The Sixers are back and hopefully here to stay. After winning their first scrimmage against the Grizzlies, the Sixers came back two days later to blow what was at one point a 24 point lead, to the Thunder.
Typical, right?

After a long break from basketball, it’s nice to just see red, white, and blue on the floor, but still frustrating nonetheless. Here are some things that I noticed from watching the scrimmages.

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Ben Simmons looks GOOD.

How can I not start with this? Simmons’ entire career has been defined by his jump shot or lack thereof. Ben Simmons took 2 corner 3 pointers in the Sixers return to play, making one of them.

I never thought I’d see Ben so willing to shoot the ball, and the league should be absolutely terrified if this is the new Ben Simmons.

Simmons is even tugging on the heartstrings of Philadelphian’s all over the world by saying he wanted the NBA to add fake booing to pair with the fake cheering.

Simmons says:

“If we’re not playing hard, we want to hear those boos. But you can’t put a fan on a screen that replicates a ‘real’ Sixers fan. We’re one of a kind.”

He looks as healthy as ever after sustaining a lower back injury that was thought to keep him out for the year before the hiatus and has seemed to fit in nicely at the 4.

He’s made some dazzling plays and was one assist away from a triple-double in Sunday’s game against the Thunder.

Same Old Joel Embiid

I wrote a piece not too long ago about how Joel Embiid will be in shape and healthy when the NBA resumed. Well, that didn’t last long. After so much ranting and raving the Sixers big man was held out of the game against the Thunder due to right calf discomfort which he began experiencing in their first game back.

This has been the story of Embiid’s career so far and will continue to be if he can not figure out how to stay healthy. I understand that this was probably just a precaution, but still a bad look to start the season back out. If the Sixers plan on making any noise in the NBA Playoff Bubble, Embiid needs to be healthy.

Shake Milton and Furkan Korkmaz

Other than Ben Simmons, the two players that stood out to me were starting point guard, Shake Milton (sounds weird right?), and Furkan Korkmaz.

Milton looks like he hasn’t missed a beat. He is nothing but confident when shooting from deep and can create his own shot which is something that the Sixers have been missing for as long as I can remember. Shake Milton, dollar for dollar, is the Sixers best player right now and a crucial part of their plans for this year and the future.

Furkan Korkmaz has also stood out. “Furky from Turkey” has been deadly from three-point range and has improved lightyears on defense which will keep the Sixers in games down the stretch. It is a toss-up for most improvement between the two and it is nice to see a Sixers player develop for once. Their play going into the playoffs should be fun to watch.

No Fans Are Weird, but Kind of Fun

Basketball in 2020 is definitely a strange thing to watch and something we will hopefully never see again. No fans are something that I am slowly but surely getting used to after this weekend of baseball and basketball, but it is still really awkward.

Something that I thought of when professional sports were first talking about coming back is that we will be able to hear players during games, which could be… interesting. I was right, it’s pretty fun to hear the benches yell after a bad call by the referee or a good play made by a teammate. It might not always be the most family-friendly, but it’s still fun nonetheless.

Not to mention, the Sixers bench went viral on Twitter this weekend after their free-throw routine!

I’m really happy that sports are back, but let’s not forget there is still a championship to be had this year.

Whether or not we think the Sixers have a legitimate chance of winning a championship this season is a different discussion.

Keep an eye out for these takeaways when the Sixers take the floor on Saturday, August 1st against the Pacers.

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