, but we’ll find out when the regular season starts. “
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Tyrese Maxey was back in training with the Sixers on October 13 after missing the third preseason games with an adductor injury. and Matisse Thybulle remained sidelined with shoulder pain. He is considered day to day as the team continues to monitor what could be an ongoing problem.
The defender missed the last two exhibition games. The status of Thybulle for the exhibition finale (October 15) remains in jeopardy.
“I think Matisse can train tomorrow [October 14]“Said head coach Doc Rivers. “If he doesn’t train tomorrow, he won’t play.”
That sounds pretty choppy and dry. Meanwhile, Tobias Harris (knee) missed training on Wednesday (October 13th). Ditto for Shake Milton (ankle) and Grant Riller (knee). The latter was operated on for a tear in the meniscus in his left knee. Simmons is officially listed daily until he approves the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
Curry was asked to predict how the Sixers might perform in the 2021-22 campaign. You were the top seeded in the Eastern Conference during the regular season last season. Of course, that didn’t lead to a championship. Another year in the Rivers system should make them stronger and tighter, according to Curry.
“You saw last year that we were a very good team,” said Curry. “We got a lot of the same core people back this year, so we just have to keep getting better. Last year at the top of the league in terms of talent, the regular season and what we did. “