The Sixers lost a tight battle with the Wizards on Wednesday night in D.C., as Washington edged out the Processors 120-115. While Philadelphia dropped to 1-0 on the season, hanging tight with Washington, now arguably the East’s second best team after Gordon Hayward’s injury, bodes well for them going forward in their quest to return to the playoffs.
Their ability to achieve that goal will likely rest on the shoulders of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, with Markelle Fultz’s development being a close third — although, after the opener it might be whether Robert Covington can continue to be a lights out shooter on a team otherwise lacking on the perimeter.
Embiid picked up Wednesday night where he left off last season prior to his knee injury, scoring 18 points and pulling down 13 boards in a tidy 26 minutes of work. Productivity isn’t the concern for Embiid so much as how much can he play. We saw on Wednesday that his minutes restriction is already something of a guideline not a rule, but they’ll need to maximize his minutes to be a playoff team.