CAMDEN, N.J. — The Philadelphia 76ers will begin a 5-game road trip on Thursday with a matchup with the Indiana Pacers. After they face Indiana, they will then pay visits to Denver, Portland, Golden State, and Utah before returning home.
All five opponents offer a different look for the Sixers and coach Nick Nurse will have to have this team ready for a different style every night. Those constant challenges across the five games are the reason why Nurse is excited for the trip as the Sixers continue to grow into legitimate title contenders.
“This is kind of a good time of the year, I think, for us to go out and play a bunch of really good teams on the road,” Nurse said at practice on Wednesday. “I think that for me, I’m seeing some improvement in some areas. I just want to continue to build on some of that stuff.”
The Pacers will be the first test as they look for their first win since making the big Pascal Siakam trade. Then there’s the defending champion Nuggets on Saturday before a scrappy Trail Blazers bunch, the enigmatic Warriors, and the surging Jazz.
“A bunch of different styles of play we’re going to see,” continued Nurse. “I think we’ll see a lot of a lot of schemes, I think it’s just a chance for us to get better. So really, really good tough stretch, and that usually will test us and challenge us and that should help us get better here over the next 10 days.”
Due to the overall nature of the trip and the number of miles they’re going to travel as well as the different styles they’re going to face, this is a big opportunity for the Sixers to continue to grow and take steps forward as a group.
“A lot of different styles that we’re going to play against,” added Tyrese Maxey. “Tomorrow (Thursday), we’ll play against a fast-paced team who wants to get a lot of 3s, go up and down, score in transition, so we gotta be ready for that. Then we go to Denver, we know how they play. (Nikola) Jokic on the team, Jamal (Murray), two-headed monster, and then we just go from there honestly. So just go out there try and get as many dubs as we can.”