How 6 Philadelphia 76ers players fared in their playoff debuts against Miami Heat
Star rookie Ben Simmons was one of six 76ers players to make their postseason debut Saturday night. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
The Philadelphia 76ers’ used an impressive third-quarter run to steamroll the Miami Heat, 130-103, on Saturday night in their first playoff game in six years. The resounding victory kick-started a promising era of postseason hoops in Philly after the franchise spent several seasons stockpiling losses and draft assets in hopes of building a lasting contender.
Now, the Sixers appear poised to make noise in the Eastern Conference playoffs with one of the NBA’s youngest and most exciting rosters.
Perhaps the easiest way to illustrate the Sixers’ dynamic is this: Six of the 10 players in their rotation made their playoff debuts Saturday, including starters Ben Simmons and Dario Saric.
So we thought we’d recap how all six of those playoff newbies fared in the Game 1 triumph over the Heat. Take a look:
Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers talks to referee Bill Spooner in the second quarter against the Miami Heat. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Stats: 17 points (5 of 13 field goals), 14 assists, 9 rebounds
Skinny: Simmons, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 draft, is one of the Sixers’ brightest stars and played like it Saturday against Miami. The 6-foot-10 point guard controlled the tempo of the game all night and came one rebound shy of a triple-double. That’s not to say the rookie entirely avoided missteps on the big stage. Simmons committed five first-half turnovers and shot a pedestrian 38.5 percent from the field on the night. But Miami struggled to contend with Simmons’ length, court vision and athleticism, and he was the steering force in Philadelphia’s victory.