Posts for Sixers Category

Joel Embiid Pokes Fun at Himself with New Twitter Profile Picture

Kevin Kinkead - May 16, 2019

Nothing like some good self-deprecating humor. It’s good for the soul.

Joel Embiid hasn’t been on social media since April 9th, which is before the start of the playoffs, but he popped up this week and changed his profile picture to this:

Those are the shots of Joel crying after the game seven loss.

King hard ass Seth Joyner didn’t appreciate the tears, because he thought it showed softness I guess, but I’ll go ahead and disagree. I’ll disagree, not because I’m some “soy boy liberal” (which isn’t even accurate, but the comments section trolls say it anyway), but because it shows that Embiid is a human being and he cares. He could have just walked off the floor, dissed the media, and started planning summer vacation while raking in his millions of dollars, but the crying to me shows that he actually gives a shit about winning. Who really cares how a single adult responds to adversity anyway? Everybody’s different.

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Way Too Early Sixers’ Mock Draft Roundup

Kevin Kinkead - May 16, 2019

It’s way too early to start thinking about the NBA Draft.

Or is it?

The season just ended four days ago, but the draft is on June 20th, which is less than five weeks away. That’s what happens I guess when you exit in game seven of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Your offseason isn’t as long as it used to be.

Yesterday I wrote up a summary of the Sixers’ five selections with a bit of history on picks 24, 33, and 34, and today we start with a look at some of the mock drafts out there.

CBS Sports

Gary Parrish has the Sixers going with Purdue’s junior point guard Carsen Edwards:

Edwards’ incredible performances in the NCAA Tournament — especially his 42-point game against the Virginia team that went on to win the national championship — helped the Purdue junior with NBA front offices, and now he’s a likely first-round pick. The 6-1 guard averaged 24.3 points in 35.4 minutes per game this season while shooting 35.5% from 3-point range. At worst, I think, Edwards projects as an instant-offense contributer (sic) perfectly suited to come off of the bench.

The Sixers need a backup point guard next season. Markelle Fultz was supposed to be that guy when he came out of the starting lineup, then T.J. McConnell ended up doing the job before Brett Brown slimmed his playoff rotation and gave Jimmy Butler the ball.

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The Sixers and the History of Draft Picks 24, 33, and 34

Kevin Kinkead - May 15, 2019

The Pelicans won the lottery last night.

After all of the Anthony Davis bullshit, they ended up with the #1 overall pick in the NBA Draft and will be rolling with Zion Williamson, barring some incredibly unlikely turn of events.

The Grizzlies won the second pick and the Knicks and Lakers finished third and fourth, which you “just hate to see.” Monty Williams’ Phoenix Suns, who finished 19-63, will pick sixth.

Your team, your town, your 76ers will pick 24th in the first round and have the following selections in June:

  • round one, 24th overall
  • round two, 33rd overall (via the Markelle Fultz/Jonathon Simmons deal)
  • round two, 34th overall (via the Isaac Bonga/Lakers deal)
  • round two, 42nd overall (via the Bucks/Nets/Casper Ware carousel)
  • round two, 54th overall

The Sixers can do something with #24. They can find a contributor. They pulled Landry Shamet at #26 last year and turned into him a piece of the Tobias Harris deal.

Here’s the recent history of the 24th pick, going back ten years, after the jump:

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Ten More Takeaways from the Sixers’ Exit Interviews

Kevin Kinkead - May 15, 2019

Monday and Tuesday was sidebar city, USA.

I wrote about the following topics, if you care to read:

Here are ten more takeaways from Monday and Tuesday that did not make it into the above posts:

1. The luxury tax

Josh Harris is fine with entering this territory, within reason.

From Tuesday:

Harris: Yeah, look, we’ve said it repeatedly and we’ll keep saying it. We’re committed to do what it takes to bring a championship to Philly, including spending into the luxury tax. And just going back to Keith [Pompey]’s question, Brett [Brown] knew through the Toronto series that his job was not in jeopardy. Let’s be really direct about it.

Elton Brand: Also, I’ll add to that. We’re going to be fiscally responsible, also. You know, we’re just not jumping into the luxury tax. There’s going to be moves to make.

Harris: I mean, obviously [laughs]. Thank you.

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On Hand-Offs and Other Complaints: Brett Brown Reiterates His Offensive Philosophies

Kevin Kinkead - May 14, 2019

These are the two most common complaints I see on social media regarding the Sixers’ offense:

  1. “dribble hand-offs suck”
  2. “why isn’t Joel Embiid getting his ass in the post?”

I think a third would be “Ben Simmons can’t shoot,” which I wrote about a few hours ago. A fourth complaint would be that the “Sixers’ offensive schemes suck” and maybe a fifth would be that Brett Brown doesn’t dial up quality half court plays in late game situations. That would probably be a Twitter top-five, those things I mentioned.

Regarding the first two, I asked Brett about that straight-up today, about the idea that his detractors seem to complain about those ideas more than anything. That was the first part of the question, and the second part was about bringing in Jimmy Butler, adding more pick and roll, then tweaking things to fit Tobias Harris.

As a result, has Brett’s offensive philosophy changed at all?

