What’s good, folks?
Well, the 76ers weren’t overly impressive last night. But hey, they’ll tell you a much-needed win is a win no matter how crazy the ending is.
Coach Brett Brown took his starters out with his team leading by 19 points and 2 minutes, 34 minutes remaining. But the Charlotte Hornets pulled within five points before the Sixers escaped with the 114-106 victory at the Wells Fargo Center.
But all that matters to the Sixers (6-3) is that they snapped a three-game losing streak. Next up: a home game vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers tomorrow.
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The Sixers have something in Raul Neto.
The reserve point guard first showed that during the team’s recent road trip and validated it during Sunday night’s victory over the Hornets.
Getting his second straight start in place of injured Ben Simmons (sprained right shoulder), the Brazilian had nine points on 4-for-8 shooting. He also contributed four assists, two turnovers and one steal in 28 minutes, 41 seconds.
Neto is averaging 11 points on 56% shooting, going 5-for-8 on three-pointers, over the last three games. Not bad for a player who really wasn’t in the Sixers’ plans at the start of the season.
“I was ready whenever he called my name,” Neto said, referring to Brown. “I knew we have a team that has a lot of players that can play, a lot of good players. … I have great teammates.”
Simmons is one of those great teammates. The All-Star point guard will be evaluated today regarding his ability to play tomorrow against the Cavaliers (4-5).
Neto will resume his reserve role once Simmons returns. But the fifth-year veteran is making an impression on his teammates and Brown.
“He can shoot,” Brown said. “He actually sees the floor. I was most impressed with his defensive toughness. If you look at his body, he’s got a thick chest. He’s got long arms. I thought he was our best defensive player in Utah [on Wednesday] against some pretty dynamic guards in an otherwise forgettable [first three quarters.]”
Neto had a season-high three steals in that game.
- Sixers-Charlotte best and worst: Sharp-shooting Furkan Korkmaz, a big rebounding night, and looking to cut down the turnovers. Korkmaz scored 17 points and again provided the Sixers with a perimeter option, Marc Narducci writes.
- The Sixers are trying to develop a shooter, and Furkan Korkmaz could be that guy. Against the Hornets, he again looked the part, David Murphy writes.
- Sixers wore down the Hornets in a 114-106 win. Leading by 88-81 after three quarters, the Sixers scored the first seven points of the fourth to get some needed breathing room, Narducci writes.
- What we learned: Matisse Thybulle spent a second straight game on the bench, and other Murphy takeaways from the Sixers’ win over the Hornets.
- Sixers notes: Brett Brown bites his tongue about a missed call in the Denver game.
You kind of have to feel for a guy like Gordon Hayward.
The Boston Celtics forward fractured his left hand while colliding with San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge in Saturday’s Celtics victory. The 29-year-old will see a specialist today to determine whether surgery is necessary.
Hayward was averaging 20.3 points on 56.4% shooting, 7.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists when he was inured. He was completely over the gruesome ankle injury in the 2017-18 season opener against the Cavs. That injury wiped out his season.
Two seasons later, Hayward was playing close to the level that enabled him to become an All-Star during the 2016-17 season. Now, this could be a big blow for him and the Celtics (7-2).
Tomorrow: Cavaliers at Sixers, 7 p.m., NBC Sports Philadelphia and NBA TV
Wednesday: Sixers at Orlando Magic, 7 p.m., NBC Sports Philadelphia
Friday: Sixers at Oklahoma City Thunder, 8 p.m., NBC Sports Philadelphia
Sunday: Sixers at Cavaliers, 3 p.m., NBC Sports Philadelphia
Nov. 20: New York Knicks at Sixers, 7 p.m., NBC Sports Philadelphia
Question: Is this team as good as we all thought? — @Hubbard215 on Twitter
Answer: What’s up, @Hubbard215? I appreciate you asking this question.
Yes, the Sixers are as good as we all thought. But as I wrote Sunday, they have too many new faces to realistically have continuity at this time. So it’s going to take time for the Sixers to play at the dominant level that I know they are capable of.
Right now, guys have to figure out their roles, and the coaching staff needs to figure out who are the go-to players and reliable reserves. Think back to the 2010-11 Miami Heat. There was a lot of buzz surrounding the squad’s acquiring LeBron James and Chris Bosh to play alongside Dwyane Wade. But that squad was 9-8 through 17 games en route to advancing to the NBA Finals.
So it will just take time for everything to come together.