Key takeaways from the 76ers’ 110-89 loss Wednesday night to Memphis at the Wells Fargo Center.
1. The Sixers might want to give Joel Embiid the contract extension he covets. Yes, folks can argue that the preseason opener was just a dress rehearsal and the first game for Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz. Embiid, who’s getting back in shape from left knee surgery, sat out the game. It became obvious that the Sixers will struggle without their franchise center.
2. Simmons showed why the Sixers have anointed him as one of their cornerstones. He had a hand in their first six baskets with two layups and four assists en route to finishing with 6 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds in 21 minutes, 55 seconds. Simmons saw the floor well, and some of his passes were highlight-reel worthy. However, he wasn’t as effective when the Grizzlies sagged off him in the second half.
3. The Sixers needed to get more involved as a unit. Simmons was fun to watch, and his teammates did a lot of watching. There was a lot of standing around when he had the ball. The Sixers need more ball movement to keep squads honest.
4. Jahlil Okafor looked good. The Sixers backup center scored 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting. He had six rebounds and two blocked shots. That was a positive for the Sixers whether they want to keep or trade him.
5. Fultz had a tough time finishing. The first overall pick made his first shot – a layup – with 7:29 left in the first quarter. He went on to miss nine straight before scoring on a layup with 6:32 remaining in the game. Fultz scored four points on 2-for-13 shooting.