Posts for Sixers Category

A Furkan Friday Night – Observations from Sixers 100, Bulls 89

Kevin Kinkead - January 17, 2020

Two straight wins for the Sixers, and two straight nights in which batches of Furkan Korkmaz three pointers were the catalyst for pulling away in the second half.

It’s hard not to appreciate the Korkmaz story in 2020. Here’s a guy who had his option declined last season and asked for a trade that wasn’t granted. He stuck around anyway, explored options elsewhere, but came back to the Sixers anyway hoping to fill a role as a bench scorer on what we thought might be a stacked team. He hits a game winner in Portland, goes cold for a bit, then comes back in January with a career-high 24 points on 8-11 shooting, hitting six of his nine threes.

“Everybody could see that I was really feeling it,” Korkmaz said after his best NBA performance. “They just tried to find me, and I also got good open looks. I think, as a team, we really focused on moving the ball tonight and taking good shots. We executed the game plan well.”

“That’s why it’s the NBA. Some things you can control, some things you can’t control. But right now I’m happy to be here and be part of this team, and just trying to give my best on the court. Every player has ups and downs in their career but I think right now I’ve found my role on the team. I’m just going there to help my teammates get the win.”

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Bringing Back Robert Covington Wouldn’t Make a Lot of Sense for Sixers

Kevin Kinkead - January 17, 2020

Robert Covington is an interesting case study in Philadelphia.

Process supporters loved the guy. He was, after all, a diamond in the rough who was pulled out of the G-League, developed over the course of several years, and then molded into a bona fide NBA starter. He earned a legitimate contract in what became a feel-good NBA story.

Anti-Hinkie types really disliked Covington, and they’ll always point out his benching in the 2018 Boston playoff series, a crop of five games that included 0-6 and 0-8 field goal lines, which resulted in T.J. McConnell being inserted into game four’s starting lineup. The Sixers lost the series 4-1 and RoCo was traded the following season.

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Markelle Fultz Bagged a Triple-Double Against the Lakers

Kevin Kinkead - January 16, 2020

Had to look twice when skimming the NBA box scores this morning.

Orlando Magic 119, Los Angeles Lakers 118.

At Staples Center.

And then you scroll down to see:

Markelle Fultz – 21 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists. His second career triple-double in a road win against the best team in the Western Conference.

He was doing stuff like this:

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Furkan Korkmaz Credits Ben Simmons for Big Three Pointer, Which Came From a JJ Redick Play

Kevin Kinkead - January 16, 2020

If you’ve watched any Sixers basketball in the last three seasons, you know that Brett Brown’s favorite play call, or at least most frequent play call, is the low-to-high inverted pick and roll with Ben Simmons handling the ball.

It’s not exactly a pick and roll, though. It’s more of a multi-action brush cut where the second man is typically a shooter who can either screen for Simmons or slip the screen for a quick flare and three-point shot. Sometimes it even looks like a hand-off with a Simmons seal instead.

They ran this about a bazillion times with JJ Redick last year, and I’ve written about it occasionally, but it’s interesting to see how Brown uses this play without the veteran sharp shooter. He’s experimented with different players running this set, and last night, Furkan Korkmaz hit the second of his consecutive fourth-quarter three pointers on the slip portion of the play:

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Clutch Time Execution – Observations from Sixers 117, Nets 106

Kevin Kinkead - January 16, 2020

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Kind of a strange game at the Wells Fargo Center last night.

The crowd was restless early, almost suspicious of what was happening on the floor. There was quiet moaning and groaning as the Sixers traded shots with the Nets while the refs seemed to call every soft foul in the history of NBA basketball. You felt like there wasn’t a lot of “juice” in the building as Brett Brown’s team couldn’t seem to close a gap that continued to yo-yo from two points, to four, up to six or seven at times, then back down. Losing a third straight game, this one in front of the home crowd, would have a been a midseason backbreaker.

Then Furkan Korkmaz hit a pair of consecutive three pointers to give the Sixers the lead and inject some life in the crowd, sparking a fourth quarter defensive effort and execution level that was better than anything we’ve seen from this team since the Christmas Day win. Philly turned their final four offensive possessions into nine points while getting three stops on the defensive end, allowing them to pull away for a double-digit win after 3.5 close quarters of basketball.

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In Players’ Tribune Article, Joel Embiid Talks About His Brother’s Death and Explains Why He Can’t Be a “Traditional Big”

Kevin Kinkead - January 15, 2020

Joel Embiid is the focus of another Players’ Tribune article, a story published this morning titled “The Only Way is Through.”

It’s an intriguing read, and Embiid starts by admitting that he almost walked away from basketball in 2014, not as a result of his injuries, but because of the death of his brother Arthur.

Joel on that:

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Four Things the Sixers Need to do to Start Winning Again

Kevin Kinkead - January 15, 2020

Here we are at the halfway mark with your team, your town, your 76ers sitting at 25-16 and 6th place in the Eastern Conference. Joel Embiid is injured, the roster looks like an incongruous fit, and Ben Simmons is, of course, a frequent topic of media and fan frustration.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that they’ve beaten Milwaukee, Boston (3x), Indy, Toronto, and Miami, who are the five teams currently above them in the standings. In a way, they’ve passed numerous tests against the best the east has to offer. The struggles take place on the road versus teams like Orlando and Washington and other lesser squads that the Sixers just can’t seem to get motivated to play against.

That said, here are some things they can do to start winning again, beginning tonight with Brooklyn at the Wells Fargo Center.

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T.J. McConnell Mic’d Up Was, Sadly, the Best Part of Monday Night’s Game

Kevin Kinkead - January 14, 2020

Sixers lost last night in rather ugly fashion. The shots were not falling.

Therefore, the most entertaining portion of the game was probably this mic’d up segment from ex-Sixer T.J. McConnell, who razzed his former teammates:

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