Key takeaways from 76ers preseason finale vs Pacers
Last night’s game against the Indiana Pacers provided a few concerns for the Philadelphia 76ers but the good news is, that these issues can be easily corrected. The perimeter shooting woes from the starting five continued (1-8) and the absence of Joel Embiid due to a non-COVID illness also threw a wrench into things. Here are the key takeaways from last night’s 113-107 victory.
Ball security is job security:
The turnovers last night were horrible. Philadelphia ended the night with a total of 26 turnovers. During the first half against Boston there were definitely a lot of turnovers but not near the level of turnovers tonight. On Tuesday, Philly ended the night with 16 total turnovers. Dwight Howard led the team with five turnovers and six other players had multiple turnovers as well.
Turnovers are something that will clear up with time, as chemistry amongst the players gets better and there are more offensive sets in the place. I always like to wait until 10-15 games into the season before really looking at turnover numbers. The good news is they were still able to manage a win but, this will need to be fixed ASAP or it will cost them games.
Dwight Howard is Father Time:
While Dwight Howard led the team in turnovers, he looked to be a monster offensively. In 16 minutes Dwight had 14 points on perfect shooting against Domntas Sabonis. Dwight’s conditioning and agility seem to be surpassing father time and he looks to easily be the best backup center that Joel Embiid has ever had. Only having four rebounds is slightly concerning but he showed enough of a defensive impact against Boston where it shouldn’t be too big of a concern.
Ben Simmons told everyone to shut up:
The big talk from this game in the national media is Ben Simmons. Ben has been attacked by all fronts this week with many people on Twitter trying to bully Daryl Morey into trading him to Houston (spoiler alert, Morey doesn’t care what you think). Simmons shot a pull-up three in transition, a move never seen before in his entire career. Although he didn’t make it, the willingness to shoot is all we need. Ben has continued to look fantastic in his growth across all aspects of his game and the presence of a perimeter shot will solidify Ben as a top 10 player.
SHAKE MILTON BABY HE’S OUR BABY!:
If the NBA handed out preseason awards, the MVP would go to Shake Milton. Lock in your Shake Milton 6th man of the year bets now while you can. Milton finished leading the team in points for the second game in a row, netting 15 points in 21 minutes.
His sense of defenders is fantastic. Almost immediately he knows if he needs to swing the ball or work around the defender before the defender even thinks about making a move. Shake’s growing IQ with his confidence and skillset is perfect for him to skyrocket into the mainstream this season. Milton has the chance to command one of the best second units in basketball if this keeps up.
All eyes now turn to the 76ers season opener against the Washington Wizards on December 23rd in Philadelphia. Be sure to stay tuned to The Liberty Line for all of your 76ers updates.
Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports