Josh Richardson is going to fit in just fine with the Philadelphia 76ers.
The fifth-year guard had 17 points in his debut on Wednesday against the Boston Celtics going a perfect 9-9 from the free-throw line, adding two blocks and one steal, setting the tone on the defensive side of the ball.
Richardson played a big role — along with Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle — on limiting explosive Celtics guard Kemba Walker to just 12 points on 22% shooting.
“I was trying to use my size advantage. I’m a few inches taller than him so using my length. I know his shot, so I was just trying to get my hands around it, into his vision,” Richardson said. “I know it’s never easy to shoot over that and he’s one of the best players in the league, so you just got to try to make it tough on him.”
Head coach Brett Brown took notice of Richardson’s effort on the Celtics top scoring option.
“There were a few other people that had opportunities on Kemba Walker, but if you look at his stat line, you would attribute a lot of that to Josh,” Brown said. “Even some of the offensive plays that he made, the defense is what stands out to us the most, and it’s true for me to. He made some timely plays offensively and he just is that wired and elusive type of player that, as I’ve been saying, makes him a significant part of the glue to the team.
Josh Richardson Embraces Sixers Playoff-Like Atmosphere
Richardson noted the playoff like atmosphere at Wells Fargo Center, while also taking a subtle jab at his former fan base in Miami, where he spent his first four seasons.
“They were on time — that was great,” Richardson said of the fans, drawing a chuckle from the media on hand and Ben Simmons. “Right when the game started, they were ready to pop from the jump. The atmosphere was great.”
The fans are notoriously late for games in Miami, even back when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh made the Heat a perennial title contender.
It wasn’t the first time he commented on the issue either. During the preseason Richardson dropped a similar quote.
“The fans are great in Miami, but there’s a little different thing you expect there like it’s a little later, they always get there tough, but here it was like people were there and they were into the game early and that speaks a lot about this city and about the support.”
Joel Embiid Takes Shot to the Face, Bloodied in Sixers Win
The Sixers got the win, but Joel Embiid’s face was a casualty.
The Philly big man took an elbow to the face in the third quarter against the Boston Celtics when Jalen Brown went up for a shot, lacerating his lip and causing a bit of a mess. It was part of a rough night overall, where Embiid was also called for a flagrant foul and 60 fouls were whistled between the two teams.
After a slow start, Embiid finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds. He did struggle with his shooting, finishing 5-of-14.