Embiid inside: The Sixers’ charismatic star spent way too much time playing from the perimeter and hurling threes in his two outings with the team. Against Detroit Joel Embiid returned inside and showed his dominance. The Sixers, as a whole, are better when the big man plays from the low post and Embiid is more efficient. He tallied 30 points against the Pistons.
Saric shows off: Inside shots, hitting from the three, snazzy handles, defensive aggressiveness. Dario Saric showed all that and more right out of the gate Monday night. His performance in the first half against the Pistons was exactly what the Sixers saw late last season and hoped would carry over and grow this season. He finished with 7 points shooting 3-of-6, all of which he collected in the first half.
Jump-shot Simmons: Known for his ability to drive and finish at the rim, Ben Simmons showed that he can also hit the jump shot in the Sixers’ first win. He finished the night with a career-high 21 points as part of his first triple-double (12 rebounds, 10 assists) after three consecutive double-doubles to start his rookie campaign.
Cleaning up: The Sixers were aggressive right out of the gate and played a cleaner game. Before Monday it seemed like they were waiting for the game to come to them, but they came out against the Pistons and took over the contest from the beginning. They were disciplined and making great shot selections. This is the kind of basketball the Sixers need to play if they want to be in the conversation with the Eastern Conference’s elite.
Defense first: When the Pistons staged their comeback in the second half, and the Sixers were having trouble scoring with as much ease as they did in the first half. Philadelphia clamped down defensively. With deflections, steals, and hands in the faces of shooters, the Sixers were able to withstand Detroit cutting the once 21-point lead down to four. The Sixers then turned great defense into good offense, again stretching the lead for their first win of the season.