Posts for Sixers Category

Sixers Season Review: Amir Johnson

Kevin Kinkead - May 21, 2018

This is part five of a season-ending series looking back at each player’s 2017-2018 campaign.

Part one – Jerryd Bayless

Part two – Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot

Part three – Justin Anderson

Part four – Richaun Holmes


I won’t spend a ton of time on Amir Johnson since he’s moving on, but I’ll start with his exit interview since veteran words usually carry a little more weight.

Johnson was complimentary of Brett Brown and felt like the Sixers’ organization and structure was very buttoned up and player-friendly.

“Great coach, man” Johnson said after the Boston playoff series. “I like how he just had everything in order right away. It was set in stages for us and he just had everything planned out. He definitely had his preparation on point, from the summertime, to training camp, though the season, all the way to the end. For a coach to have all these players buy in to what he’s preaching, that’s definitely a great coach. As the season went on, you could tell how good of a year we had. For these players to jell and have a great year like we had, that’s special. He definitely did a great job.”

Amir only played 15.8 minutes a game as Joel Embiid’s backup this year, ceding a starting role for the first time since his 2012-2013 season in Toronto. Point production was down to a ten-year low of 4.6 as a result, but his rebounding and defense remained mostly steady in a bench role, which he says was not difficult to assume.

“Just being the vet I am, cheering on my teammates, seeing stuff in the game, playing in previous playoffs, trying to help my teammates out, it wasn’t tough at all. Playoffs is basically like a chess match. You use different pieces and different players. I think our staff did a great job using the pieces we had.”

Johnson only played 17 minutes in the Boston series and was not called upon in games four or five.

He described the tone of his exit interview as “positive” and said his son’s birthday is this summer. He’s going to take “his lady” wine tasting in California and bring his daughter out to London to visit Peppa Pig world, which is apparently a park centered around a popular cartoon character:

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NBA Draft Prospect has an Interesting Take on the Planet Earth

Kevin Kinkead - May 21, 2018

Lonnie Walker is a local kid, went to Reading High School up in the GREAT Berks County.

He spoke with the ESPN crew at the combine and had some… interesting things to say about the planet we’re currently living on:

Earth is an illusion.

Or is it an allusion?

Is this planet a false idea? Or is it an indirect reference to something else?

Walker interviewed with the Sixers and is projected to be a late lottery selection in most mock drafts. He’s 6’4″, an explosive guy who can get to the rim and defend a bit, but needs work polishing up his offensive game and will likely spend a lot of time playing off the ball at the next level.

I don’t think the Sixers would take him at #10 overall, not if one of Mikal or Miles Bridges is on the board. That would probably be considered a “reach.” Washington at 15, Milwaukee at 17, and Minnesota at 20 look like feasible landing spots for Walker.

Crossing Broadcast: Meet the President, Draft Prospects, Sports Betting

JoyOnBroad - May 18, 2018

Kyle and Russ talk about:

  • Russ getting interviewed on Cheddar Network (0:30)
  • Eagles to the White House? (4:00)
  • Covington has surgery (9:00)
  • Donte DiVincenzo (10:30)
  • Omari Spellman’s draft prospect (14:00)
  • Drafting for high ceiling vs. sound prospect (23:00)
  • How streaming delays could affect placing bets (27:00)
  • Could live sports betting bring younger fans to baseball? (34:00)

Audio after the jump:

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Sixers Season Review: Richaun Holmes

Kevin Kinkead - May 18, 2018

This is part four of a season-ending series looking back at each player’s 2017-2018 campaign.

Part one – Jerryd Bayless

Part two – Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot

Part three – Justin Anderson

_________________

In the could have/should have department, the plight of Richaun Holmes resonated loudly from Camden to South Philadelphia.

It was clear that the Sixers’ third-year center had more offensive ability than Amir Johnson. He brought more energy off the bench. He was younger. He was the better athlete and he had the ability to spark his team with a thunderous dunk or hustle play. In a way, he was sort of like the front court T.J. McConnell, a guy with a significant portion of fan backers who felt like he provided that extra “something” off the pine.

So why didn’t he play more?

It was similarly clear that Holmes never really earned the full trust of Brett Brown and the Sixers’ coaching staff because of shortcomings on the defensive end of the floor. Johnson was the savvy veteran who made up for his limitations by showing reliability, scrapping on the glass, setting good screens, and limiting mistakes. He was steady, if unspectacular.

Holmes just never did enough to earn full confidence from Brown, and that was the focus of last week’s exit interview:

“(Brown and Bryan Colangelo) Just told me some things to work on, especially defensively,” Richaun explained. “This summer, just work on getting my body right, coming back better, being more explosive, more cerebral in how I play defense. It’s something I’m looking forward to doing.”

As a follow-up, I asked Holmes for his interpretation of being more “cerebral” defensively:

“Just locking in, locking in to game plans and locking in to defensive schemes and using my athleticism better in spaces where it’s needed,” he said. “I just need to lock in a little bit more and focus.”

