PHILADELPHIA–The Philadelphia 76ers brought in Kelly Oubre Jr. on a minimum shortly before training camp after the veteran had gone the whole summer without finding a home. After averaging 20.3 points with the Charlotte Hornets in 2022-23, he has found early success with the Sixers.
Oubre Jr. had 25 points on 10-for-18 shooting, he knocked down three triples, and he played solid defense in Saturday’s 112-100 win over the Phoenix Suns at home. He has scored 20-plus points in three of Philadelphia’s first five games and he has been terrific on both ends of the floor.
Playing under coach Nick Nurse has done a lot for Oubre Jr. and he has received encouragement from Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, and everybody else up and down the roster. That has helped him find success.
“I think it’s coach Nick,” Oubre Jr. said of his success. “Coach Nick, Tyrese, Joel, De’Anthony (Melton), I could go down the list of everybody on the team because I feel like we’re all kind of learning how each other plays, each other’s spots, and what each other is really good at. I’m just kind of trying to do what I’m really good at, but also work on the things that I’m not to see how I can you know be a complete player.”
The fit for Oubre Jr. has been seamless so far. He has been able to play well off Embiid due to his ability to find open spots on the floor with his cutting and his ability to slash to the rim as well as knock down jumpers. That ability thus far has been a great fit for this group.
During training camp in Colorado, Oubre Jr. stated that he wanted to stand out with the Sixers, not just fit in. Things have happened very quickly for him in Philadelphia and things have been going fast for him, but even he didn’t expect his success to happen this quickly.
“No, but I don’t really have many expectations because obviously, everything is what it is and I’m just trying to take it day-by-day, man,” he explained. “I know that I’m very hungry to prove myself in this league, and obviously, this summer was very stressful for me so I had a lot of pent-up energy for this season already built up, but I think that me transitioning to a new situation couldn’t have been more seamless because of coach, because of the supporting cast members, and also just my work ethic.”
Embiid has enjoyed playing with Oubre Jr. and he explained why he fits in so easily.
“He’s athletic and he can put the ball on the floor and he can shoot,” he stated. “It’s that simple.”