Posts for nba

Joel Embiid Hopes to Play Next Week

Kevin Kinkead - January 24, 2020

Sixers/Lakers tomorrow night.

No Josh Richardson, who is out with a hamstring strain.

No Joel Embiid, who is still healing after surgery on his dislocated finger.

Embiid, named an All Star on Thursday night, said Friday he hopes to play next week:

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All Star Fan Voting Was Not Kind to Ben Simmons

Kevin Kinkead - January 24, 2020

Joel Embiid was named to his third straight All-Star game Thursday night, finishing second in the weighted voting for Eastern Conference front court players.

Ben Simmons finished 7th among back court players, and while he did very well in the media and player vote, look at how the fans rated him:

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Sixers Reportedly “Expressed Interest” in Danilo Gallinari

Kevin Kinkead - January 23, 2020

The NBA trade deadline is February 6th, two weeks from today.

Cue the numerous reports linking team X to player Y, with language like “interested in” or “inquired about” or whatever else Woj and the other news breakers can come up with.

Let’s bite on this one, via Kevin O’Connor at The Ringer:

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Josh Richardson Expected to Miss Two to Three Weeks

Kevin Kinkead - January 23, 2020

Per Shams:

That timing here is iffy because the Sixers have a lot of important games coming up. Three weeks would take Richardson to February 13th, which would cause him to miss games against the Lakers, Warriors, Hawks, Celtics, Heat, Bucks, Grizzlies, Bulls, and Clippers. The Sixers then get nine days off after that game before hosting the Nets at home.

That’s the good news, the fact that this bumps into the All-Star break. Of course, Joel Embiid is still out, so it’s gonna be rough sledding minus two starters until he can rejoin the lineup.

Woof.

How Many Three-Pointers is Too Many? – Observations from Raptors 107, Sixers 95

Kevin Kinkead - January 23, 2020

Josh Richardson left the first quarter of last night’s game with a strained hamstring, forcing Brett Brown to tweak his rotations further beyond the absence of Joel Embiid. At times last night we saw lineups that featured five starters on the floor, with James Ennis barely playing and Trey Burke left on the bench entirely.

Down two starters and playing on the road against a good team, the Sixers just didn’t have enough juice on either end of the floor. We could probably end the recap right there, but it would make for a pretty short read.

So let’s talk about three pointers. The Sixers took 46 last night, which was a season high. They hit 18, which amounts to 39%, a very good number that sits four percentage points above the league average. If you look at their two pointers, they shot just 14-38, which amounts to just 37%.

Parse those two numbers separately, and the Sixers scored 54 points on 18 three point makes and 28 points on 14 two-point makes, which looks good analytically and explains to you why so many teams favor the three ball in the modern day NBA. It’s just a more efficient shot.

But basketball can’t be parsed down to a spread sheet, and regardless of Embiid’s availability, I personally think 46 three pointers is way too many for the Sixers for the following reasons:

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The Sixers’ Turnover Numbers Have Really Improved

Kevin Kinkead - January 21, 2020

Brett Brown noted on January 7th that his Sixers team was committing fewer turnovers as a byproduct of more set plays being dialed up in the half court.

That was before Joel Embiid dislocated his finger, a time when Brown’s squad was struggling offensively and needed a boost to get themselves unstuck and rolling again after grinding to a stagnant halt near the season’s halfway point. Embiid only played two games in January but turned the ball over only five times total, a 2.5 per game average number that was much lower than the 3.2 and 3.0 numbers he posted in December and November, respectively. It would have extrapolated nicely, we assume, had he remained healthy.

Regardless of Embiid’s absence, and whether or not that’s the prime catalyst for the change, the Sixers are now a top-15 ball protection squad in the NBA, having climbed out of the bottom ten to land in a three-way tie for 11th place, turning the ball over just 14.6 times per game on the season.

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Ben Simmons Does Everything – Observations from Sixers 117, Nets 111

Kevin Kinkead - January 21, 2020

Don’t look now, but the Sixers are on a four-game winning streak and have won back-to-back road games.

They haven’t beaten any elite teams in that stretch, but they found ways to win close games without Joel Embiid and improved a pretty sad road record from 7-14 to 9-14, which is a step in the right direction. Furthermore, they’re now 18-11 in games that have come down to five or fewer points in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter, which is a fancy way to say that they’re figuring out how to win tight contests while gathering boatloads of experience in the process.

These are the kinds of games the Sixers need to win if they’re going to improve from 5th in the East to 2nd, a gap separating Philadelphia and Miami by only two games right now. Stacking wins against bad teams, especially on the road, is how Milwaukee jumped way out in front for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

Take your pick of Ben Simmons stats from a day in which he posted 34 points, 12 rebounds, 12 assists, 5 steals, and two blocks while turning the ball over only three times. He played 42 minutes of locked-in basketball and I think the most significant takeaway from Ben’s night was:

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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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