That’s a smart answer, I think, because it’s not like Richaun is lacking the physical tools to be a good defender. It’s other stuff like rotating, sliding, helping, reading the game – that’s what he’s alluding to when he talks about scheme and focus.

Holmes was asked how he can improve that since he won’t exactly be playing 5v5 NBA games over the summer. He mentioned “attacking the game as a whole” and getting into the weight room, watching film, studying player tendencies and schemes, and learning how to operate against different players.

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So Donte DiVincenzo Murdered The NBA Draft Combine

Kyle Scott - May 18, 2018

Jarred pasta sauces can jump.

Here’s but just a sampling of the Twitter hype wafting off Donte’s smoldering NBA Draft Combine performance: Continue Reading

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Sixers Season Review: Justin Anderson

Kevin Kinkead - May 17, 2018

This is part three of a season-ending series looking back at each player’s 2017-2018 campaign.

Part One – Jerryd Bayless

Part Two – Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot

—————-

Justin Anderson is one of the better quotes on the team, so it wasn’t surprising that his exit interview was thoughtful, candid, and introspective.

He didn’t dodge when asked if he was disappointed not to have played a bigger role in the Boston playoff series.

“I was (disappointed), I feel like I have every right to be, as a competitor,” Anderson said last Friday. “But at the same time, our coaching staff and everyone, they do a great job scouting and putting together a game plan. Everybody can’t play. Everybody can’t play 30 minutes-plus. We all want to as competitors, or at least I do. When I see athletic wings try to post us or when I see guys getting out in transition and getting easy layups at the rim, of course it makes me a little angry.”

That’s a good quote to sum up Anderson’s season, sort of a “what if?” theme. What if he played more minutes in the Boston series? What if he didn’t suffer the shin injury in the fall? What if he found some offensive consistency to go along with his defensive grit and focus?

In his sitdown with Brett Brown and Bryan Colangelo, Anderson was told he needs to pull all of that together.

“Coach really just talked about (the idea) that I have everything I need, that I have everything you need in a player to play in May and June,” he explained. “For coach, I think it was about tightening everything up, continuing to work on the shot. I made major improvements to the shot from last year to this year and hope to make another big leap this summer. For me, I have my own personal goals. Last year, when I got traded, I told Bryan Colangelo that I won’t let him down. Coach had told me he wanted me to lose a certain amount of weight and change my body shape. He wanted me to come back shooting the ball at a higher clip. I feel like I did those things. I think this summer is now an opportunity for me to go back and work on those things that much more, but also to work on what I need to add to my game to be able to keep me from being a liability on either side of the floor. It’s gonna take a lot of work and a lot of separation, but I’m ready to do it, ready to start as soon as right now.”

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Robert Covington Has Offseason Surgery

Kevin Kinkead - May 17, 2018

It was the left middle finger that was giving him some issues.

Per Sixers PR:

STATEMENT FROM PHILADELPHIA 76ERS VICE PRESIDENT OF ATHLETE CARE DR. DANIEL MEDINA:

Robert Covington today underwent successful surgery to repair the extensor tendon in his left middle finger. He first suffered the injury on Dec. 28 at Portland. The procedure was performed by Asif M. Ilyas, M.D., a Rothman Institute hand surgeon and Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Thomas Jefferson University.

Covington is allowed use of the hand immediately and will wear a splint on the finger while recovering. He will be reevaluated in approximately two to three weeks to assess his readiness to resume basketball activities.

Covington mentioned the injury at last Friday’s exit interview:

The History of the #10 Pick

Kevin Kinkead - May 17, 2018

“With the tenth pick in the 2018 NBA draft, the Philadelphia 76ers select, Mikal Bridges, Villanova.”

I think that’s probably what happens. Mikal is just too good of a fit for a Sixers team that needs wing depth and values defensive flexibility and mettle. Bridges provides both.

Whatever happens at #10 overall, it’s hard to get it wrong. Most experts see this draft tailing off a bit around pick 11 or 12, so whether it’s Mikal Bridges, Miles Bridges, Trae Young, or even Lonnie Walker or a backup big man for Joel Embiid – should one of the centers slide down the board – I think you end up with a first-year contributor somewhere. Worst case scenario, you get a role player or second-unit guy who comes in on an affordable rookie deal.

Historically, that seems to be the case with the #10 pick – a lot of complementary pieces, some first-team studs, one legitimate superstar, and not a ton of bona fide busts.

Here’s the list of players taken at ten overall dating back 15 years to 2003:

2017 – Zach Collins (Gonzaga) – Sacramento Kings

The 19-year-old, seven-foot center was drafted by Sacramento and traded to Portland for picks 15 and 20.

Collins had a decent year backing up Jusuf Nurkic, starting on the bench but working his way into the lineup in December. He finished with 4.4 points per game and 3.3 rebounds as a rookie and looks like he’s got a lot of good years ahead.

Biggest draft surprise – Donovan Mitchell (13th), John Collins (19th), OG Anunoby (23rd), Kyle Kuzma (27th)

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