Since October 1st, the Philadelphia 76ers have been back to work preparing for the upcoming season. After assembling a gargantuan roster, Brett Brown has formed a clear top end rotation.  The challenge has been to implement a scheme that balances the defensive potential with continuing to play with the pace and space philosophy of Brett Brown. As the team enters the “dog days” of the preseason, the focus may shift to getting to the season opener safe and healthy. 

Tonights Starters

PG: Josh Richardson 
SG: Matisse Thybulle
SF: Furkan Korkmaz
PF: Tobias Harris
C: Joel Embiid

Deep Bench

With the starting unit established, players like Ben Simmons, Al Horford and James Ennis get the night off against Detroit. The deep bench remains a question as players like Trey Burke and Jonah Bolden fight for position on the final roster. Burke needs to prove he can play efficiently and reliably as a lead guard in the 76ers offense. Bolden needs to prove he can play disciplined defense and stay out of foul trouble. Shake Milton needs to prove he can play a real combo role and knock down shots off ball. Furkan Korkmaz needs to prove his strength and quickness has improved to the point he can be relied upon on both ends of the floor. 

What about Zhaire?

Zhaire Smith, on the other hand, has struggled to see the floor. His production, in limited minutes is causing some fans to express concern. It is important to remember that Smith just turned 20 this past June and is trying to develop into a shooting guard. This may be a case of “talent does not trump time” 

Another Work of Art? 

Matisse Thybulle will look to prove he can continue to be disruptive on the defensive end. So far in 3 preseason games and the intrasquad scrimmage he has been the talk of the team. As the steals and blocks pile up, teams will have to be careful around him. As the season begins and teams gameplan for the rookie, it will be crucial that he continues to develop. So far, the 76ers appear to have gotten a gem late in the first round. 

Brett Brown referred to Thybulle as a thief on Tuesday. “You can be a thief in control and stealthy, or a reckless thief” said Brown. “I’d rather him start as a reckless thief” Brown noted Matisse’s ability to recover from mistakes on gambles as good reason to let him work through the reckless nature from a point of aggression first. 

Brett Brown Pregame 

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