Posts for Sixers Category

Zach Lowe Names Sixers “Top NBA League Pass Team” for Second Consecutive Year

Russ Joy - October 12, 2019

It’s become part of the modern NBA lexicon. Listen to enough basketball podcasts, and you’ll hear the term at least once a week. It usually goes like this: “I was watching the Kings play the Pistons last night, and man did I love how 21-year-old Harry Giles matched up against 30-year-old journeyman Jon Leuer. You wanna talk about an intriguing team, it’s Sacramento. They’re a real League Pass Team.” When you hear that, it usually means the person flipped the game on momentarily until a better matchup came on, then the guy flipped back to it at the end of the game and watched the rest of the it via an extended highlights package. Then there are guys who could conceivably watch the game and break down film, because it’s what they do. So when ESPN’s Zach Lowe announced the Sixers as the #1 NBA League Pass team -albeit with the Bill Simmons model in mind- it intrigued me, because Lowe not only knows his stuff, but also named them the Top NBA League Pass Team a year ago.

The Criteria

Per Lowe, the criteria for determining each NBA team’s League Pass rating includes giving a point value from 1-10 on the following five criteria:

  • Zeitgeist: That is to say, whether or not casual fans or the layman cares about the team.
  • Highlight potential: Is there a player on the team who can, to quote Marc Zumoff, turn garbage into gold?
  • Syle: An aesthetically-pleasing team game vs. iso-ball.
  • League Pass minutiae: This includes the team’s uniforms, various court interfaces, and announce team.
  • Unintentional comedy: This can include variables that one could deem as a curiosity, like Markelle Fultz’s jumpshot.

Why the Sixers are #1

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Daryl Morey Exposes the NBA’s China Problem

Tim Reilly - October 11, 2019

During his decade-plus tenure as general manager of the Houston Rockets, Daryl Morey has cultivated a reputation for being one of the smartest minds in basketball. Morey pioneered the use of analytics in the NBA, and his disciples have since spread the gospel of advanced metrics to every corner of the league.

Morey also has demonstrated a penchant for pulling off franchise-altering trades in an effort to keep the Rockets in contention in the crowded Western Conference. After the Golden State Warriors dispatched Houston in six games in the Western Conference semifinals, Morey signaled his willingness to overhaul his roster radically. Out went Chris Paul and in came Russell Westbrook. It was a daring gambit, and perhaps a desperate one, given the draft pick ransom the Rockets had to pay the Thunder in order to commence the deal: two first-round picks (2024 and 2026), plus the Thunder reserving the right to swap picks in 2021 and 2025.

However, it seemed for a time that Morey’s career with the Rockets might not survive long enough to enjoy the fruits of his all-in bet on the 2019-20 season. Morey’s tenuous job status has had nothing to do with questionable basketball decisions or mismanagement of the organization.

Like so many modern tragedies, it all started with a tweet. On Friday evening, Morey fired off a seemingly innocuous message on Twitter expressing his solidarity with democratic protesters in Hong Kong who are engaged in a protracted clash with mainland China over perceived intrusions on the former’s limited democratic rights:

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NBA Shuts Down Media Availability for Remainder of China Trip

Kevin Kinkead - October 11, 2019

Crazy how this Daryl Morey tweet turned into a full-bore NBA disaster. We’ve had fans kicked out of Philly and Washington preseason games, protests outside of arenas, and the uber-rare occasion of liberals and conservatives joining together to rip the league for kowtowing to China. I mean, we had Laura Ingraham and Will Bunch on the same side, for Christ’s sake.

All because a general manager expressed support for the democratic movement in Hong Kong.

Now the NBA is putting the kibosh on communications until the preseason China trip is finished, per ESPN:

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NBA vs. China Debacle: Fans Were Also Ejected from the Wizards’ Arena

Kevin Kinkead - October 10, 2019

Tuesday night, a pair of Sixers fans were kicked out of the Wells Fargo Center during the preseason matchup against China’s Guangzhou Loong Lions. Sam Wachs and his wife sat about five rows behind the visitors’ bench, holding signs that said “Free Hong Kong,” and found themselves getting the boot during the game’s second quarter.

In a statement, both the Sixers and the WFC (run by Comcast-Spectacor), explained that the couple were issued warnings for their “disruptive behavior” before tossing them from the arena.

Guangzhou continued their U.S. tour with a trip to Washington last night, where the fallout from the NBA’s China debacle continued.

These guys had their sign taken:

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Here’s the Sixers’ Statement on Tuesday Night’s Fan Ejections

Kevin Kinkead - October 9, 2019

Last night two fans were kicked out of the Wells Fargo Center for holding up signs that said “Free Hong Kong.” They told their story to various local news outlets, explaining that they were booted during second quarter after their signs were confiscated.

Here’s the Sixers’ side of the story:

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Ben Simmons’ Three-Pointer Surges His Odds to Win MVP, For Real

Kirsten Hatton - October 9, 2019

A shot we will tell our grandchildren and their children about.

Ben Simmons made his first three-pointer last night, in a preseason game against Guangzhou, China.

In South Philly, inside the Wells Fargo Center, the crowd chanted for Simmons to shoot. Fans made motions of a follow through with their hands. With time running out in the 2nd quarter, Ben took the shot a good distance behind the line.

Swoosh. It went in.

The Wells Fargo erupted. All is right with the world.

Unless you’re a sportsbook taking action on MVP odds.

Ben’s shot got so much attention, that it was enough to move MVP odds in a big way.

PointsBet, one of New Jersey’s better sports betting apps, emailed us this morning and detailed how the shot led to them taking an extreme amount of action on Ben Simmons to win MVP at +10000 odds.

They said he is now their biggest liability by far for the MVP race. They quickly had to move his odds up to +8000 following the shot and the influx of bets.

So literally one three-pointer in a preseason game, with the clock winding down, against a team from China, was enough to change the outlook for Ben Simmons’ season…if you’re a bettor.

2 weeks until the home and season opener.

I can’t wait.

Clap your hands…

The Ben Simmons Three Pointer Game – Observations from Sixers 144, Guangzhou 86

Kevin Kinkead - October 9, 2019

The Philadelphia 76ers clubbed the Guangzhou Loong Lions by 58 points last night in the 2019 preseason opener.

But the big story on Action News is Ben Simmons, who pulled up from downtown for a three pointer that hit nothing but net, sending the Wells Fargo Center crowd into rapture. The building might have been half full, but the calls to “shooooot” right before half time drowned out anything that Flyers fans have ever yelled at Jake Voracek.

After the game, Ben Simmons did what he does, downplaying the significance of hitting a three-point shot in a professional basketball game.

Here’s the entire exchange with the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey:

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Two Fans Were Kicked Out of the Sixers Game for Displaying “Free Hong Kong” Signs

Kevin Kinkead - October 9, 2019

Last night’s Sixers/Guangzhou exhibition game was played under the shadow of rising tensions between the NBA and Chinese government, a rift originating from a Daryl Morey tweet expressing support for the democratic movement in Hong Kong. 

The ensuing fallout is affecting business deals in China, where NBA and G League exhibition games have since been canceled. And last night’s matchup at the Wells Fargo Center seemed rather straightforward and innocuous, before this happened:

Here are a couple of tweets from one of the fans in question:

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