3 Things To Watch Tonight: Wizards vs 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers open up the 2020-21 season tonight against the Washington Wizards. Sixers fans should have plenty of reasons to be excited. A new coaching staff, a new roster, and a hungry Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have the Sixers labeled as one of the most intriguing teams to watch this year. In today’s Daily Drip, we’re taking a look at three things to watch tonight as the Sixers open up the season at home vs the Wizards.
- Defending Beal and Westbrook
Last season, the Sixers routinely struggled to defend opposing team’s ball handlers and scorers under Brett Brown. Brett’s mentality was basically to go under every single screen and roll. As we know, that simply did not work and the Sixers were consistently torched by whatever guards they were facing. Not to mention, Brett loved to instruct his big men to play drop coverage which let ball handler dribble into wide open shots.
Doc Rivers and the new-look Sixers coaching staff will change the broken philosophy of Brett Brown. We have seen glimpses of this change already in the short-lived Sixers preseason. Tonight, keep an eye on Ben Simmons around the perimeter and take note of what man he is responsible for defending on the Wizards. Both Westbrook and Beal are guys who can get thirty on any given night. Beal does most of his damage on the perimeter, while Westbrook puts tons of pressure on the rim.
2. Quicker Decisions From Tobias Harris
Tobias Harris hasn’t lived up to his contract and honestly, I’m not sure what he can truly do to ever live up to it. Harris can improve his game to better mold himself in the Sixers offense this season. Better spacing will allow Harris to attack open lanes. His game needs to be quick and decisive. If there’s an open three point shot, take it. If there’s an open lane and an opportunity to attack the rim, take it. Both Doc Rivers and Tobias Harris are on record saying they look to improve on quick decision making this season. There’s no better time to start than tonight.
3. Ben Simmons Being Assertive
Ben Simmons has been mentioned in trade talks as of late. Whether they hold any truth or not is another debate. It’s time for Ben Simmons to silence the doubters and do what we all know he’s capable of. Simmons needs to dominate every facet of the game. This team revolves around Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. The duo’s success equals the Sixers’ overall success.
When Simmons is at his best, he is aggressive. We saw plenty flashes of this last season. This season, it’s time to focus on consistency. Simmons is an elite category of players that can impact the game in multiple ways, whether it’s defensively, finding open teammates, or attacking the rim. I expect to see a very aggressive Ben Simmons tonight and throughout the season. It’s time to make a statement.