Not that a reminder was necessary, but JJ Redick showed again during Friday’s end-of-practice scrimmage how effective he can be when paired with Joel Embiid.
The two shared the court last year for 1,325 minutes and posted a 12.8 net rating. There are not many players who can make Embiid’s man leave his body, but that’s what Redick got Amir Johnson to do on this play. Redick acted as if he was going to set a middle ball screen for Ben Simmons, then flared to the wing, leaving the white team scrambling, and leaving Embiid with an easy dunk.
JJ Redick with the dish to Joel Embiid in Sixers' scrimmage at end of practice. pic.twitter.com/vk5i097mtV— Noah Levick (@NoahLevick) October 12, 2018
As head coach Brett Brown acknowledged Friday, Fultz doesn’t come close right now to providing that kind of off-ball threat, which is one of the reasons Brown plans to start Redick in the second half of games (see story.)
• Dario Saric, who was rested for the Sixers’ final preseason game with lower-back soreness, said he will be “110 percent ready” for the season opener.
• While the Sixers’ focus is understandably on the Celtics, their first opponent, Brown said Friday he’s more concerned with getting his team to play in a way that will bring late-round playoff success than simply being laser-focused on beating Boston. He named the Raptors, Bucks and Wizards as among the teams that pose a threat in the Eastern Conference.
“It’s not just Boston at all, it really isn’t,” Brown said. “It’s how do you beat good teams late in the year and make a deep run? Of course Boston factors into that, but it’s not all Boston at all.”
• The new officiating points of emphasis continue to be a major point of discussion. After longtime former official Joey Crawford visited the team on Friday, Fultz still wasn’t convinced that he should’ve been in constant foul trouble during the Sixers’ two games against the Mavericks in China, though he know it’ll be important to adapt to the tighter way games are being called.
Fultz had five fouls in last Friday's game and fouled out of the preseason finale.
“I think the refs were calling almost everything, so you have to really try to lock in,” Fultz said. “There was some stuff they made mistakes on and there was some stuff I did foul. Everybody’s adjusting to the new reffing system. That’s all that happened, really, they were just calling a lot of fouls and I got caught on the end of it.”
“We go way back to high school; we played against each other a lot in high school. A lot of people try to make us enemies because of the trade that happened between Boston and Philly, but we’re actually like best friends. But on the court we compete. That’s what anybody does on the court, you compete. But we got a great relationship, like brothers.”
-Markelle Fultz on his relationship with the Celtics’ Jayson Tatum