Hot Shooting Sixers Fall to Thunder 103-99

Updated: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 08:30 PM

The Philadelphia 76ers connected on 12 of 30 three point attempts as they fell to Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder 103-99 in Manchester, United Kingdom.

I’ll repeat that again: The Philadelphia 76ers connected on 12 of 30 three point attempts, led by Michael Carter-Williams (3-5) and Tony Wroten (4-8), with James Anderson (2-5),Thaddeus Young (2-2), and Khalif Wyatt (1-3) chipping in as well.

Thaddeus Young made only two three-pointers in the previous 2 seasons combined.

Shooting is a major concern for all of those players, so tonight’s performance is noteworthy if for no other reason.

I’ve mentioned before how much Carter-Williams and Wroten have struggled shooting, especially Wroten.  There is a table in the previously linked article that is not pretty for either player.  There’s obviously a heck of a lot more basketball to be played, and it’s far too early to expect Brett Brown and his player development-focused staff to have made major inroads fixing their shots, but It’s nice to see the ball go through the hoop regardless.

Tony Wroten was the player of the game for the Sixers, scoring 20 points in only 21 minutes off the bench, shooting 5-13 from the field, 4 for 8 from the three point line, and getting to the line 6 times.  The major concerns he’s always had (shooting and playing in control) are still there, but there’s something to work with if he can figure those aspects of the game out.  He also made a couple of nice passes, another aspect of his game that could be of value should he pan out.

Evan Turner also had himself a good game, scoring 19 points (7-16 shooting), with 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and only 1 turnover.  Had he made his free throws (he shot 5-10 from the line) he would have had an even better night statistically.

From the looks of things, Turner looks to be in significantly better shape.  Whether or not that will allow him to be a significantly better player remains to be seen, but he seems to be getting into the paint a little bit easier, and didn’t seem fatigued today, even late into the fourth quarter.

Michael Carter-Williams hit three three-pointers early in the game, then was relatively quiet for the rest, scoring only 2 points in the second half.  He has so far been fairly inconsistent in just about every phase of the game, not all that unexpected for a rookie point guard.  This, to me, has been especially true on the defensive end, where he has gone from showing great attention, fighting through screens, and peskering his man on the perimeter to his attention waning and getting smothered by screens.  I would expect this will be a very up and down season for Carter-Williams, and to not get too caught up in the game to game fluctuations.

I don’t want to try to take too much away from early preseason games, but the overall effort level has been good, and the “watchability” has been far more than I expected going in.

Overall, the Sixers have given good effort in both games so far, have gotten into the paint, avoided taking too many long two’s, and played tough defense.  If the Sixers could somehow dial up 82 of games like this, it would be much more enjoyable than many of Sixers fans expected.


Derek Bodner

Derek Bodner is a credentialed reporter covering the Philadelphia 76ers independently for He is also a college basketball scout for, and an NBA contributor for The Ringer. Contact Information: / @DerekBodnerNBA

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  • sean962

    My only thought would be if the Sixers could somehow dial up 10-12 games like this, it would be much more enjoyable than many Sixers fans expected. That being said, this was a tremendously fun game to watch live. There’s something to be said for watching tryouts and rookies make mistakes and play bad basketball. It’s FAR from pretty, but I’d much rather this than watching another retread like Royal Ivey or a Tony Battie.

  • I guess I’m a tiny bit concerned that if they consistently play at this level, they might win a few games here and there.

    Seriously, though, I’m happy to see good effort, which is all I ask for from them this year. Play hard, work on their games, as players and as a team. I’m pretty sure they just don’t have enough talent to untank.

    • tk76

      ‘m fairly confident that they won’t get calls and their 3PT shooting will be worse once the real games start. On the flip side, their is huge room for improvement in their team and individual defense- especially once Noel comes back. Lawal and Noel could be a good defensive tandem (who never score but also don’t demand the ball and are able to finish off of o Boards and guard penetration.) It could be reminiscent of Ratliff and Hill.

  • Also, slightly off-topic, but how did Evan Turner make it into the top 150 players in the NBA?

    • tk76

      Raw counting numbers- that can only go higher this season. 16/6/5 on poor efficiency here we come.

  • PhillyFastBreak

    With such a thin frontcourt right now due to Noel rehabbing and the Moultrie injury, should we expect to see a lot of small-ball lineups from the team this season? I know they’ve been throwing the ‘Turner at the 4’ units out there from time-to-time in these first couple games to some success.
    Also, Tony Wroten! For whatever flaws his game may have, he at least always looks like he’s giving it his all out there (much like Thad Young over all these years). I’ll take watching those type of players over serial complainers like Turner or disinterested gunners like Nick Young any day.

    • Derek Bodner

      At the beginning of camp, I would have thought we’d see less. Not sure coach Brown wants to run small ball. At this point, I’m not sure there’s much option.

  • Xsago

    A few observations of the first 2 preseason games:

    – We’ll see about the accuracy but the form of both MCW’s and Wroten’s jumpers looks pretty good. Their jump shots might be realistically fixable
    – The frequency of the long twos have diminished a great deal, but Hawes, Turner and Thad have all had their share of attempts. Is it because they learned under Collins or because that’s who they are and Collins scheme had little to do with it?
    – Can Turner keep getting to the line? That was always the solution to his inefficiency. If he can, he’s suddenly a solid rotation player for a good team.
    – Is it just me or Thad has improved his handle a bit?
    – I was pleasantly surprised by both Wroten and MCW. Wroten looks like a legitimate talent and i was impressed with the way MCW kept calm and didn’t force things. He made the simple passes and limited his turnovers. I thought he’d be lost early on, but he looks capable of running a team.
    – Anderson can be a rotation player in the NBA. Morris might get there as well.

    All in all, the Sixers will still be terrible due to turnovers, lack of rebounding and lack of shooting but at least they won’t be dull to watch like the Sixers of the past few years.

    • thad might of improved his handle but it still isnt good and i dont want him dribbling often

    • Derek Bodner

      1) My focus isn’t so much their upper body motion but their lower body. To me, it’s all about balance for both of them.
      2) With Thad, I think he had him alter his shot chart. With Turner, the long two was very much the basis of his game in college.
      3) Eh, we’ll see.

  • ojr107

    MCW So far.

    16 assists- 1 turnover.