Washington Wizards 120, Philadelphia 76ers 115. Arguably the greatest season opening loss in NBA history. I know Sixers head coach Brett Brown is only interested in celebrating actual victories, so he’s not going to be partying after last night, but I am. Because I loved what I saw. And I’m giving y’all one final shot to jump on this bandwagon. Because the Sixers victory train is leaving the station and you best be on it.
Where do you want to start? How about with the man himself, Joel Embiid. 18 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 block in 27 minutes. And I loved every second of it. That’s a dude in his 32nd career NBA game going for a double-double in limited minutes. But he was so good, he went over the Brett Brown minutes plan.
The dude got booed by Wizards fans in the introductions and waved his hands to his ears, asking for more. I couldn’t love him more if he was my own son.
Oh, and then there’s Ben Simmons. 18 poinits, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and a block in his NBA debut. Not bad. Not bad at all. More importantly, he had just one turnover in 35 minutes.
And then he had moments like this with Embiid:
Do you want me to keep running down the box score? Because I will. Markelle Fultz, 10 points in his NBA debut. J.J. Redick, 12 from deep in his Sixers debut. Robert Covington, 29 points on the night. I’m not in the business of making guarantees, but I guarantee you this: if Robert Covington is hitting 7 threes and getting you nearly 30, this team is definitely going to be something special.
How do I know that? Because you were hearing “Trust the Process” chants in Washington.
But enough of my yapping, what did the players themselves think. Joel Embiid: “I think we have a chance. We are still learning how to play with each other. I’m learning how to play with Ben [Simmons]. Gotta find my spots. Same offense, but it’s got a different rhythm. I just think we have to play more together.”
Love hearing that. Because he’s underplaying it. He’s going casual and keeping things quiet. That tells me he knows there’s something good happening.
Ben Simmons: “It felt like I was playing 2K, honestly. Just looking at Joel Embiid out there with the lights on his jersey. I was like, ‘man, I’m actually here.'”
He felt like he was playing 2K and I felt like I was living a dream. This is what I’ve been waiting for. I’ve trusted The Process. I’ve believed in The Process. And now The Process is happening. I’ll admit it. I love this guy. And I love the Sixers.
But as much as I love Embiid, Brett Brown and the Sixers, this is and has always been a big Scott Brooks house: and That doesn’t mean that all the highlights last night were from Philly. They weren’t. The Wizards actually won the game, and John Wall is a bad man. And when he’s on, the Wizards can do bad things.
The Wizards won the game, the Sixers won the night. Embrace The Process. Trust the Process. Love the Process. The Process is Happening.