Dwayne Casey thinks the 76ers will be one of the best defenses in the NBA.

“I think they’re really going to be one of the top defensive teams in the league” Dwayne Casey

“Defensively, I thought we were excellent for a large majority of the game.” Brett Brown

On a Tuesday night in the middle of the NBA preseason, The Sixers defeated the Detroit Pistons 106-86. The Sixers were without Ben Simmons, Al Horford and James Ennis. They overmatched a Pistons team that was playing without Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond. The 76ers won handily thanks to a big second half from the second unit. They were not only able to maintain, but even extend the lead that the starting unit gave them. “I was happy with our bench maintaining a standard that we are proud of.”

Norvel Pelle dominates the 4th

As cut downs approach, deep bench players like Norvel Pelle and Raul Neto played well. Pelle dominated in the 4th quarter with 13 points, 5 blocks and 4 rebounds. “I knew once I get a good go, I gotta put on a show.” said Pelle. “A lot of players haven’t played with a guy like me” 

Neto played just 7 minutes of the fourth but was a +10 in those minutes and seemed to calm the team and find others. Neto had 3 assists and created easy baskets for his teammates including Pelle.

“There will be cuts that just have to be made, and the team will be shrunk as we get ready for the Boston Celtics” said Brown after the game when asked about Pelle’s late game play. 

Thybulle continues to Grow

“The lapses that our young guys make on being aware of shooters is part of the growth of the young team.” said Brown, referencing Thybulle’s activity while acknowledging the scouting report side of the game. “KYP, Know Your Personnel” said Brown as an area of growth for Matisse. In his first starting appearance Matisse finished with 7 points, 2 blocks and 4 steals. “He takes pride in trying to be smart, it means something to him to not make mistakes.” said Brown about Thybulle’s approach. 

Embiid Dominates

Joel Embiid is working to ramp up his conditioning but fought for deep post position against a lighter and slighter Detroit front line of Thon Maker and Christian Wood. In less than 24 minutes, Embiid scored 24 points, and collected 8 rebounds. He had deep position multiple times for other easy opportunities. 

Final thoughts

“I though we rebounded well, we had 15 blocked shots.” said Brown about the teams overall performance. The 76ers dominated on the glass 61-42.

When asked about the 76ers defense, Pistons head coach Dwayne Casey said “I think they found something with that. The rookie Thybulle is a heck of a defender. They’ve got a nice defensive team. I’ve been very impressed with their defense.” 

“I think they’re really going to be one of the top defensive teams in the league and, with that, you’ve got to move the basketball.” said Casey. 

Kyle O’Quinn continued his excellent passing with 5 assists to go along with 11 rebounds. “I think he has incredible feet and he is a great passer, who can turn and face and make that elbow jump shot. He’s been a great pickup for us and a great teammate.” said Brown after the game. 

Josh Richardson was steady as the starting point guard, something Brown is clearly viewing as an important role. “He’s lanky and long enough to keep defensive people and other point guards from harassing him” said Brown about his play. “As he gets more comfortable with the verbiage, my words and play calls, that it’s going to get better.” 

Final thoughts about the game from Brown?  “I didn’t see the game get into a disorganized atmosphere.”

And in the preseason, that is really all you could ever ask, isn’t it?