It seemingly has not, and he gave a lengthy response that essentially doubled down on why he believe what he believes. I’ll break it into four parts, beginning with this:

I have given this explanation before and I’m proud to give it again. We led most of the previous years the NBA in passing. That is a fact. I believe we had a team that was better moving a lot, freeing each other a lot, Dario (Saric) and Cov (Robert Covington) weren’t going to break people down off an isolation or a pick-and-roll. And so we led the NBA in passing. Connected to that, we led the NBA in assist percentage or were always in the top two. I’m proud of sharing the ball. Since we all met six years ago, I told you the pass is king. The pass is king, it’s everything, because it connects the dots to chemistry. You share.

This is something Brett has reiterated a million times before, one, that they weren’t a pick and roll team because they simply did not have great pick and roll players, and two, that he philosophically believes in movement, pace, and space. He runs a motion offense, he encourages sharing of the ball, and he’s willing to live with the resulting turnovers.

The Sixers finished 4th this season with 26.9 assists per game. Assist percentage was 61.9, also fourth. 317 passes per game was third in the league. The Sixers have consistently ranked in the top five in these types of passing and assist categories.

More Brett, after the jump:

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Are We Any Closer to Ben Simmons and a Reliable Jump Shot?

Kevin Kinkead - May 14, 2019

Ben Simmons always brushes off the jump shot question. One word answers with no real interest in talking about the topic. It’s been that way for at least a year now.

And it’s whatever in my book. It’s fine. He knows it’s a part of his game he has to develop. I’m not sure what he really can say, or what we expect him to say, but I’d love for Ben to just give us a generic bullshit quote instead of one-word answers. Give us something like this –

“Shooting? For sure, you know I think it’s important for me to continue working on that. I know it’s the next logical step in improving my game and helping the team.”

That’s a fake quote, but I like it. It’s a good fake quote, and if Ben defaults to something like that when asked about his jump shot, it will probably help him a bit. It will do more for the MACRO-LEVEL PERCEPTION that he really cares about adding this skill to his game. Yes, perception is ultimately bullshit, but it helps direct media and fan narratives in a positive direction, rather than a negative one.

To the latter point, Monday we got a goofy exchange with Howard Eskin:

Man that’s so awkward. Try being 10 feet away from that conversation.

Anyway, I don’t have to tell you what a reliable jumper would do for Ben. It would really help him space the floor, it would make teams think twice about double-teaming Joel Embiid, and it would give him another transitional tool to use when he runs into resistance near the foul line. It just helps open up the half-court offense instead of forcing Ben into weakside post positions, where he becomes a glorified Reggie Evans instead of a dynamic, playmaking big man.

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Assertive Brett Brown Confirms His Job Was Never in Peril

Kevin Kinkead - May 14, 2019

I was going to add these to the earlier story, but they were lengthy and strong quotes, so I figured I’d use them in a separate post instead.

Brett Brown seemed.. defiant? Was he defiant this morning? Maybe that’s not the right word, but I feel like he was in rare form, assertively talking about his role as a head coach and emphatically describing how far this franchise has come since 2013, when he was hired to replace Doug Collins.

Josh Harris, speaking this morning, explained that Brown’s job was never in jeopardy, and Brett confirmed that when he spoke to the assembled media about 30 minutes later.

“It is accurate,” Brown said of his assured job status. “Going into the Toronto series, (Josh) and I had multiple conversations. As it plays out, you’re never sure which way it’s gonna go. In regards to, is it a relief? It’s deeper than that, given the history I’ve had here. It’s something that we’re proud of, the things that we’ve done, and it’s deeper than that.”

Howard Eskin, the King, was also in classic form today. He asked for clarification, and if Brett was reassured of his job status during the playoffs, which led to a rather epic answer, after the jump:

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Josh Harris Says Brett Brown’s Job was “Never in Jeopardy”

Kevin Kinkead - May 14, 2019

Remember those rumors about Brett Brown losing his job?

Nothing to it, according to Sixers managing partner Josh Harris, who spoke to media on Tuesday morning as part of the club’s 2019 exit interviews.

First up, the King, Howard Eskin, who asked about the conversations leading up to the decision to keep Brown for next season.

Josh Harris:

“I’ll start. A lot has made about this in the press and truthfully you can’t believe what you’re reading or what you’re hearing. Brett’s job was never in jeopardy. We were very focused on the playoffs and yeah we climbed to get into a lot of questions people were asking us, but I have a great relationship with Brett. He’s been our coach for six years and I’ve talked with him constantly throughout the playoffs, including last night, in terms of planning for the future. We have been and continue to be excited that Brett is leading us.”

Eskin: Didn’t you allude to a comment that the team didn’t move further than last year, things had to change?

Harris: Never said that. I talked about us all, Elton, Brett, the front office and everyone being disappointed, and how that would be a problem for us all. But we’re all in this together, we never were laying this at Brett’s feet. He’s done a great job.

What Howard is referencing is Harris’ March quote at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, when the Sixers’ owner was asked if anything less than a deep playoff run would be an issue for him.

Said Harris then:

“It would be problematic. Very problematic. It would not be what we’re playing for. We’d be unhappy. I’d be unhappy. The city would be unhappy. We’re going to work hard to make sure that doesn’t happen. We have enough talent on our roster that if we play the way we’re capable of playing, we can beat any team in the East.”

Harris didn’t specifically mention Brown’s job security at the conference. He then spoke before the Brooklyn playoff series, saying this about Brett:

“We have a lot of confidence in Brett. We’re focused on the Nets.”

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