Tag: sixers (page 1 of 89)

Brett Brown Never Thought Nerlens Would Play Power Forward Because He Thought He’d Have Wiggins

Photo Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The only draw of the 76ers opening night (both on the road and at home) is the debut of delayed-rookie Nerlens Noel. When Noel was drafted last year, he looked like the 76ers’ center of the future. But after this year’s draft and the selection of also-delayed Joel Embiid, Nerlens is going to be playing at the power forward spot, or at least trying to. According to Brett Brown, he never saw this coming:

“I said from Day 1 I never intended on playing Nerlens at a 4. I anticipated probably getting Andrew Wiggins as our (2014 top draft) pick and he’s back at a 5. All of a sudden, you get Joel. I feel like this is a great opportunity for us to try something and see how they can co-exist.”

When there was a chance we could get the #1 pick in the lottery, people wanted Wiggins. When there were rumblings he could fall to #3 (behind Embiid and Parker), people wanted Wiggins. When Embiid got hurt and shifted around the top picks, people wanted to trade up to #1 to get Wiggins. It makes sense that Brett Brown wanted (or at least thought he’d be getting) Wiggins, but once Embiid got hurt, Hinkie’s plans presumably changed, and it became Brown’s job from that day to make sure Embiid and Noel could play together. Tonight, we’ll begin to see if Nerlens can play alone.

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Charles Barkley Tried to be Too Fat to be Drafted by the 76ers

Photo Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

After failing miserably at a game of charades on Monday night’s the Tonight Show, Charles Barkley shared a story about how he got fat on purpose well before he got fat by accident. According to Barkley, he didn’t want to get drafted by the 76ers because they didn’t pay well. Charles told Jimmy Fallon that the 76ers brought him in before the draft and he weighed 292 lbs. and asked him to weigh 285 lbs. on the day before the draft. After working out and getting down to 280 lbs., Barkley’s agent told him the Sixers likely wouldn’t pay much for his one-year rookie deal, and with only a few days left before the draft:

In a bid to make himself undesirable before the drafting, he ate two Grand Slam breakfasts from Denny’s totaling 1,660 calories, went to lunch at Red Lobster gobbling down every hush puppy in sight, and feasted on two T-bone steaks for dinner … He then repeated the menu the following day before flying to Philadelphia for his final weigh-in. After his non-stop feeding session Barkley managed to bulk up his 6ft 6in frame to 302lbs.

Of course the Sixers drafted him anyway, and Charles continued to make a few too many trips to Denny’s over his career.

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You Can Get into the Sixers’ Season Opener in Indiana for Five Bucks

Two men who will not be playing tomorrow.  Photo Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Two men who will not be playing tomorrow.
Photo Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Although not opening it up at home until Saturday night — where the main draw will be the pre-tip projection — the 76ers season begins on the road tomorrow in Indianapolis against the injury-ridden Indiana Pacers. The two jilted former-lovers of Evan Turner (“We are never ever, ever getting back together,” both teams happily told E.T.) will meet with depleted lineups across the board. Fans will enter the Bankers Life Fieldhouse to see a Pacers starting lineup that will include Luis Scola, Donald Sloan, and C.J. Miles as they face off against an almost full-strength Sixers starting five consisting of Nerlens Noel, Tony Wroten, Henry Sims, and maybe Luc Mbah a Moute, maybe K.J. McDaniels. And they can catch all of that for under $5.

As pointed out by Time magazine, the NBA (especially in cities where the teams are less than great) has trouble filling the stands, which brings the secondary market price way down on tickets. For the Sixers’ home opener, the get in the door price at the Wells Fargo Center hovers around $30 (for now), while the Pacers’ home debut can be caught for as little as $4.95. There are 369 tickets currently available for under $10 at the Pacers opener, which is a likely frequent occurrence at the WFC this year. It may be a new feeling for the Pacers but the 76ers, who saw lots of low attendance numbers last season, remember it all too well.

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Evaluate Our Jump Shots

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Last night the Sixers invited assorted media and bloggers to the Wells Fargo Center to preview their new magic court projection system. We were each given our own locker in NBA Locker Room 2 (I presume this is used solely for LeBron’s entourage when he’s in town) which came with a nameplate, official NBA socks (HOT), and four tickets to the home opener (nothing like kissing up before this festering turd of a season). After showing off the wiz-bang projection system – which is pretty fantastic and I imagine even cooler in an arena full partly full with at least tens of fans in attendance – we were led down to the floor for custom intros complete with (terrifying) smoke machines, Sixers Phlight Squad chest bumps (bungled mine), and Matt Cord, who most likely would’ve preferred to have been doing anything else at that particular moment.

There was a game of Knockout, which kicked off with me taking a rogue Spalding to the face. Thankfully, no blood. But I was this close to being the blogger who got a bloody nose all over the Sixers’ court… though that may have proven to be the hardwood’s high point of the season.

And then, a three-point contest. Jim and I each made two shots.

Jump shot breakdown:

Jim: Low release point, but gets the shot off quickly enough to avoid being blocked. Could use a little more height on the jump. His spring forward resembles a bird hopping to its next breadcrumb, which creates a weird juxtaposition with his Zach Galifianakis-meets-Shawn-Marion overall look. But still, effective. B-.

Mine (written by Jim): I didn’t get video of Kyle’s three-point contest round — and I don’t remember how many he made — but his shot is certainly more rhythmic and dare I say normal than mine. It’s fundamentals from bottom to top, and where it seemed like my shot was either in or not even remotely close, Kyle’s were at least consistently rim-adjacent. I also bit pretty hard on one of his pump fakes in the 5-on-5 game and envisioned coming down wrong on my ankle and making a real fool of myself. Luckily, I landed relatively balanced. B.

