Tag: sixers (page 1 of 103)

Phil Jackson Is a Dummy Who Will Get Fined for Talking about D’Angelo Russell

Photo Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

In all of the looks we’ve taken at the language of tanking — specifically around Phil Jackson’s Knicks — we’ve heard Jackson call his Knicks a “failure” as he was praised for a “superior tank.” But maybe Jackson should have stopped at the failure line.

In Sam Hinkie’s post-presser interview with Mike Missanelli, Mikey Miss tried to get Hinkie to comment on specific players. In response, Hinkie told Miss that there were entire floors in New York pouring through transcripts, looking for GMs and team officials mentioning college players and levying fines. You might think he was a bit paranoid, but Jackson knows he wasn’t.

According to the basketball whisperer Adrian Wojnarowski, Jackson is likely to face a fine from the league for calling Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell a “great-looking kid,” and a “great prospect.” It’s the latest goof is a season full of them for the Sixers’ partner-in-tank, and hopefully they get some bad lottery karma too, because I want D’Angelo Russell.

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Robert Covington Wasn’t Interested in Dwight Howard’s Incessant Facetime Attempts Last Night

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Two more days left in February. Two. But until March roars in like a lion, we’ll have more headlines like this.

Sixers savant Jake Pavorsky tweeted these two pictures – taken by a friend, he says – of Robert Covington continuously declining FaceTime requests from former teammate Dwight Howard. What does it mean? Absolutely nothing. But I’d love to get to the point in life where I felt totally comfortable declining video calls from NBA superstars. Having a nickname – Big Shot Bob - is one thing… being able to big-time Superman is another. Screw you, February.

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Seven Things You’re Missing If You Aren’t Paying Attention to the Sixers: Bad Ish

Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It’s officially official. It’s been a week since Sam Hinkie sent Michael Carter-Williams to Milwaukee at the trade deadline, but last night was the first time MCW saw the floor for the Bucks. Against his old team, no less. Things did not go well for the Sixers, but let’s talk about some positives. Here’s what you’ve been missing if you haven’t been paying attention to the Sixers.

1) Though whispers came out of the trade deadline saying the Sixers were listening to offers on Joel Embiid, he’s still here. And according to Grantland, he’s got real value. Embiid was ranked the 35th best asset in the league in Bill Simmons’ annual trade value column. In the entire league. Simmons closed out his praise for Embiid with a lazy and tired dig at the Sixers’ plan, but it’s still a positive.

2) Nerlens Noel’s jumper (and foul shooting) are starting to come together. As Max Rappaport says, the Sixers coaching staff rebuilt his shot from the ground up, and they’re finally seeing it pay off. Here is Nerlens’ shot chart from the start of the season until January, via StatMuse:

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And, with an admittedly smaller sample size, here it is in February:

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 10.41.17 AM

That’s some real improvement. Additionally, Noel shot 50% from the free throw line from October through December. Since then, he’s shooting 67% from the line (and getting there at a much higher rate). It’s still not incredible, but it’s good to see real offensive growth from a player who came in as strictly a defensive prospect. Continue reading

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Former Sixer Cut from his Philippines Team after Criticizing Manny Pacquiao

Photo Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

What happens when a player is waived by the Sixers? Sometimes they end up on another NBA team. Sometimes they pop down to the D-League. And sometimes they play in the Philippines in the same league as Manny Pacquiao. That was Daniel Orton’s path, and he did not like it.

Orton was signed as a free agent by the Sixers before the 2013-2014 season and waived before the All-Star break (as is tradition). After that he played in some summer league games, completed a season in China, and then landed with the Purefoods Star Hotshots(!) of the Philippine Basketball Association. Another team in the PBA, the Kia Carnival(!!!), features player-coach Manny Pacquiao. Orton thought this was ridiculous.

Last week, Orton called Pacquiao’s basketball playing a joke, and said:

“Professional boxer? Yeah. Congressman? All right. But professional basketball player? Seriously? It’s a joke.”

