By Cody Daniel @CodyDanielRS on August 21, 2014
The product the Philadelphia 76ers will put on the court next season will be among the youngest and most inexperienced in the NBA. With that youth also comes a lack of depth, so opportunities for guys with little to no experience to start will be at a premium. As Brett Brown figures out his roster, a few early season games will be crucial for the growth of the team.
Although he isn’t the most dominating competition, opening night for the Sixers will be a great opportunity for Nerlens Noel to get an immediate feel of some true NBA size as he will get to go toe-to-toe with 7-foot-2 Roy Hibbert. With the Pacers roster looking depleted as it stands now, this will also provide a good opportunity for the rookies to get some quality time in their first NBA game.
The Milwaukee Bucks are the second team the young Sixers will see, and this will be a great early season test against one of their fellow NBA bottom-feeders banking on potential over ready-to-compete talent. With guys like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker and Larry Sanders, there's more than enough skill for the Sixers' youth to have their entry to the NBA comparisons against.
This game will be all about Nerlens Noel. In only his fourth NBA game, he'll get to go up against what is the best center the NBA has to offer in Dwight Howard. Although nothing will change overnight, this will be a great early season test against a perennial All-Star to show Noel how far he has to go before he's on the same level as the NBA's finest post presences.
Just as with the Sixers, the Orlando Magic are a team with very little proven talent and a nice-sized handful of guys with upside and inexperience. There will be matchups across the floor on both sides that should provide a great learning experience for the Sixers as they face another group of young guys with skill but no solid formation.
Finally, the 76ers will have the toughest test of their season thus far as they will welcome the Chicago Bulls to the Wells Fargo Center for their sixth game of the season. For a team as a whole that's looking to produce young superstars and eventually become a championship caliber squad, there will be no greater comparison than to a Bulls team built on defense, teamwork and hustle.
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