It took a quarter for the wild team of 76s to appear in their first game at the Orlando Bubble Complex.
When the Philadelphia players went off the ground against the Pacers after the first 12 minutes, Joel Embiid and Shake Milton seemed to be having a major argument. It looked like Embiid was saying a magic word or phrase to trigger Milton – the conversation went from civil to almost physical in about a second. Rookie Matisse Thybulle stopped Milton from running at Embiid.
Undoubtedly talented, the ’76s have made things difficult over the past two seasons with Embiid’s unpredictable behavior, Ben Simmons’ stubbornness and the occasional antagonism of their own fans. Some teams can succeed despite constant malfunctions, but Philadelphia has yet to prove that it has this kind of toughness.
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Milton started on Philadelphia’s starting line-up on Saturday, but was plagued by bad problems from the start. Before the coronavirus pandemic, he had emerged as an unexpected source of backyard and number production for driving big minutes.
The 76ers followed the Pacers at six when Embiid and Milton were arguing.