As it turns out, criticizing native son Pacquiao is a thoughtcrime in the Philippines. Orton was fined $5,650 for his comments and cut from Purefoods. “Everyone is angry at him,” the team’s top administrator said. “It is like he went to the United States and insulted the name of Martin Luther King.”

The only difference is MLK never played pro ball, and he didn’t average .25 points per game over his first four games. Also, the whole civil rights thing. But yeah, tomato-tomahto.

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Marcus Hayes Wrote Some Drivel Today

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1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 4, 2, 1, 1, 5, 3, 2, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 4, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 1, 2, 1, 3, 2, 1, 1.

Do you know what that sequence of numbers represents?

No, it’s not the transcript of an interview with The Count.

Nor is it the final thought of a dying Speak & Spell.

Nope.

Those are the sentence-per-paragraph counts from Marcus Hayes’ latest Daily News column.

Hayes, a leading columnist(?) for a big boy publication, wrote a ~1,000-word article that contained only three – 3! – paragraphs longer than three sentences in length. Unofficially, there were 29 one-sentence paragraphs.

That’s bad.

Laughable even.

I doubt it makes many teams sweat.

Any team, for that matter.

How can one sweat from reading such rudimentary prose?

Anyway, as you might have guessed, Hayes’ piece is another hit on Sam Hinkie, who has a philosophy, not a plan, according to Hayes.

It’s mostly drivel, so I won’t waste my time grammatically crinkling it up and tossing it into the digital wastebasket of the interwebs. But, let’s dumpster-dive for a few rare gems of opinionated blabble.

Dismissing Hinkie and his newfangled analytics:

But it is anything but a multifaceted “Plan” with mind-addling complexities suited only for analytics conventioneers.

The Philosophy is simple.

Hinkie and his front-office brain trust, of which Brown clearly is not a member, compile draft picks to acquire as many young, talented and cheap Assets as possible. They nurture them in their analytics-fueled playing style.

 

Contradictions on Embiid:

Embiid is a 7-footer with freakish athleticism. He is a once-a-decade talent. Embiid also spent his formative years playing volleyball. His practical experience includes two full seasons of high school basketball and 4 months as a part-time player at Kansas. He will need half-a-decade to realize his potential.

Embiid has shown competence at nothing except gaining weight and cleverly tweeting.

 

And on Noel (try not to get whiplash here):

The Sixers simply delayed their Point Guard Development Program to match the painfully slow metamorphosis of Nerlens Noel and Embiid.

Noel is an off-the-charts ballhound . . . who has shown almost no competence in a halfcourt offense, but that was expected.

 

On MCW:

MCW is a good player; surely, he cannot wait to display that tonight, when the Sixers visit him in Milwaukee. He has boundless potential. Anyone with his talent can improve; incredibly, his talent is being maliciously devalued. Carter-Williams is worth as much as any player the pick is likely to bring.

[Jim, mocking Hayes:  Embiid sucks. Noel sucks. MCW IS SO TALENTED.]

 

And yet, he continually pointed out that it was a good trade:

It makes no sense for MCW, 1 year from NBA competence, to wait 5 years for the franchise player to develop. Most NBA careers don’t even last half a decade. After losing, say, 240 games in his first four seasons, Carter-Williams surely would be willing to do anything to escape Lottery Pick Purgatory.

Having him waste good years in Philadelphia would have been foolish. A reigning rookie of the year with excellent size, fine offensive instincts and the ability to finish at the rim, MCW never will have greater trade value than the protected pick the Sixers got from the Lakers.

Considering the Philosophy, this was a splendid trade.

Lost in this iambic pentameter of shit is some legitimate skepticism born from first-hand observation (it’s almost like Hayes is a real columnist!).

Hayes wonders whether Brown will become discouraged by watching the fruits of his labor be enjoyed elsewhere.

A real concern.

He thinks the Sixers, and the champions of their “philosophy,” were wrong to tout MCW’s physical gifts and then sit idly by as a whisper campaign smeared the young point guard’s skill set.

A fair point.

And he wonders if continually kicking the can down the road is a dangerous, high-risk strategy that could horrifically backfire.

