It’s not like it’s a record or anything, but many Sixers fans (myself included) would not have believed it if you said they’d have 12 wins at the All-Star Break. Hell, some might not have believed 12 wins all season. But here we are…
1) Home court advantage is becoming a thing. The Sixers have won four straight at home and seven of the 11 games they’ve played on the Wells Fargo court since the start of 2015. Those wins haven’t come against great competition (the last four have been against the Hornets, Nuggets, Timberwolves and Pistons), but the Sixers started 0-14 at home. So, this is an improvement. And speaking of that home winning streak …
2)… the Warriors are in town, so it will likely end. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are two of the best shooters on God’s green and blue ball, and Marreese Speights has become a legitimate Sixers-killer. Plus, Curry is just showing off:
3) While Robert Covington and Hollis Thompson are shooters and should be hitting three-pointers, Brett Brown has been finding long-distance talent in unexpected human vessels. Namely, Jerami Grant, a prototypical Hinkie pick when he was selected 39th overall– long, lean and athletic, with no shooting touch. In college, he was 6-20 from long-range (including a 0-5 sophomore season). But in the pros? “Grant is currently the Sixers’ most efficient three-point shooter at 39.3 percent. Entering Friday night’s game in Boston, Grant ranked fifth among all non-guards in the league in catch-and-shooting three-point percentage at 44.4. Fifth.” It’s a good sign that while the Sixers may not be much right now, the talent (and ability to develop that talent) is beginning to come together.
4) “Hey,” the very casual Sixers fans says, “who is that wearing number 20 in the picture above?” That’s Penn State product Tim Frazier, currently squatting on Dario Saric’s number. Frazier was signed to a 10-day contract that will expire during this year’s extended All-Star break and has been playing pretty well. He’s done some, you know, things:
But it’s unlikely he’ll stick around. Why?
5) The trade deadline. As Dei Lynam pointed out, Frazier’s contract will expire February 15th, four days before the trade deadline (and the Sixers don’t play another game after tonight until the 20th). By letting Frazier’s contract expire and not resigning him, Hinkie gives himself an extra roster spot to use so he can take on a contract and some future assets without having to waive anyone else on the roster. It’s also possible the long, illustrious Andrei Kirilenko-era of Sixers basketball will end. Andrei, we hardly knew ye. Thanks for playing.
6) What now? The Sixers are playing exciting basketball, but the pro-plan fans still need to see some losses. The Sixers currently have the third-best odds to win the lottery. Wins are fun and all, but the worse the Sixers’ record is at the end of the year, the better it is for the team’s future. So they can go ahead and win a few more games. They can even tie last year’s record with seven more wins. But let’s not go crazy and pass the 20-win mark. Save it for next year.