Amidst all the drama to begin this season, fans received a first look of what this year’s Sixers could look like. The Sixers have played three preseason games so far as two of them resulted in losses to the Celtics and a win came last Monday versus the Nets. While they are obviously far from a finished product, there have been some visible positives for a team that certainly needs it.

The new guys in town seem to be A-OK. 

In three preseason games, Kelly Oubre Jr. has been one of the Sixers best players, leading them in scoring in two of the games. Oubre accounted for 18 points (4-6 3Pt) in 22 minutes last Wednesday against the Celtics. In the win against the Nets on Monday, he had 21 points (9-24 FG, 3-9 3Pt) in 33 minutes. Oubre is not hesitant to shoot and his willingness to do so is something the Sixers have needed in recent years. Nick Nurse noted that he’s also been active defensively, stating Oubre has played “more solid and aggressive” defense.

The other main off-season addition for the Sixers, Patrick Beverley, has been solid as well. Defensively, he’s been what we expected, gritty and vocal. During Monday’s game against the Nets he did something that showed fans he’s built for Philadelphia. Beverley was ejected in the fourth quarter for arguing with Ben Simmons. Yes, you read that right. Simmons fouled Sixers rookie Filip Petrušev hard and Beverley wasn’t having it. Petrušev said that he has really benefited from Beverley’s presence, “I’m just thankful for him”. Beverley has taken on a supportive, leadership role and described as one of the favorite teammates by Tobias Harris.

Jaden Springer is ready to get minutes. 

Jaden Springer is looking to compete for a spot on this roster for the first time in his three-year career. In the first three games, Springer has averaged 11.6 points  on 64% shooting, albeit a small sample size. He has come into this season with a confidence that was never there before. He’s caught the attention of the Sixers coaching staff and making a stronger case each game that he’s ready for regular NBA minutes. This may be the year for Springer to take the leap into a full-time NBA role player, or at least he’s proving so in the preseason.

Nurse’s open approach is creating better team chemistry.

Nick Nurse is great at empowering his players and building cultures within his team. He’s open to trying new things and understands that to be a good team you need to play coherently. In 2001, the Sixers were at their best when their role players were seen as equally important as their star. Nurse knows that the role players need to shine in order to have success. Doc Rivers ran the Sixers around Joel instead of with Joel. Especially with the absence of Harden, Nurse can focus on distributing the offense better and allowing the Sixers bench to play more freely.

With the Harden drama still looming and one more practice run, there are definitely some bright spots Sixers fans can focus on as the regular season starts in less than a week.

Photo: Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

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