The Philadelphia 76ers and the Dallas Mavericks will meet each other for a Tuesday night scrimmage down in Orlando, Florida. The Tuesday night showdown will conclude the Sixers' three-game exhibition schedule before they resume the 2019-2020 regular season with a matchup against the Indiana Pacers on August 1st.
During the previous two scrimmages, the Sixers' key players put on an impressive performance. In the first half of the first scrimmage against the Memphis Grizzlies, the Sixers' starters managed to notch a 26-point lead. Although the backups allowed Memphis to begin to climb back a bit towards the end, the 76ers came out of the first matchup victorious.
The second scrimmage against the Oklahoma City Thunder had a similar first-half outcome as the Sixers picked up an 11-point lead even without their starting center Joel Embiid. Once again, the trend of allowing the opponent to climb back occurred, though. Except for this time, the Sixers' bench allowed the game to go down to the wire before eventually losing 102-97.
Tuesday's matchup against Dallas could end up being the Sixers' most difficult challenge yet as the Mavericks managed to defeat Philly twice during the regular season. Being that it's the final scrimmage game before meaningful matchups resume, Sixers head coach Brett Brown could leave his key players in for a little while longer to make sure they are in optimal shape before the season's official restart.
Here, you can follow along for live updates and observations before and during the game, beginning with pregame notes from Brett Brown's pregame press conference.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Dallas Mavericks
Time: 8:30 PM EST.
Location: Orlando, Florida
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBA TV
Running Late in Disney...
Brett Brown's pregame press conference scheduled for 6:45 PM EST. is running a little behind as the team's bus in Disney has not arrived to the facility where the scrimmage is playing tonight. It looks like the shuttle services are rusty while getting in their practice reps this week too. We can't blame them -- it's been a while.
Pregame Injury Updates
Joel Embiid (right calf soreness) is OUT for the Sixers on Tuesday
Glenn Robinson III (hip pointer) is OUT for the Sixers on Tuesday
Raul Neto (lower back tightness) is OUT for the Sixers on Tuesday
Brett Brown's Pregame Notes
- Brown opens his press conference up with some heavy praise for Sixers' starting shooting guard, Josh Richardson. "Jo, Ben, Tobias, and Al Horford, they kind of get the lion's share of [attention]," Brown said. "J-Rich, he's so steady. I think J-Rich gets swept under the carpet as it relates to the attention of the question."
- Is chemistry a concern? To no surprise, Brown doesn't see it. While he's aware of Tobias Harris' statements regarding the Sixers' lack of chemistry throughout the year and refuses to fully debunk that notion, Brown doesn't believe there was a severe problem. However, he seems to believe those issues can be patched up in Orlando as his roster grows closer together doing off-court activities.
- On Tuesday night, Brown is focused on the Sixers' defense, which he believes has been "surprisingly elite" through the first two scrimmages. Against Dallas, he anticipates "a thousand threes" (a bit overexaggerated but you get it). "The three-point shot tonight is the thing that stands out the most," Brown claimed.
Sixers' Starting Five
PG: Shake Milton
SG: Josh Richardson
SF: Tobias Harris
PF: Ben Simmons
C: Al Horford
76ers Fans Making Their Orlando Debut?
With no fans allowed in the stands down in Orlando, the NBA is coming up with an innovative way to get fans in the virtual stands. We haven't seen it at all during the first two scrimmages, but you can see some faces on the screens tonight. I wonder if the NBA listened to Ben Simmons and will allow the boos to come out if needed.
And We're Off to a Sloppy Start
Being that the Sixers have had off from playing basketball over the last few months, they were expected to come out onto the court looking kind of rusty. That was evident in the first scrimmage -- but they looked a little bit better during the second scrimmage.
However, they look notably rusty to start the third and final scrimmage as they are shooting just 3-for-14 from the field. Dallas doesn't look as sharp on the offensive side of the ball, either tonight. It's been a sloppy game so far.
Novel Pelle Checks in
With Embiid out on Sunday, Brett Brown elected to go with Norvel Pelle as the backup center coming in for Horford. After looking solid through the first two scrimmages, Pelle comes in first as Horford's backup in the first quarter. At this point, it's clear the rookie has the edge over veteran big man, Kyle O'Quinn.
This is Ugly...
The Sixers are shooting just 3-for-20 with a little over two minutes to go in the first quarter. Furkan Korkmaz threw up an ugly airball, followed by a miss from three. Then Shake Milton launched a three as well and failed to hit the rim. It's definitely not the Sixers' night in the shooting department.
Trey Burke Revenge Game Incoming?
END OF FIRST QUARTER. MAVERICKS LEAD SIXERS 24-13.
