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.

3) Overseas, Dario Saric helped his team (Anadalou Efes) win the midseason Turkish Cup by scoring 17 points and grabbing nine rebounds. He’s still got another season and half in Turkey to improve his game – think of it like college for the 20-year-old – but he’s making progress. Jordan McRae, another 2014 draft pick that was playing overseas (in Australia), came in second in NBL scoring for the season (behind Josh Childress). He’ll likely suit up next in the D-League, but the Sixers have his rights if they want him to try him out this year.

4) Back in the NBA, the Sixers made two post-deadline additions to their team: Ish Smith and Thomas Robinson. Robinson made his Sixers debut last night, notching seven points and six rebounds in 13 minutes. Smith, meanwhile, has already earned the ire of Sixers fans. The notoriously misguided play of Smith led Michael Baumann to write, in his truly inspired game recap at Liberty Ballers, how watching Smith’s game is likely how passive Sixers viewers imagine watching the Sixers is:

In his 15 minutes on the–holy shit, Ish Smith only played 15 minutes? It felt like a fucking eternity. I was born and died, and my descendants colonized planets orbiting distant stars in the time I watched Ish Smith tool around the court, in service of God only knows what purpose.

Ish Smith is our cross to bear.

5) One of the trade deadline additions is being embraced, or at least a Sixers fan in Milwaukee had some duct tape lying around.

6) Which brings us to MCW. A lot has been said about the deal that sent him to a playoff contender, but Carter-Williams himself didn’t say anything. That changed yesterday when the Philly media got to him during warmups. MCW told reporters, according to Keith Pompey, that he did not expect to be dealt:

“I thought I had proved myself to be one of those cornerstone people. I think what I spoke to Sam [Hinkie] and a lot with coach, I was one of those pieces and [we] were going to build from me, Nerlens, and [Joel Embiid]. But things changed. I’m not sure of the reason.”

It’s hard not to feel for the guy. He obviously wanted to stick around and build something here, but it’s part of the business (and the plan) and now he’s on a playoff team. So it is what it is. MCW did continue though, and dropped a quote that should carry the Cataldis and Hayeses of the world for a few more months. “I honestly don’t know his direction or what he wants to do,” MCW said. “I’m not really sure. I wish I had an answer, but I don’t.”

Oh, and the Sixers have “parted ways” with their director of analytics, so that’s … something.

7) And finally, that MCW deal brought a protected first-round pick to us that originally belonged to the Lakers. There’s a small chance that could convey this year, while there’s a slightly larger chance the Oklahoma City conditional first rounder will convey, and an even better chance the Sixers will be able to use their pick from Miami. That all a bit confusing? Yeah, it is. And it changes with every game. Luckily, we just let Derek Bodner keep track of all of that.

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12 Responses

  1. THERE’S that meaning Sixers story you’ve been waiting to post since the RadioWars died down.

  2. Oh my God, my head is spinning after reading just the latest entry in the Sixers draft tracker. (Or maybe I was just hanging with Josh Hamilton – too soon?)

  3. I heard Jos Iniz today for about 10 min. Couldn’t do it… The guy is completely unlistenable. I can’t stand people from the Midwest trying to fit in here in philly. The guy is a fraud, he should go back to where he came from.

  4. Charts look like the bathroom floor at the Wells Fargo Center during a Metallica concert. Useless post, as always!

  5. If the Sixers get the 1st pick, they’ll take Okafor. Trade Noel and probably go after Mudiay as well if they can.

    Embiid
    Okafor
    Saric
    Mudiay
    ???

    Could be your future Sixers

    1. You dumbass with the Knicks and Lakers both in the Lottery you best believe they’ll finish ahead of the Sixers in the Lottery so with the 3rd overall pick in the 2015 nba draft the Sixers take D’Angelo Russell.

  6. If you’re going to go the Buzz Feed route with an odd-numbered list, maybe try making at least one of them readable.

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