76ers

Markelle Fultz feels 'sorry' for teams that have to face him and Ben Simmons

CAMDEN, N.J. — Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz have been waiting for this day. For Simmons, it has been a year since he suffered a season-ending injury in training camp. For Fultz, it has been months since draft night in June.

The rookies went through their first practice of camp on Tuesday. They also got their first experience playing together in a unique guard pairing.

"I love it," Fultz said. "You don't know what's going to happen. He's going to push it sometimes, I'm going to push it. I get to run the floor, I get to set screens for him, he gets to set screens for me. It's unpredictable.

"I feel sorry for the teams that are going to have to go against it."

Simmons (6-foot-10) and Fultz (6-foot-4) both played point guard throughout practice. The Sixers intend to start Simmons at the one. They drafted Fultz first overall because of his ability to complement Simmons off the ball.

Simmons, who suffered a Jones fracture last year, is adjusting to the responsibilities that go along with being the point guard.

"I see a lot more [than last training camp]," Simmons said. "I know where people should be on the floor. I get them into their positions now, so it's a little bit different. I've got to be a vocal leader now. In terms of that, that just takes time."

The Sixers expect a learning curve with such a young backcourt. This was the first step in developing that duo. 

"It was easier than I thought," Fultz said of the first practice. "Going in, I think I put it so hard on myself that it couldn't be nothing but easier. It was still tough, but I still enjoyed it."