The Philadelphia 76ers will be looking to improve on their season-opening victory when they travel to New York on Saturday night. Philadelphia picked up a 113-107 win over Washington on Wednesday. New York opened the year with a 121-107 loss at Indiana on Wednesday and has been one of the worst teams in the league over the last few seasons.
Sixers coming off season-opening win
Philadelphia is looking for a fresh start this season after failing to make deep playoff runs over the last few years. The organization hired veteran head coach Doc Rivers in the offseason, replacing Brett Brown after a first-round sweep in last year’s playoffs. Rivers is trying to piece something together with some All-Stars who have yet to form the explosive duo that fans are looking for. The 76ers got off to a nice start on Wednesday, beating Washington in a 113-107 final. They have now gone more than a year without losing at home. Philadelphia shot 47.1 percent from the floor, despite only making 8 of 28 from beyond the arc.
The 76ers played well on the defensive end, forcing 20 turnovers and turning them into 24 points. All-Star center Joel Embiid was excellent down the stretch and finished with 29 points and 14 rebounds. He was complemented by shooting guard Shake Milton, who scored 19 points and dished out three assists. Milton became a factor on last year’s team and is hoping to build on it this season. He also had three steals defensively on Wednesday and should be hounding New York’s guards in this game. Point guard Ben Simmons added 16 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. He is the team’s facilitator and is hoping to show some improvement this season.
Knicks shoot well in loss to Pacers
New York’s rebuild continues. The franchise has really struggled to improve over the last few seasons and is not expected to be a playoff contender this year. They hired veteran head coach Tom Thibodeau in the offseason. New York also grabbed Obi Toppin with a lottery pick in the NBA draft. They will be hoping Toppin can combine with RJ Barrett, who was selected third in the draft last year, to create a nice scoring duo. The Knicks got off to a bad start, losing to Indiana by a final score of 121-107 in the season-opener. They were leading by five points at halftime, but Domantas Sabonis’ career-high 32 points were too much to overcome.
The Knicks did have a nice shooting night from the perimeter, knocking down 42.9 percent of their attempts from long range. They really struggled on the glass, though, getting outrebounded by a final tally of 64-44. Barrett led the team in scoring with 26 points on 11 of 15 shooting. He made all three of his attempts from the 2-point line and added eight rebounds. Shooting guard Alec Burks added 22 points in 32 minutes off the bench. Forward Julius Randle had 17 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Toppin was limited to 24 minutes in his debut and only shot 3 of 12 from the floor.