Updated: Oct 20
In the 126-117 opening night loss to the Boston Celtics, the 76ers bench, which had so much promise coming into the year, combined for a mere 11 points. Nothing like the taste of disappointment. The art of overhyping something to an extent to where mortification is inevitable has occurred again to our beloved Sixers.
Stat of the night: The bench unit as a whole vs Boston had just two more points (11) than personal fouls (9)
Starting the season 0-1 in a loss to the Celtics is less than ideal, no doubt, but the way Philadelphia gave this game up is demoralizing. Yes, you can come up with some other reasons why this game didn't go the 76ers way, but to me, this is the most glaring.
De'Anthony Melton, who indeed is here to be a defense first type of player, struggled to find his offensive footing. I'm starting with Melton because of his sheer lack of aggression on both sides of the court. Again, he didn't shoot bad, but he also didn't really shoot at all. 2-4 from the field is still 50%, but as a 6th man you have to be willing to be more aggressive in the offensive half court set.
As I said in my preview article, the less Georges Niang does, the better. He did too much tonight and it showed on the court and the box score. No need for Niang to dribble the ball more than five times a game. He is here to shoot threes. He was 1-3 from behind the arc tonight. When your soul purpose of being in the game is to make the 3-pointer consistently and in 12 minutes, you attempt 3 shots from deep, something isn't adding up.
Danuel House didn't look like a NBA player out there, plain and simple. He never could make his mark on the game and didn't look like he could keep up with the pace of play. He had a whopping 1-1-1 stat line, including being 0-2 from the field. He needs to get in better game shape before he can truly be a factor on this team.
Montrez Harrell didn't have that dawg in him tonight. Some bad shots and lackluster defense was apparent. He just needs more reps with this team and he will improve coming off the bench, but tonight was not that night.
Matisse Thybulle played for less than a minute as the 3rd quarter expired, probably the best thing Doc did all night long.
All in all, this team will go through a lot of growing pains. And quite frankly a huge problem with the bench tonight was the terrible spacing, which should improve throughout the season as the offense progresses. But still, the Sixers bench just didn't show up at all tonight, and it is the main reason this defeat took place. Wasting a 35-point effort from James Harden is flat-out embarrassing.