CLEVELAND – Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose paired in the backcourt in Cleveland. Ben Simmons finally on the floor with Markelle Fultz alongside in Philadelphia.
Two Eastern Conference teams with big aspirations got to see some of their tantalizing combinations together in their preseason openers Wednesday night.
Wade and Rose made their debuts for the Cavaliers, who got a great first impression from Kevin Love in the center spot. The former All-Star guards both scored seven points as Cleveland lost 109-93 to the Atlanta Hawks while LeBron James sat out while recovering from a sprained left ankle.
The Cavs are making Love their starting center this season and he began the game with 3-pointers for Cleveland’s first two baskets.
Philadelphia started the last two No. 1 overall picks together in its 111-89 home loss to Memphis. Simmons, who missed all of last season recovering from a broken foot, showed his versatility with six points, nine assists and seven rebounds. He shot only 2 for 8 and Fultz was worse at 2 for 13, finishing with four points in his first game.
UP NEXT: Atlanta (1-1) visits Detroit on Friday. Cleveland (0-1) hosts Indiana on Friday.