 

Sixers and Devils CEO Scott O’Neil won both Knockout and the three-point contest. He’s a monster. But more on him in a second, because I have to talk about the 5-on-5 game.

Side 1 (with sub): Me, Marshall Harris (CSN), Derek Bodner (Liberty Ballers, 97.3 ESPN), Eliot Shorr-Parks (NJ.com), and two Sixers employees that I didn’t know who are probably super important.

Side 2: Jim, Scott O’Neil (Sixers and Devils CEO), Mike Missanelli (97.5 The Fanatic), Jason McIntyre (The Big Lead), and another Sixers employee that wasn’t Sam Hinkie.

Selective scouting reports: Eliot is all-around solid and able to drive effectively, though Jim did send one of his shot attempts into, no joke, the third row. Jim and his hipster sweatpants are deceptively skilled, and they ran at least one effective backdoor cut thanks to a nasty screen Missanelli set on yours truly. I think it was a moving pick, to be honest, but I’d expect nothing less from someone who teaches in the shadow of Phil Martelli at St. Joe’s.

My heat check was lukewarm at best. I think I went 0-for-4 from the field with a couple of rim-outs and a circus shot miss as I drove the lane one-on-one against O’Neil. There it was, my one shot at glory and an NBA contract, and I missed everything.

O’Neil, who can’t stop, wouldn’t stop moving*, was the story of the game. Whatever quality makes someone successful enough to be the CEO of two sports teams, is exactly the same quality that suits them up in official NBA game shorts and layered team-issued warmups, and gives them an on-court demeanor that I would describe as “friendly, but no seriously I came to win get off my floor if you’re not here to do the same” for a late-night pickup game against strange bedfellows. At one point I was doubled over, wondering if I was about to become that 31-year-old who suffered a heart attack, and looked up to see what I think was O’Neil trying to get his team to run a full-court trap on Harris. I was searching for oxygen, O’Neil was searching for the nail in the coffin. His team eventually found it. They finished us off, 11-10, and not a moment too soon. The legs hurt today. The legs hurt.

*We’re celebrating Taylor Swift’s album release by crowbarring one of her lyrics into every post today. Jim might quit by the end of the day.

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Video: The Sixers’ New Court Projection Thing is Basically Magic

I want one.

There was much more, but we weren’t allowed to shoot it. Spoiler alert: It features Alexey Shved and a basketball ball pit that I want – no, need – projected on my office floor.

There was also a 5-on-5 game that nearly gave me a heart attack and featured Jim running impressive backdoor cuts with Mike Missanelli and Scott O’Neil. And that’s a sentence I never thought I’d write.

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The Sixers Have Managed to Make Themselves Even Worse (More Tankier?)

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Photo credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Marc Stein is reporting that the Sixers will trade quasi-useful (on this team, at least) Arnett Moultrie to the Knicks in exchange for the lukewarm body of Travis Outlaw – whom they will probably release – a future second-round pick, as well as the right to swap yet another future second-round pick.

Outlaw, 30 and terrible, is owed $3 million, which the Sixers will happily eat in their ongoing quest to reach the salary cap floor.

Oh, and also thisssss:

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FiveThirtyEight Previews the Sixers’ Season, Predicts 20 Wins

paine-feature-nba-phi

A lot more optimistic than USA Today: Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight profiled the seven teams they don’t think will make the playoffs out of the Eastern Conference today, and the Sixers got name-dropped in the headline. In a post entitled “2014 NBA Preview: The Sixers Are Going Nowhere Fast,” FiveThirtyEight’s Ian Levy is actually pretty positive about the (according to them) bottom-of-the-barrel team. Yes, they’re in full-tank, but they’re also making progress:

The Sixers are doing something more complex than simply losing games: They’re creating an offense. Under previous head coach Doug Collins, Philadelphia played at a relatively slow pace and was comfortable relying on mid-range jumpers for a significant portion of its offense. Last season, with Brett Brown at the helm, the 76ers made drastic changes …

The Sixers may not have found their franchise player yet, but they do know how they want the pieces around that hypothetical future star to play. Sixers ball is now up-tempo ball, with lots of defensive pressure and an efficient distribution of shots by the team’s role-players.

All of the focus on the Sixers when looking towards the future has fallen in Hinkie’s direction, but Brett Brown is in fact making his mark on the style of play the team is playing, whether it be by necessity or style. The team doesn’t take mid-range shots and tries to get down the court as fast as possible and get to the hoop (Young. Fun.Run. Dunk., etc.). The team may not have much to offer in terms of winning and scoring right now, but once they do, they’ll have a style in place that they’ve honed over years of trial and mostly error.

In addition, at Complex‘s awesome NBA Jam-themed season preview, Ralph Warner hits it right on the head: “If Rihanna shows up to sit courtside at a Philly game, it will be the equivalent to the 76ers winning the championship. It’s really the best they can hope for at this point.”

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Today in News From Last Year: Jason Richardson to Miss Entire Season, Maybe End Career

This is the face of the last 30-year-old on the Sixers roster. Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

This is the face of the last man in his 30s on the Sixers roster.
Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Richardson, the hip-grandpa of the Philadelphia 76ers, will miss the entire upcoming season after suffering a stress fracture in his right foot. Richardson also missed all of last year. The injury, combined with Richardson’s age, may spell the end to a 13-year NBA career in which Richardson averaged 17.3 points per game and won two dunk contests. That also means, as the roster sits now, the 76ers are left with only three players born before 1990, and only one born before 1988. It’s the time of the season to feel old.

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