GRADES: Philadelphia 76ers 106, Detroit Pistons 86

Joel Embiid | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Joel Embiid | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia 76ers rolled Detroit in their second to last preseason game. Tonight was another showing of how disruptive they can be on defense, and forceful on offense.

Preseason games should be taken with a grain of salt, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find clues. The Philadelphia 76ers have yet to show us they won’t stay true to their desired identity of “bully ball defense and smash mouth offense”.

Both teams were shorthanded, but the Sixers set the tone of the game from start to finish. The Sixers stifled the Pistons to the tune of 86 points on 32.6-percent shooting. The Sixers pulled down 19 more rebounds than the Pistons, while accumulating nine steals and 15 blocks.

The Sixers were without Ben Simmons, James Ennis, and Al Horford. Matisse Thybulle and Furkan Korkmaz joined the starting lineup while Josh Richardson ran the point, and Tobias Harris slid up to power forward. The team had little issue making up for the absence of three key players.

Tobias Harris consistently drew mismatches on smaller players and Joel Embiid did whatever he pleased against a frontcourt without Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin. There isn’t much intrigue about the ability of the starting five, but tonight we learned more about members of the bench .

Kyle O’Quinn led the team in rebounds by grabbing 11 boards and showed some of his coveted toughness and facilitating by dishing five assists. Trey Burke showed some creativity off the dribble and Shake Milton flashed some two-way promise after a shaky summer. Both players are vying for a piece of the second unit rotation.

Former Sixer Christian Wood led Detroit in scoring with 19 points. Tony Snell dropped 17 points and the only other Piston that hit double figures was Luke Kennard. Detroit had 12 turnovers and had tons of empty possessions.

SHAKE MILTON. B. <strong>19 min | 6 pts | 1 reb | 0 ast | 1 stl | 1 blk | 2 TO | 3-5 FG | 0-1 3PT | 0-0 FT | 1 PF | +2</strong><p>Shake Milton had a solid game off the bench. His statline isn’t jumping off the page but Shake looked sharp on defense and looked comfortable in the flow of the offense. He teamed up with Matisse Thybulle for a double team steal and blocked former MVP <a rel=. SG. Philadelphia 76ers

B. <strong>26 min | 11 pts | 5 reb | 6 ast | 1 stl | 0 blk | 2 TO | 4-12 FG | 1-4 3PT | 2-3 FT | 1 PF | +5 </strong><p>Josh Richardson was handed the keys to the car by Brett Brown. J-Rich was the lead initiator with Ben Simmons out. The offensive flow wasn’t quite the same without Simmons, but Richardson looked comfortable. He doesn’t have the dynamic passing ability as the All-Star guard, but he can clearly suffice as a point guard. Richardson can breakdown defenses off the dribble and make the right play. He’s shaping up to be one of the most fun players on the roster.</p>. PG. Philadelphia 76ers. JOSH RICHARDSON

B+. 22 min | 24 pts | 8 reb | 0 ast | 0 stl | 1 blk | 2 TO | 8-18 FG | 0-4 3PT | 8-8 FT | 2 PF | +6<p>Joel Embiid played like Drummond was actually guarding him. He was getting off any look he wanted and was drawing fouls with ease. <a rel=. C. Philadelphia 76ers. JOEL EMBIID

SF. Philadelphia 76ers. MATISSE THYBULLE. A-. <strong>25 min | 7 pts | 6 reb | 1 ast | 4 stl | 2 blk | 2 TO | 2-5 FG | 1-3 3PT | 2-2 FT | 0 PF | +7 </strong><p>Matisse Thybulle is looking better than he was ever advertised. Thybulle plays like his hair is on fire. He is always moving and engaged. Thybulle was a heat-seeking missile on defense. His hands and anticipation are impeccable. Offensively he was cutting and moving with integrity leading to a back-cut dunk and a step-back three. If Philadelphia isn’t in love with him yet, they will be soon.</p>

A. <strong>12 min | 13 pts | 4 reb | 0 ast | 0 stl | 5 blk | 0 TO | 6-7 FG | 0-0 3PT | 1-1 FT | 1 PF | +10  </strong><p><a rel=. C. Philadelphia 76ers. NORVEL PELLE

Brett Brown said earlier that the gym will speak to him (yes he actually said that). Well the gym has been pretty vocal so far. A slimmer Embiid looks to be fresh and quick, the new veteran additions have all filed their roles, and Matisse Thybulle looks to be light years ahead of where we expected him to be. The Sixers have cruised through their preseason schedule thus far with brute strength and dazzling finesse

The preseason is never the most reliable indicator, but it looks like the Sixers will be able to play a 10-11 man rotation. This is the deepest Sixer team Brett Brown has ever had at his disposal and he looks to have his finger on the pulse.

Next. 5 opponents fans will actually cheer for. dark

The Sixers will look to remain unbeaten as they take on Washington Friday night in their preseason finale.