Philadelphia 76ers: Who Helped/Hurt Their Chances Of Making The Team In Game One?

Oct 4, 2016; Amherst, MA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard T.J. McConnell (1) and Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) watch the ball during the first half at William D. Mullins Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 4, 2016; Amherst, MA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard T.J. McConnell (1) and Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) watch the ball during the first half at William D. Mullins Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /

The Philadelphia 76ers won their first preseason game against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday. Who helped and who hurt their chances of making the final roster?

The Philadelphia 76ers roster is at an offseason maximum, and to get down to the regular season roster limit, they must cut five players. This means some surprising names may find themselves without a home in the next few weeks.

Now the team has played just one of its seven preseason games, but for a handful of players each game could make or break their chances of making the final roster. The guard and forward positions may see some changes to the depth chart.

Of course we can’t go on without acknowledging the exciting debuts of Joel Embiid and Dario Saric, but there were disappointing moments for key roster players. Jerami Grant may not be in danger of losing his place on the team, but throughout his first game he showed no improvement on the weaknesses holding him back from being a solidified everyday player.

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Grant still isn’t in danger to lose his spot, yet. But there are guys who will be trying to make the roster that didn’t help their case on Tuesday night. So who helped and who hurt their chances of making the Philadelphia 76ers?

Brandon Paul

Brandon Paul was the unquestioned star in the last half of the game. After the Embiid excitement dwindled down, Paul became the center of attention. Just like he did in Summer League, Paul showed his incredible scoring ability. He finished the night with a game-high 15 points, and added 4 rebounds to the stat line.

Paul is a 6’4″ shooting guard who can score in almost any way you can think of. He’s not much of a playmaker but would still give the team an extra shooter, which they desperately need. Brandon Paul will be on watch closely this preseason.

Verdict – Helped

Nik Stauskas

Oh Sauce. Everyone would love to see Stauskas reach his full potential as a shooter. The piece from which included a Brett Brown quote saying he sees some Manu Ginobli in him. Unfortunately, the Philadelphia 76ers didn’t get a chance to see that last night.

Stauskas went 0-4 from the outside and just seemed lost at times on the court. His night ended after just 18 minutes of play, before he left with a hamstring injury. Stauskas has been on the bubble since the end of last season, and it may pop soon if he can’t seem to find his groove.

The potential of the former top-10 pick is tantalizing, but the Philadelphia 76ers won’t be hesitant to cut him loose.

Verdict – Hurt

James Webb III

James Webb III is one of those players who will have to have a monster stretch of performances to make the team. Last night wasn’t a bad showing, but performances of just 3 points on 1-2 shooting, won’t be enough for him to edge out a familiar face.

Webb III is a nice developmental project, but time in the D-League will be best suited for his long-term career.

Verdict – Hurt

T.J. McConnell

McConnell earned his spot in the NBA with his preseason play last season. He was the surprise player that broke through the roster against all odds. He went on to have an incredible rookie season where he came in second in both assists and steals per game.

McConnell still finds himself on the bubble, but not quite as worrisome as Nik Stauskas. McConnell proved he can be a valuable bench guard by dropping 13 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists. He had 3 bad turnovers, but nothing that would signify McConnell having a drop in efficiency all season.

McConnell is without a doubt in a good position to remain on the final roster.

Verdict – Help

Shawn Long

It must be toughed pinned as the guy who was involved in the injury of the Philadelphia 76ers star player. When Ben Simmons landed on Long and broke his foot, his already slim chances of making the team seemed to get slimmer.

Long, like Webb III, will need some big performances, and he didn’t have one on Tuesday night. He went 1-3 from the field and finished with 5 points in 7 minutes.

Verdict – Hurt

Hollis Thompson

Thompson’s team option was picked up this offseason, but that doesn’t mean he’s safe from getting cut. With the addition of promising wing players Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Dario Saric and the signing of Gerald Henderson, Thompson may have to prove his worth to the team.

Thompson is one of the best three-point shooters the Philadelphia 76ers have seen in their recent history, but went 0-2 last night in 18 minutes. Thompson has to prove he can be more than a garbage time scorer.

He’s pretty safe as of now, but Hollis Thompson will have to show some more to stay on the team.

Verdict – Hurt

Next: Embiid and Saric's First Game

Anthony Barber missed last night’s game with an injury, and there’s no word yet on whether he’ll be available for Thursday night’s game. These bubble players will have to prove they are more valuable than their peers against the Washington Wizards, but some have more work to do than others.