Back home, Sixers finally turn attention to biggest obstacle
/ 76ers

By By Noah Levick

CAMDEN, N.J. — Brett Brown said he felt “a little doughy.”

JJ Redick said he finally got a normal amount of sleep Wednesday night, his first in over a week.

How was Ben Simmons feeling after returning from the Sixers’ preseason trip to China?

“I’m good,” Simmons said. “I was in here at 8 a.m.”

Is that typical for him? 

“I want to be great, so …,” Simmons said.

Simmons didn’t need to get up that early — the Sixers’ first practice back in the United States was Thursday at 4:30 p.m., a change from their usual 11 a.m. routine. Brown said the team also plans to practice at 4:30 on Friday and Saturday.

That’s part of Brown’s plan to re-acclimate the team to the East Coast, one he says he feels confident in, having drawn on his many South Pacific trips during his time as a coach in Australia.

Sunday, the Sixers will be off. Monday, they’ll be back practicing at 11 a.m. And before you know it, they’ll be playing meaningful basketball, against the Boston Celtics.

It’s just the first of 82 regular-season games, albeit one that will be surrounded by plenty of hype. But for the Sixers, it’s a game they’ve been thinking about for months, against the team that appears to pose the biggest obstacle to their goal of an Eastern Conference...

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