Ben Simmons’ NBA debut highlights: Wizards spoil the party for 76ers in tight victory

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    Washington Wizards vs Philadelphia 76ers

    2017-18 NBA Season, 19 October 2017

    Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
    Washington Wizards Philadelphia 76ers
    120 SCORE 115
    32 Q1 23
    24 Q2 36
    34 Q3 23
    30 Q4 33

    Match Report:

    The Washington Wizards beat the Philadelphia 76ers 120-115 in Washington DC on Thursday.

    The young 76ers exceeded expectations and gave an experienced Wizards squad all they could handle all the way through the match.

    All eyes were on Philadelphia’s young core of Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Markelle Fultz and Dario Saric heading into this game. All but Saric performed well, with Embiid and Simmons both turning in very positive displays.

    Embiid put up a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds in limited action, while Simmons put up 18 points and 10 rebounds of his own. Both players shot 7/15 from the field.

    Forward Robert Covington was the real star for the Sixers, going 7/11 from three en route to 29 points.

    As expected, John Wall and Bradley Beal carried the Wizards, scoring 28 and 25 points, respectively. Marcin Gortat helped seal the deal with an excellent stat line of 16 points and 17 rebounds.

    The 76ers play in the closing moments of the game will leave them kicking themselves. Down by two with under two minutes to play, Philadelphia turned the ball over on consecutive possessions, effectively robbing themselves of a chance to tie the game.

    I’ll chalk that up to pressure getting the best of a young squad, and I expect to see them improve on late-game decision making as the season progresses.

    Overall, both teams and their fans should be pleased with their performances. Both squads looked like playoff-calibre teams today.

    Match Preview

    The Philadelphia 76ers and the Washington Wizards will open their NBA campaigns and Ben Simmons will make his long-awaited debut at the Capital One Arena on Thursday morning. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 10am AEDT.

    This Eastern Conference matchup will see one of the NBA’s premier talents in Washington point guard John Wall lead his playoff-tested squad against a young Philadelphia team.

    With Wall, a dark-horse MVP candidate, supported by sharpshooters Bradley Beal (guard) and Otto Porter (forward), the Wizards will once again be gunning for a top-three seed in the East.

    Coach Scott Brooks is looking to take his team to new heights in the playoffs and challenge the likes of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors for the conference title.

    Australian basketball fans should be on the edge of their seats for this one as 76ers forward Ben Simmons will take the floor for the first time during the NBA regular season.

    He’ll be in the running for the rookie of the year award and is looking to get off to a fast start after missing the last year with an injury.

    Playing in the point forward role, he will get plenty of opportunities to run the offence and showcase his highly-touted passing abilities.

    Check here for a quick rundown on areas of Simmons’ game that are worth keeping an eye on.

    Simmons is surrounded by intriguing talent, with young star centre Joel Embiid hoping to stay healthy for an entire season and new additions such as rookie guard Markelle Fultz and free agent signee guard JJ Redick ready to make a splash early on.

    While the 76ers added the aforementioned pieces, the Wizards were quiet during the offseason, making few notable moves beyond the signing of backup point guard Tim Frazier.

    This game should be a good litmus test for the unproven 76ers. On paper, Philadelphia has the talent to snatch the seventh or eighth seed in a top-heavy conference this year, but it remains to be seen how well the players mesh together under coach Brett Brown.

    Of course, these high hopes are tied almost directly to Embiid’s health, as the injury-prone centre has shown flashes of MVP-caliber talent and is the focal point of the team’s attack.

    A strong opening night effort against one of the conference’s elite will be a welcome sight for a Philadelphia fanbase that has endured a lot of losing in the past few seasons.

    Philadelphia took last season’s series 2-1 but hasn’t made the playoffs since 2012, while Washington has reached the conference finals in three of the last four seasons.

    Prediction
    If Philadelphia’s new additions play well, the 76ers should be able to put up a fight through the first two quarters. However, they will struggle to contain Wall and Beal. Washington’s experience and proven talent will likely see them pull away in the second half.

    Wizards by 15.

    Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 10am AEDT

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    The Crowd Says (114)

    The Roar Live Blog: Latest comments displayed at the top of the page | Click here to jump to leave a comment

    • 11:07pm
      Mike Julz said | 11:07pm | ! Report

      I’ll give him a solid B for his debut.

      • 11:11pm
        Swampy said | 11:11pm | ! Report

        18, 10 & 5 with one turnover. You’re a hard marker buddy.

