Pros and Cons: Sixers vs. Nets
Isaiah Joe started at point guard.
Adam Aaronson, whose legal name is Sixers Adam (@SixersAdam on Twitter), covers the Sixers for The Rights To Ricky Sanchez. He has been legally banned from covering the team in person, and when that ban was set to be lifted, Covid-19 struck. He believes cantaloupe is the best food in existence, and is brought to you by the Official Realtor of The Process, Adam Ksebe.
Another night of preseason basketball is in the books, as the Sixers faced the Kyrie Irving-less Brooklyn Nets. Let’s talk Pros and Cons!
Pro: Furkan Korkmaz, initiator?
With (takes a deep breath) Tobias Harris, Ben Simmons, Tyrese Maxey, Seth Curry, Shake Milton and Matisse Thybulle all out due to injury, the Sixers were left with few perimeter options. The result: a tag team of Korkmaz and Isaiah Joe being the primary initiators of offense.
Korkmaz and Joe got the job done. Korkmaz flashed skills I didn’t know he had. He was making advanced, forward-thinking reads with the ball in his hands, which on top of his consistent shooting ability gives him the full package as far as an offensive spark plug goes. At this point, I think you can make an argument that Korkmaz is the most important perimeter reserve on this team. His offensive repertoire has become even more useful on a Sixers team starving for perimeter creation.
We’ve talked about Joe ad nauseum here at The Ricky, between myself and Mike O’Connor, but it’s worth mentioning that he once again impressed on both ends of the floor. His case to make the rotation is becoming ironclad.
Con: Point guard
There weren’t many negative things to focus on tonight, so I’ll take this opportunity to point out what became obvious tonight: the Sixers’ depth at point guard is shoddy at best. With Maxey and Milton out, the Sixers were left with rookie Jaden Springer and training camp body Shaquille Harrison.
The Sixers leaned on Joe and Korkmaz out of desperation, and it showed that without Ben Simmons around, things can get dicey fast at the point guard position. We’ve seen how poor Milton’s bad stretches are, and we know that Doc Rivers’ confidence in Maxey has not always been there.
Tonight highlighted not just an issue with depth, but also just how much the Sixers will be relying on the pair of Milton and Maxey to give them quality point guard minutes.
Pro: Andre Drummond developing chemistry
The most important aspects of Andre Drummond’s job in Philadelphia will be defending, protecting the rim and rebounding. But he showed that he may have some offensive utility outside of the occasional finish around the rim.
Ever since the beginning of Joel Embiid’s career, the Sixers have run plenty of dribble hand-offs to allow their shooters to get open and space the floor for Embiid (and Simmons).
Joe and Korkmaz were both great tonight, but you can give an assist to Drummond, who did an excellent job running DHOs with those two.
Drummond isn’t much more than a screener and roller on offense, but tonight he showed what chemistry can help you do. Drummond clearly has a rapport with both Joe and Korkmaz, and it added an interesting dimension to the offense.