The last time we saw the Philadelphia 76ers play a meaningful basketball game, the hearts of fans hoping for the Sixers to make a deep playoff run broke. Ex-Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard’s four-bounce buzzer-beater knocked Philly out of the playoffs, setting in motion an offseason that saw the team revamp its starting lineup. With new, albeit talented, players, it might take some time for this team to come together. But if they click, the sky might be the limit. The Sixers open their season tonight against the Celtics.

And in other news, Pennsylvania looks poised for major reforms to its election system. Also, a trans inmate shared his story with The Inquirer about his experience at Philadelphia’s only female jail.

As the Philadelphia 76ers open their 2019-20 NBA season tonight against the Celtics, they have their sights set on bringing an NBA title back to Philly. But the team with the biggest starting lineup in the NBA will have to work through some growing pains. One key question: Will the playing styles of the team’s top players mesh?

And, they’re not the only franchise with high expectations this season. In their own conference, contenders have retooled, and the Sixers will have to go through the reigning league MVP and NBA champs.

But if things are going to end up right for the Sixers this season, it’ll depend on their stars. By now, you know about Joel Embiid (and his health), Ben Simmons (and his “shooting”), and Tobias Harris (and his scoring role). But what roles will new additions Al Horford and Josh Richardson play?

Throughout the season, we’ll be following those storylines and more with our brand-new Off the Dribble newsletter, covering all things Sixers. You can hop on the bandwagon to get exclusive behind-the-scenes reporting, insight, and analysis by signing up.

As a transgender man, Zack was frightened after a fight with his boyfriend led to him being put in jail. He was afraid of what the guards might do to him. Zach is now in state prison after he was locked up in Philadelphia’s only female jail. While there, he said he faced a series of dehumanizing abuses.

Records show that officers gathered around at breakfast to laugh at Zach’s beard. One refused to refer to him as a man. Another denied him shoes as punishment for sticking to his identity, according to a lawsuit Zack filed against the Philadelphia Department of Prisons. He also alleges that he was sexually assaulted and subjected to an illegal genital search. Prison officials deny that guards and medical officials abused Zack, but settled the lawsuit this year.

What you need to know today

  • There’s been a break in the shooting death of 2-year-old Nikolette Rivera. Law enforcement officials report investigators have a suspect in custody.
  • Gov. Tom Wolf and Republican lawmakers struck a deal that could bring the biggest reforms in decades to Pennsylvania’s election system.
  • What are the chances Pennsylvania actually passes its latest abortion bill, which would outlaw them after a fetal heartbeat is detected?
  • A high-ranking Comcast exec is suing the company. While serving as the media giant’s “key contact” to the LGBTQ community, he claims he was discriminated against for being gay, called derogatory names, passed over for promotions, denied equal pay, and more.
  • Philadelphia City Council yesterday took its first step toward banning single-use plastic bags. But what’s the fate of paper bags?
  • Two Atlantic City murder cold cases investigations had gone “dormant” under previous prosecutors, according to current Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner. Yesterday, Tyner announced arrests in two slayings, including one from 23 years ago.
  • Almost 90% of women who didn’t use opioids in the hospital after a cesarean delivery were sent home with a prescription, despite there being a program meant to reduce over-prescription, according to new research.
  • City Council also approved a landlord-friendly amendment to a bill that aims to combat Philly’s bedbug infestations. Critics are not happy with it as tenants might have to take on some more financial responsibility in “the most infested bedbug city in the country.”

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

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That’s Interesting

Opinions

Boomer bust
David Fitzsimmons/The Arizona Star
Boomer bust

“I wasn’t sure what to expect when I walked into police headquarters. I knew what I wanted, and what these babies deserved — to have at least one public official who walked into that room to be visibly reeling with rage at the state of our city, to slam a fist on the podium and cry out, “No More!” and really mean it, and then get to work to make that happen." — columnist Helen Ubiñas writes about the response to the shootings of two young children in Philadelphia.

  • Rep. Jeff Van Drew, a Democrat representing New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District, and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, a Republican representing Pennsylvania’s 1st Congressional District, agree that protecting national parks should be a priority.
  • Antionette Kraus is the director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network and a member of the Inquirer’s Health Advisory Panel. She writes about Pennsylvania lawmakers potentially getting rid of some protections that could make ambulance bills even more painful than they already are.

What we’re reading

Forrest Theatre Chief Usher Tanya Heath leaps into action organizing and directing about 200 women who will use the restroom during the short 20-minute intermission in Hamilton at the theatre in Phila., Pa, on October 11, 2019. Heath has delegated herself to bathroom duty, telling the women to serpentine the line, watching her stopwatch app on her iPhone and calling out how much time is left like it's a race, encouraging the women that they can do it.
ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer
Forrest Theatre Chief Usher Tanya Heath leaps into action organizing and directing about 200 women who will use the restroom during the short 20-minute intermission in Hamilton at the theatre in Phila., Pa, on October 11, 2019. Heath has delegated herself to bathroom duty, telling the women to serpentine the line, watching her stopwatch app on her iPhone and calling out how much time is left like it's a race, encouraging the women that they can do it.

Your Daily Dose of | Bathroom Breaks

Some of the highest drama moments during showings of Hamilton have been during intermissions. Can 200 women make it through 16 stalls in a 20-minute break? The first song of the second act is called “What’d I miss.” And it’s one usher’s job to make sure the answer is “nothing.”