Here’s What You’re Missing if You Aren’t Paying Attention to the Sixers
The last six games for the Sixers have been a decidedly sadder stretch for the team than the first four. There was that heartbreaking two-point loss to the Magic, the three-point loss to the Bulls, the one-point loss to the Rockets, and losses to the Mavericks, Raptors, and Spurs by a combined 110 points. So, not great stuff. It’s enough to bum you out. Let’s look at that K.J. McDaniels block again to cheer us up. No one can blame you if you aren’t watching, but here’s what you’re missing:
Michael Carter-Williams is back. Though he’s only played in three games so far (and been on the floor for less than 90-minutes), his per-36 numbers are around what he was doing last year — his 19.9 pts, 7.5 rebounds, and 5.8 assist compare well to John Wall’s 19.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 9.2 assists when you consider how little the Sixers are scoring — and he’s still pretty rusty. Outside of the immediate basket area (and two 3pt zones) he’s throwing up bricks:
Speaking of K.J. McDaniels, he continues to block the shots of people who he has no business blocking the shots of. Last night? That was Tim Duncan:
The Sixers play the Celtics at home tomorrow in what some think (and most hope) can be their first win of the season. The Boston Globe thinks it’d be unimpressive if the Celtics won, but really bad if they lost:
It’s only Game 10 for the Celtics on Wednesday at Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia, yet it may be the most important game of the Brad Stevens era.
While beating an 0-10 76ers team that could be historically poor wouldn’t be much of an accomplishment, the Celtics have to find a way to win.
Well that says a lot more about the “Brad Stevens era” than it does about the Sixers.
Although Nerlens Noel’s offensive game is still unpolished (and will be for a while), he leads all rookies in rebounds, steals, and blocks per game. He’s sixth in points per game. K.J. McDaniels is second in blocks, and JaKarr Sampson — actual person, if you haven’t been watching — is third, giving the Sixers the three rookies averaging over 0.64 blocks per game (Nerlens has 1.5, K.J. has 1.4, and JaKarr has 0.67). No other team has one.
With the Sixers starting off 0-10 (the worst start in the NBA since the Wizards started 0-12 only two years ago) the old “could a college team beat an NBA team” narrative has picked back up. John Calipari has already said his Kentucky Wildcats would get buried by “any” NBA team, but the Wall Street Journal isn’t sure that’s true. They used a sports simulator to imagine that the Sixers played 1,001 games (40-minute games with college rules) each against Kentucky, Duke, Michigan State, and Kansas. Here’s what they found:
We’re getting to the point in the season where even the people who knew what they were in for and bought tickets don’t want to go anymore. That’s good for you if you want to go (if not, it means nothing) because secondary market tickets are sub-$10 for up top and in places sub-$20 for some pretty good seats.
And who knows, if you go down and support the team, maybe you’ll be there when they roll that mascot out.