Philadelphia 76ers: 5 Observations from Preseason Week 2
5 Preseason Week Two Observations For Philadelphia 76ers
After a promising and quite frankly very inspiring first week of preseason where the Philadelphia 76ers went 2-1, the team came back down to earth hard in week two. It started on Monday night with a 127-97 loss to the Brooklyn Nets in the first game of the preseason at the Wells Fargo Center. Evan Turner led the way in that one with 23 points on 8-of-16 shooting.
On Thursday, head coach Brett Brown decided to sit some of his regulars, namely Turner, Thaddeus Young and Spencer Hawes, and it resulted in a 110-84 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats. With the Sixers' top three scorers out, Tony Wroten led the way with 20 points and Vander Blue chipped in 15. The team was only able to score 28 points in the entire first half, but Brown used it as an opportunity to see where the rest of his guys stood outside of his cemented three leaders.
He couldn’t have been too pleased by the results. We know the Sixers are going to have trouble scoring this year as is, and it was evident that outside of Young, Turner and Hawes, there really is no one that can consistently and efficiently put the ball in the basket.
The Sixers now stand at 2-3 during the preseason, but the record isn’t all that important. The play has been up and down through the first five games and even with an abysmal week two, I would still say things are better than expected thus far. With two preseason games left next week, here are five observations from this past week’s 0-2 performance.
5. Royce White Making Great Strides Towards Playing This Season
Royce White took a big step with his anxiety disorder by flying with the team to Charlotte. His play hasn’t been very stellar yet this preseason, but the fact that he is traveling is a good sign because the Sixers will need him to suit up this year.
4. Hollis Thompson is Bench's Best Rebounder
Although he is long shot to make the team, Hollis Thompson is showing a skill that no big man seems to have -- rebounding. Just look at the numbers from the last two games: Thompson – 11 rebounds in 38 minutes, Allen – four rebounds in 33 minutes, Royce White – seven rebounds in 45 minutes. It’s pretty sad, but the Sixers' power forwards have been terrible rebounders.
3. Vander Blue Winning Battle for 5th Guard Spot
Michael Carter-Williams and James Anderson will start in the backcourt and Wroten and Darius Morris will come off the bench. The last spot seems to be coming down to Blue and Khalif Wyatt and Blue won the week two battle for sure. Against the Nets, Blue had only four points in 11 minutes and Wyatt had six points, but also three turnovers and five fouls in 23 minutes. Blue had a great game against the Bobcats and Wyatt didn’t see the floor. Blue just offers more versatility at both ends of the floor at this point.
2. Where is the Defense?
Since the Sixers will have trouble scoring, you would have to think that they would try to compete on the defensive end of the floor. This past week has shown that it might not be the case. The team has athletes on the wings but struggle down low, which led to averages of 118.5 points per game on 51 percent shooting.
1. Daniel Orton Signing Was a Good Move
Sam Hinkie might have made yet another shrewd move. The team knew they didn’t have much in Tim Ohlbrecht, but when the Oklahoma City Thunder decided to waive Daniel Orton, the Sixers picked him up as an extra big body. He has more upside than Gani Lawal and probably more potential than Lavoy Allen. He notched six points, three rebounds and four blocks in his Sixers debut on Thursday.