Rapid Reacts GM1: Some Things To Smile About

Philadelphia 76ers 95 FinalRecap | Box Score 112 Boston Celtics
Nerlens Noel, C 35 MIN | 5-13 FG | 4-7 FT | 12 REB | 2 AST | 3 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 14 PTS | -2 +/-Noel kept his great preseason game rolling last night with an agressive effort on the offensive end that led to a double-double. He even displayed the ability to use his off-hand with a lefty flip hook attempt in the 1st half. Last night’s effort by #4 has me excited for this season.

Jahlil Okafor, C 38 MIN | 10-16 FG | 6-6 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 8 TO | 26 PTS | -9 +/-A blazing hot start 5 for 5 from the field led to the best scoring rookie debut by a 76er since Allen Iverson. I’ll take that from Jah, especially afer missings much of the preseason with nagging injuries. I loved that he was perfect from the FT line last night.

Isaiah Canaan, PG 38 MIN | 6-14 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 18 PTS | -3 +/-Canaan hit several big threes last night, but we know that he can shoot. What concerns me is the low assist number (2) and his inability to run the team in the half court last night.

Hollis Thompson, SG 36 MIN | 3-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 9 PTS | -15 +/-An 0-9 start to this game had me laughing out loud. As I said on Twitter last night — I’ll never undestand this franchise’s infatuation with #31.

JaKarr Sampson, SG 27 MIN | 5-9 FG | 3-3 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 13 PTS | +1 +/-When Sampson slows down a little bit and lets the game come to him he could be really good. His 5 point outburst in the 3rd Q was encouraging that he may actually take that step forward this season.

Richaun Holmes, PF 6 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -4 +/-Welcome to the League kid…

Christian Wood, PF 6 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -12 +/-The feel good stroy of the Sixers’ training camp looked completely over matched in limited minutes last night.

Jerami Grant, SF 27 MIN | 2-7 FG | 5-5 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | -22 +/-Grant wasn’t awful last night, but Brown will need better shooting out of his key reserve if the Sixers are to remain competitive this season.

T.J. McConnell, PG 28 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 4 PTS | -19 +/-TJ was steady last night in his rookie debut and did a nice job of finding open shooters. His assist numbers would have been much better if his teammates could knock down open shots. I especially like the way he never gives up his dribble.

Nik Stauskas, SG DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | +/-Back spasms? Reallly? C’mon Sixers medical staff, you can do better than that…

Brett Brown
I have to tip my cap to Brown for last night…After a preseason during which none of key players had extended minutes on the court together, Brown had this team ready to take on the heavily favored Celtics in the season opener.

Six Things We Saw last night…

1)  If you take of your Sixers colored shades for a second and analyze Jah’s debut last night, you should notice two things…Jah had 8 TOs last night and what was alarming to me is how frequently defenders simply ripped the ball from him. The other item of concern is that his speed up and down the court is embarrassing. He was frequently the last man down the court on defense.

2)  The Sixers reserves were awful last night.  Forget that they shot 5-17 from the field (29%). What had me throwing the remote was the 2nd unit looked lost in the half-court sets and struggled on defense as well.  The 76ers led 26-19 after the 1st Q.  The reserves gave up a 17-2 run to start the 2nd Q and that buried the Sixers

3)  The 76ers had 1 assist at halftime and for the game scored 34 FGs on only 12 dimes. The point guards — Canaan and McConnell combined for 5 assists.

4)  Brett Brown had the following to say about Okafor’s debut: “He has capabilities beyond what I thought He is a low-post, force-type player and he can shoot a 16-footer, he can put it on the floor and make moves facing up. I think he’s comfortable passing and we have to make sure we have better spacing. He can score. He has an instinct for scoring in more versatile ways than I originally expected.”

5)  “Okafor was really hard for us to guard and then Noel had a great impact on the game on both ends,” said Boston Head Coach Brad Stevens. “We went small and doubled [Okafor] quite a bit, but I thought we would mix that in later in the game. He played really well and put us in a bind and made us make quick decisions.”

6)  “I think it was a good start,” Nerlens Noel said. “I think it would have been better if we got the W, but I think we came out here and got a feel for each other. I think we still have a ways to go, but we have a lot of chemistry to build on.”



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