An offseason as quick as Ben Simmons on a fastbreak is almost over.
Training camp is officially upon us and the first official practice just happened on Sunday, December 6th.
The first preseason game for the Sixers is on December 15th against the Celtics.
With plenty of basketball activity starting as we move closer to the season, there are lots of quotes and pieces of information to dissect.
Which of these has been the most important thus far?
Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid
In Ben Simmons’ first media availability of the season, he was of course asked about his relationship with Joel Embiid. Ben joked around and said that he’s actually moving in with Joel, though the joke was told so casually nobody could really tell if this was actually happening or not.
Later in the interview, Simmons had this to say about Joel Embiid:
“I think our relationship is great. We’ve been definitely way closer. If we get to work out, we’re working out together. As a group, if we got to play 2-on-2, I want him on my team and working together and going from there.”
The most important piece of information from that quote is that the two have been working out together. Though we can’t be certain, in previous off-seasons it seemed that Ben and Joel spent their summers individually working out with their respective trainers and didn’t see much of each other.
The more the two can work together throughout the year, the better their understanding of one another will be in-game.
Doc Rivers has had a few different media sessions and there have been lots for him to talk about.
Hearing Rivers talk about the first practice and how Joel Embiid looked made for some early optimism and excitement.
“We just went almost two and a half hours and Joel took very few breaks. We go from action to action. I want our players to feel that. The fact that he didn’t feel the need to take a lot of breaks is a good sign for us.”
It’s nice for fans to hear a little bit about how the practices are being run rather than just hearing that Joel “is in good shape.”
It’ll be interesting to see how many specifics we get on the practices moving forward and which other players start to stand out. Everyone being in great shape early on is more important now than it ever has been.
Optimism was a word that got thrown around a few times after the first practice.
Rivers talked about how important it is for the team to have that optimism and excitement heading into the season. Seth Curry had similar things to say:
“It has to be the right attitude. That’s one of the things he (Doc Rivers) stressed early on in practice, is that guys need to bring the right attitude to the table every day as far as working hard, sacrificing a little bit of themselves. Not every team comes into the camp, honestly, with the attitude that ‘We can win a championship.’ We’re actually one of those teams. That optimism has to show every day.”
Doc Rivers seems to have a pretty clear message to the team early on. Every team has something to prove and there should be excitement in that. The roster that this team has should provide all the players and fans with optimism for the upcoming season.
With just over a week until the first preseason game, there should be a lot more quotes, videos, and news coming out in the coming days. Like Doc Rivers has preached early on, there should be optimism for this team. It already feels like the team is operating in a different environment than in years past. With a whole new coaching staff and more complimentary supporting players, this team has a completely changed mindset heading into the season.
The excitement is palpable for the new-look Philadelphia 76ers and the season ahead.
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