Matisse Thybulle is the Real Deal on Defense
A lot of us have sounded like a broken record throughout this mini preseason, but Sixers rookie Matisse Thybulle remains a problem on defense in the best way for Philly. The first-round pick surely didn't miss a defensive step during the hiatus as his suffocating defense has been fully on display these last three scrimmages. He shouldn't have any issues getting on the floor.
Ben Simmons is Getting Frustrated
Simmons isn't looking as sharp on offense as he did during the first two scrimmages. So far, he's just 1-for-7 from the field (no, he hasn't attempted any threes either). The third-year forward is getting visibly frustrated tonight with some calls and no-calls from the refs. Fortunately, Tobias Harris is stepping up for the Sixers.
Joel Embiid Expected to Play Saturday?
During the Sixers vs. Mavericks broadcast, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Marc Zumoff mentioned that Joel Embiid, who is out with calf soreness, is "expected" to play in Saturday's game against the Pacers. For the time being, Embiid is listed as day-to-day. Assuming he'll play Saturday is far from a stretch considering he practiced on Monday.
END OF SECOND QUARTER. MAVERICKS LEAD SIXERS 48-39.
Bricks on Bricks
That first half was ugly for the Sixers. During the last two scrimmages, they entered halftime with a notable lead. Now, they are trailing as the team had a rough offensive outing through the first two quarters against the Mavericks.
Through two quarters, the Sixers have drained just 26-percent of their shots from the field (15-57). Tobias Harris had a slow start but eventually started picking things up becoming the most productive player on the court for the Sixers. Brett Brown surely won't be satisfied with what he witnessed so it will be interesting to see if he keeps starters in for the second half or elects to bench them until Saturday.
Ben Simmons' Night is Likely Over
As mentioned above, I was curious to see if Brown was going to take some of his key starters out to avoid any further injury in a meaningless game. Sixers rookie Matisse Thybulle got the start over Simmons in the second half, indicating that the third-year forward is likely done for the night. Tobias Harris, Josh Richardson, Al Horford, and Shake Milton remain in the game.
The Sixers Took the Lead
Well, would you look at that -- the Philadelphia 76ers managed to catch up and get in front of the Mavericks as Tobias Harris helped his team climb back with 20 points. Dallas hasn't collapsed but the Sixers are making this game far more interesting than it was in the first half.
Tobias Harris has Shown Enough
In Case You Were Wondering, Ben Simmons is OK
After checking in for 19 minutes in the first half, Ben Simmons was not in the Sixers' lineup to start off the second half. I was under the assumption that Brett Brown was playing it safe with Simmons -- and that turns out to be the case. Ben Simmons is not dealing with any setbacks -- the Sixers are just being cautious.
END OF 3RD QUARTER. SIXERS LEAD MAVERICKS 80-74.
What a Quarter for Philly
After shooting terribly from the field in the first half, Tobias Harris and Al Horford brought the Sixers back to life. Harris' night is finished as Brett Brown has clearly seen enough out of him. The max veteran clocked in for just under 30 minutes and knocked down 10 of his 20 field goal attempts for 28 total points.
Meanwhile, Horford picked up 22 minutes as the Sixers' starting center tonight. He totaled for 14 minutes after knocking down six of his 15 shots from the field.
That's All for the Starters
Being that it's the final scrimmage game of the summer, Brett Brown seems to be moving towards keeping his starters and key players off the floor to avoid any injuries. At this point, they only regulars on the floor seem to be Matisse Thybulle and Furkan Korkmaz.
Meanwhile, players such as Alec Burks, Mike Scott, and Kyle O'Quinn are making the most of these minutes before the regular season fires back up. We'll see if these fourth-quarter minutes can help them pick up some minutes in the seeding games. I believe Alec Burks can benefit the most from these last few minutes.
END OF FOURTH QUARTER. GAME IS TIED 103-103
We've Got Overtime Basketball
Yes, the NBA wants the Sixers and the Mavericks play overtime in a meaningless July scrimmage game.
END OF OVERTIME. MAVERICKS DEFEAT SIXERS 118-115.
See You on Saturday!
The Sixers weren't able to complete the comeback, but at least that loss won't count for anything. While it was a rough start for Philly's key rotation, guys like Tobias Harris, Al Horford, Mike Scott, and Kyle O'Quinn put on a promising performance during the second half. The comeback was enough to get the game into overtime. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough for the Sixers to leave scrimmage season with a win.
Finally, the Sixers' 2019-2020 NBA season will restart officially this Saturday, August 1st, with a 7 PM EST. tip-off against the Indiana Pacers. Thanks for following along throughout the three-game scrimmage schedule -- see you on Saturday!
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_