Me too.

But all these points fall on blind eyes because his anti-analytics, anti-Hinkie, anti-progress bias is so grotesquely one-sided that it’s nearly impossible to separate the legitimate concerns from the lazy, space-filling poop that emits from his fat fingers. Plop, plop…

Voila_Capture 2015-02-25_09-34-40_AM

… fizz.

Horrific Daily News signage photos courtesy of (@phillygirl1985)

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Angelo Cataldi: Won’t Sam Hinkie Think of the Children?

"Sigh."

“Sigh.”

One time just wasn’t enough. So Angelo Cataldi once again dedicated his Philly Voice column to decrying Sam Hinkie and his “plan” or “process” or whatever you want to call it. This time, he took the same point of view that weirdos do when they try to ban curse words in music and boobs on TV: Won’t anyone think of the children?

The little boy with a Michael Carter-Williams jersey will never understand why his favorite player is not a Sixer anymore. How are we supposed to explain to a child what “optionality” is?

Hand him a fucking dictionary. Or, trust that your kid is smart enough to understand this: Michael Carter-Williams was good, but he wasn’t great, and the Sixers are trying to build something great. They saw an opportunity to turn MCW — and his inflated value — into something great. They took it.

But Cataldi continues, misunderstanding even more. “Analytics is theoretical,” he says. “Real life is not.” If anything (and I am honestly so tired of defending analytics against people who just don’t get it and won’t even try), analytics are real life. They are the analysis of statistics for things that actually happened. They do not predict the future or attempt to do so. They analyze what has already happened. These “real life” things like grit and work ethic and potential are, in reality, much more theoretical. Cataldi is basically saying pay not attention to the stats behind the curtain, instead let gut instinct or emotion rule how you run a sports team.

Cataldi complains that Hinkie doesn’t know who he’ll draft this year because he “doesn’t know where he will pick in the lottery this year.” Congratulations, Angelo, you understand what a draft lottery is. Welcome to the NBA. But it all comes back to the children, right?

The father of the little boy with a Michael Carter-Williams jersey called my WIP radio show last Friday. He doesn’t understand at all what Sam Hinkie is trying to do.

“What do I tell my son?” he asked me. “What am I supposed to do now?”

What are you supposed to do now? Tell your son MCW was traded and that shit happens.

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MCW Will Make Bucks Debut Tomorrow Night Against the Sixers

Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a long five days since the trade deadline sent Michael Carter-Williams and K.J. McDaniels away from the Wells Fargo Center, but MCW has still yet to hit the court for the Milwaukee Bucks. His lingering foot injury has kept him off the floor, but he’s set to make his Bucks debut tomorrow night at home, against the visiting Sixers.

The game is sure to be full of weird moments. Maybe Nerlens will say “I’m sorry. I love you” before swatting an MCW floater into the third row. Maybe MCW will steal the ball from his replacement Isaiah Canaan. Maybe Furkan Aldemir could get some minutes. Maybe someone will watch. Really, anything could happen.

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The Sixers May Have Also Been Willing to Listen to Offers on Joel Embiid

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Longtime Lakers writer Mark Heisler, reporting for Forbes:

In an unnoticed development at last week’s trade deadline, the 76ers were still trying to trade up for a top pick in this draft, indicating a willingness to talk about Joel Embiid or any player on their team, an NBA source told Forbes.com.

Yes, that’s the Joel Embiid they drafted No. 3 overall last spring, after compiling the worst record and seeing the Cavaliers and Bucks jump ahead of them in the lottery.

In other words, after going 65-144 over the last two-plus seasons and parting with Jrue Holiday, Nikola Vucevic, Louis Williams, Thaddeus Young, Jodie Meeks, Spencer Hawes, Nick Young and Andre Iguodala, the 76ers don’t have an asset on the lot whom they’re committed to.

All they have to show for that wheeling and dealing is Dario Saric, a hot Euro-prospect who’s signed with a Turkish team through the summer of 2016, and, of course, more No. 1 picks.

Few things: Continue reading

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