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We got Sixers General Manager Elton Brand off to the side after the Jimmy Butler press conference, so I want to start with that first, then I’ll transcribe some of the stuff from earlier. In between these stories, I’m gonna ride over to Five Guys in Cherry Hill and house a couple of burgers.
Brand talked about Markelle Fultz, the double-clutch free-throw from last night, and his current status with the team.
Here’s the verbatim of the Q/A session with non-Fultz questions removed:
Jon Johnson (94 WIP): I hate to ask you this on such a day; a lot was made last night about Markelle Fultz’s free throw. Did you see it? What was your reaction?
Brand: I saw the free throw, for sure. I’ve been seeing him work this summer, and all of this season, and he has times where something like that happens. But following that, he shot it very well and it looked very fluid. He’s going to have some ups and downs. He’s going to have more ups than downs. You saw the talent level in flashes, how talented he is.
Crossing Broad: Elton, is he still working with Drew Hanlen? There was a report last night that he and Drew were no longer on speaking terms.
Brand: I’m not sure about that. We have our coaching staff here and he’s working with our coaching staff. But there’s a window from before 9 a.m. and after 4 p.m. that you can work with outside trainers in our facility, but I’m not sure about that.
More after the jump:
I’m sure you’ve read about the Markelle Fultz and Drew Hanlen craziness by now and probably seen the horrendous free throw all over social media and ESPN.
So let’s talk about Joel Embiid instead, because I feel like I really haven’t written much about him this year. In every recap, it goes something like, “oh yeah, by the way, Joel had 32 and 12 last night, he’s just been so good in 2018.”
I guess the reason for the lack of words is because Joel is a known quantity. You expect him to go for 28 and 15 in every game now, and in the early part of the season, we’re focused on things like Markelle and Ben and their shooting and some of the new faces on the team.
Joel is on pace for a historic season. He put up 35 and 18 last night with six offensive rebounds. He shot 8-15 from the field, 3-4 from three, 16-20 (!!!) from the foul line, and turned the ball over twice while committing just one foul. That is a ridiculous basketball line, just elite in so many ways, especially for a 7’2″ center in the modern day NBA.
This is a 24-year-old guy who didn’t even start playing basketball until he was a teenager. The minutes restriction is a thing of the past. He is fully healthy and he is certainly an MVP candidate if he keeps playing this way.
Year to date, Joel is playing about five more minutes per game. His shooting is up and pretty much everything extrapolates to an improvement when you run his per-36 numbers.
Lemme give you the raw stats first:
His field goal percentage holds steady from last year, but you see a lot of improvement from the foul line. He’s getting there 11 times per game and hitting at 80%.
Here’s what it looks like if you run last year’s numbers on 36 minute parameters:
29 and 14 per 36 minutes. That’s wild stuff.
He’s averaging more points on fewer two pointers, and you see the increase in three point and free throw shooting. His turnover numbers are down significantly and his rebounding and block numbers look good. I think the improvement from the foul line has been a really pleasant surprise.
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The Eagles return off their bye week on Sunday night in front of a national audience at Lincoln Financial Field with the chance to deliver a knockout blow to the Cowboys’ season and also make a statement that they have officially returned after a tumultuous first eight games. That’s quite a backdrop for Golden Tate’s Philadelphia debut. The Eagles seemingly enter this game with all the momentum in the NFC East after watching Washington suffer
What an absolutely glorious sports weekend this will be. It’s Week 10 of the NFL season and things are heating up on the schedule as there are a number of games with playoff implications. The college football schedule features four games with Top 25 teams squaring off and several other crucial conference matchups. And don’t forget about a full slate of games across the NHL, NBA, and college basketball. Temperatures are dropping, but my heart
What a day for the Sixers. And they played a game as well.
First, the game.
They beat the Miami Heat 124-114 thanks to Joel Embiid and JJ Redick. Embiid put up 35 points and 18 rebounds while Redick recorded 25 points in what could be his permanent return to the starting lineup. The team next plays Wednesday night in Orlando against the Magic.
But the biggest takeaway from the game was Markelle Fultz. For all the wrong reasons:
This is worse than we have ever seen Fultz's free throw form look. pic.twitter.com/FhCYpNpd5b
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) November 13, 2018
He said the ball slipped out of his hands (we’ll see about that), but he also reportedly split with Drew Hanlen. The Fultz project had some progress this offseason, but it appears it might all crumble down. Could this be a reason why he’s struggled? –
I hate writing this, but I have to.
Markelle Fultz looks broken. Over the past few weeks, he’s looked more engaged defensively and has had spurts of attacking the rim with reckless abandon, but that jumper he spent the summer working on with Drew Hanlen? Gone. Its absence has overshadowed any positives the most ardent supporter could muster arguing. Any threat of a shot from outside five feet? Non-existent. Now it appears his relationship with Hanlen is just that:
Markelle Fultz and Drew Hanlen are no longer working together or on speaking terms, according to league sources. No word on why the two parted ways, but their relationship deteriorated about three weeks ago. Prior to this falling out, Fultz spent the summer training with Hanlen.
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) November 13, 2018
There’s no way to quantify what it meant for Fultz to work with Hanlen, other than to state the obvious: the broken shot we saw Fultz use tentatively last season was replaced with a somewhat repeatable, quasi-functional jumper. But it’s gone. It’s really gone.
Well, this sucks.
Gabe Kapler’s Malibu home is one of over 6,000 properties that have been destroyed by the California wildfires.
— Mike DeNardo (@_MikeDeNardo) November 12, 2018
Kapler tweeted about the fires on Saturday:
Many have lost everything in these fires, and even basic needs are going to be hard to meet. https://t.co/6wbdbClneI
— gabe kapler (@gabekapler) November 11, 2018
According to CNN, the fires have burned more than 310 square miles, claiming at least 31 lives, while approximately 100 people are still missing.
Thoughts go out to Kapler and all those affected by the fires.
Johnny Clark does it again.
I need to get his airport sources.
Jimmy Butler landed in Philly a short time ago:
Would be nice if he touched down in Miami, but he’ll make his debut Wednesday night in Orlando.
What do you call it when Brian Scalabrine drops a bit of trade information?
A Scalabrine-bomb? A Scal-bomb? A Scala-bomb?
The former NBA center, now doing color and analysis up in Boston, casually dropped a nugget last night regarding the Sixers’ reported pursuit of veteran shooter Kyle Korver:
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) November 12, 2018
Korver’s name has popped up in recent weeks as the Cavaliers flounder in the post-LeBron era. I honestly don’t know why they didn’t just blow it up when Bron took off, but that’s another story for another time.
Jimmy Butler was personally greeted by his new Sixers GM, Elton Brand, and a private jet on his way outta Minnesota on Monday … and TMZ Sports has the pics!!
The ex-Timberwolves forward was just shipped to Philadelphia in a blockbuster trade that sent Dario Saric and Robert Covington to Minnesota … and Brand clearly couldn’t wait to meet his newest superstar.
Press conference tomorrow at 11 a.m., then he’ll fly down to Orlando to make his debut against the Magic on Wednesday night.