        I would give the coach a D though.

        • 5:42pm
          Mike Julz said | 5:42pm | ! Report

          I would’ve given a B+ or maybe A if they had won. But B is not bad for your first game. Compare that to Lonzos debut, he got a D, and I was being generous ?.

    • Roar Pro

      1:25pm
      Johann Leffler said | 1:25pm | ! Report

      Match Report
      The Washington Wizards beat the Philadelphia 76ers, 120-115 in Washington DC on Thursday.
      The young 76ers exceeded expectations and gave an experienced Wizards squad all they could handle all the way through the match.
      All eyes were on Philadelphia’s young core of Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Markelle Fultz and Dario Saric heading into this game. All but Saric performed well, with Embiid and Simmons both turning in very positive displays. Embiid put up a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds in limited action, while Simmons put up 18 points and 10 rebounds of his own. Both players shot 7/15 from the field.
      Forward Robert Covington was the real star for the Sixers, going 7/11 from three en route to 29 points.
      As expected, John Wall and Bradley Beal carried the Wizards, scoring 28 and 25 points, respectively. Marcin Gortat helped seal the deal with an excellent stat line of 16 points and 17 rebounds.
      The 76ers play in the closing moments of the game will leave them kicking themselves. Down by two with under two minutes to play, Philadelphia turned the ball over on consecutive possessions, effectively robbing themselves of a chance to tie the game. I’ll chalk that up to pressure getting the best of a young squad, and I expect to see them improve on late-game decision making as the season progresses.

    • Roar Pro

      12:58pm
      Johann Leffler said | 12:58pm | ! Report

      Simmons’ stats: 18 pts (7/15), 10 reb, 5 ast, 2 stl, 1 blk in the 35 minutes played.

      • Roar Guru

        1:50pm
        Scott Pryde said | 1:50pm | ! Report

        Impressive. Great to see him playing big minutes as well.

        He will win rookie of the year hands down.

        Cheers Johann.

    • Roar Pro

      12:47pm
      Johann Leffler said | 12:47pm | ! Report

      Any thoughts on the game, Roarers?

    • Roar Pro

      12:47pm
      Johann Leffler said | 12:47pm | ! Report

      Some quick notes:

      Philadelphia’s young core played well. Fultz, Embiid, and Simmons all put on positive displays and shot well from the field. Embiid’s minutes restriction may just have cost them a victory.

      Between Covington and Redick, Philadelphia looks to be an improved three-pointing shooting team. They struggled in this area last year so this is a welcome sight. Hopefully it keeps up.

      John Wall did just enough in the second half to put his team over the top. His quickness caused problems for the 76ers defenders as they just couldn’t keep him out of the lane.

      Gortat is so underrated. He is an elite roll man and he displayed that again tonight. Strong defence and dominance on the boards rounded out a great performance from him.

      Overall, this was very promising from Philadelphia. They hung in with one of the better teams in the league and had multiple chances to tie the game late in the fourth if not for some ill-advised passes. If they play at this level all season, a playoff appearance becomes very realistic.

    • Roar Pro

      12:41pm
      Johann Leffler said | 12:41pm | ! Report

      That’s the game. Washington takes it 120 – 115.

    • Roar Pro

      12:39pm
      Johann Leffler said | 12:39pm | ! Report

      Q4 0:02
      Beal heads to the free throw line with the chance to ice the game. He comes through, hitting both shots.

      Wizards – 120
      76ers – 115

    • Roar Pro

      12:37pm
      Johann Leffler said | 12:37pm | ! Report

      Q4 0:02
      Covington tips in a miss and the Wiz call timeout.

      Wizards – 118
      76ers – 115

    • Roar Pro

      12:36pm
      Johann Leffler said | 12:36pm | ! Report

      Q4 0:10
      Redick misses from three and Washington will head to the free throw line. Gortat hits both shots.

      Wizards – 118
      76ers – 113

    • Roar Pro

      12:34pm
      Johann Leffler said | 12:34pm | ! Report

      Q4 0:25
      Beal hits one of two free throws. His shaky foul shooting has helped the 76ers stay in the game here.

      Wizards – 116
      76ers – 113

    • Roar Pro

      12:33pm
      Johann Leffler said | 12:33pm | ! Report

      Down by two, the 76ers turn the ball over twice. Unacceptable play in the final minute of a close game.

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