3 things to watch in Sixers’ first preseason bout with Cavs

Tyrese Maxey, Sixers, Darius Garland, Cavs (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Tyrese Maxey, Sixers, Darius Garland, Cavs (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /

Sixers-Cavs what to watch: First 10

We mentioned the “first 10” ahead of the Brooklyn game on Monday, and then three starters didn’t play. This should be our first chance to get a proper feel for Doc Rivers’ rotation and the players who have separated themselves from the pack in training camp.

This is the deepest team of the Embiid era. Rivers finally has real options. Much has been said about Doc’s inflexibility over the past two years, but this is the first time he has a roster that might actually compel him to get creative. He can go 12 or 13-deep with real proven NBA players.

The first five is set in stone for now: Maxey, Harden, Tucker, Harris, Embiid. There’s nothing to complain about there. The next five, however, could get pretty interesting. There are position battles abound. De’Anthony Melton is locked into the sixth man role, but beyond that, the next four reserve spots could all shift and change depending on who shows up this preseason.

My personal guess would be: Matisse Thybulle, Danuel House Jr., and Georges Niang emerge as the reserve wings — but Furkan Korkmaz, Shake Milton, and Isaiah Joe are in hot pursuit. The backup center battle will be particularly interesting. Paul Reed got the start in Embiid’s place on Monday and seems to have earned some real trust from Doc Rivers. The coach said he will oscillate between Reed, Montrezl Harrell, and P.J. Tucker behind Embiid. Who gets the nod Wednesday night?

This should be an entertaining game against a potential contender in the East. We could learn a lot, even in the preseason setting.

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