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Andre Drummond

Getty New addition Andre Drummond recorded 17 rebounds in his Sixers debut.

The post-Ben Simmons era is off to a flying start. The Philadelphia 76ers beat the Pelicans 117-97 in the season opener. It took two quarters to knock the rust off, then it flew off faster than a three-pointer from Furkan Korkmaz. The new-look Sixers are 1-0.

Tyrese Maxey started at point guard and posted a +23 in 34 minutes. The second-year guard from Kentucky didn’t try to mimic what Simmons did for four-plus seasons. No, Maxey put his own stamp on the position: slashing through the lane, hoisting up patented floaters, kicking it out to teammates. He even stepped back and drilled two timely triples. Head coach Doc Rivers put him in the starting five, then inserted him late in the fourth quarter to help close it out. Maxey finished with 20 points, seven rebounds, five assists.

Joel Embiid (22 points) and Tobias Harris (20 points) paced the first unit, but it was the Sixers’ bench that brought the energy in this one. Last year’s Achilles heel looks like a strength. Rivers tinkered with a few combinations in the second half: Harris and Seth Curry saw minutes with the second unit in the third quarter. Maxey ran with them in the fourth. Still, it was true bench guys who stepped up in the clutch and swelled an 11-point advantage into a 20-point one.

Korkmaz went 4-of-4 from deep – four bombs in 131 seconds – en route to 22 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter. That was the most by a Sixers bench player since Lou Williams in 2011. Andre Drummond – Embiid’s former nemesis turned bestie – was a force in the paint where he collected 17 rebounds, the most by a Sixers player in his debut since Moses Malone.

The Philly bench outscored New Orleans 45-17, highlighted by an insane 37-5 run to put it out of reach. Things went so well that Paul Reed, Charles Bassey, Jaden Springer all saw minutes.

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No Simmons, No Problem

It’s only a one-game sample, but the Sixers didn’t seem to need Simmons. Embiid said his peace about the whole situation the other day when he officially retired from babysitting. The All-Star center used one word to describe the season-opening win: fun.

“There’s never been any doubt for me. The main thing I’ve been preaching is go out there and have fun,” Embiid told reporters. “In practice, our attitude is the same. We’ve been practicing hard, the same way we played today.”

Next up is a stiffer test against Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets. The home opener at Wells Fargo Center is slated for Friday, October 22.

Anyone Looking to Buy a House?

Simmons’ New Jersey mansion recently popped up on several real estate websites and the five-bedroom home is fetching $5 million. The Trulia listing revealed a sprawling estate situated on 1.78 acres (10,477 square feet) that features a “spectacular” wine wall, walk-in pantry, oversized movie room with custom-made couch, and a private gaming room complete with his personalized “Simmo the Savage” tag in neon.

The property also has a three-car garage and sits at the end of a cul-de-sac in Moorestown, NJ – ironically, the home is “just a yard over” (via FOX29’s Steve Keeley) from the residence where Terrell Owens infamously did sit-ups in the driveway during his fight with the Philadelphia Eagles’ front office. You can’t make this stuff up.

Source: Heavy

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