Posts for raptors

Got The Job Done: Four Observations from Sixers 117, Raptors 111

Kevin Kinkead - January 16, 2018

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They blew another lead but not the game, hanging on for a 117-111 win in the regular season finale against the Toronto Raptors.

The takeaway could be that they almost coughed it up, or you could go with the glass half full approach as they found a way to weather a Raptor run and make enough plays down the stretch for a good win against a really good team.

It was a 102-101 ballgame with 3:03 to play and Ben Simmons, who had missed his last two shots and turned the ball over three times in a row, drove right to the rim for a contested bucket. After a stop on the defensive end, Simmons came right back down the floor, put a defender on ice skates, then dished it out to Dario Saric for his only three pointer of the game, a triple that extended the Sixer lead to six points.

That was it, right? Aggressive Simmons showed up to close out the game.

Sort of.

The next trip down, he tried to find Saric in the low post and turned the ball over, leading to a Sixer foul and pair of foul shots for DeMar DeRozan.

With a four-point lead, Simmons was intentionally fouled and sent to the line, where he nailed both free throws. Later, he stole the ball, but missed the ensuing dunk. That was really Philadelphia in a nutshell, where they did a lot of great things, then followed up with errors. But they did more of the former and less of the latter in buckling down to beat one of the NBA’s better teams for the first time this season. Continue Reading

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Trust the Prosthetic: Four Observations from Raptors 114, Sixers 109

Kevin Kinkead - December 22, 2017

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A little bit of botched injury news to go along with a blown 22-point lead.

Last night was an early Christmas gift for Sixer fans.

There were four of us sitting at a table in the media room during halftime and one writer looked up and said, “they’ll probably lose by eight.” He was right, just off by three points. You just got the sense that a big letdown was coming, and it did.

Why, then? Why the letdown?

I saw a combination of turnovers, some missed shots, and unnecessary fouling. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan went 6-9 in the third quarter and Delon Wright was 4-4. The Sixers regressed to the norm after shooting 58% in the first half.

Brett Brown’s explanation:

“They jumped us, they just crawled into us. It’s not like they double-teamed Ben or used blitz pick and rolls. They got physical, and you know that’s what the NBA does and I burned two timeouts to try and get us stronger. There’s no magic bean, there’s no magic play. It’s body-body-ball stuff, if they come up and press you’re going to have to back them off and create space and possibly expose fouls, like Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan do. But when you look at it, they went a little smaller, they switched out on everything, they got up and in and they went on an offensive tear and made a bunch of threes. I don’t know the exact number, it felt like 10-of-11. It just felt like that, and I think that type of mentality to me sort of set the tone for the period.”

Toronto was 5-8 from three in the third period.

A word on the coach:

I’m not the type to call for someone to be fired in December. David Fizdale and Earl Watson were in toxic player-related situations, which is why they were removed, be it their fault or not. Jim Curtin always said, “players win games, coaches lose games, and referees ruin games,” and I think that describes Philadelphia appropriately. It’s easy, knee-jerk reaction to rip the coach when you blow huge second-half leads, but I’ve said before that Brett Brown doesn’t have Joel Embiid, he doesn’t have Markelle Fultz, and the remaining players are a 21-year-old rookie who can’t shoot and a bunch of role players.

We’re compiling a body of work that right now includes four throwaway years that I don’t even count as part of Brown’s tenure here. Are you judging him on what he did with Hollis Thompson and Jerami Grant? As far as I’m concerned, this is year number one, with injury and communication concerns that are out of his control and a roster with little depth. I need 40 games of healthy Markelle Fultz before I can even begin to make a legitimate judgment here. If Brown does get fired, it would either be at the end of the year or in the midst of a similar start next year.

So I think we compile positives and negatives from a larger body of work and then evaluate it at the end of the season. What, you didn’t expect them to win a playoff series, did you? Let’s not pull a 2016 Eagles here and think the squad is off to the Super Bowl after a surprise 3-0 start. I think most of us pegged them for .500 or right around that mark. They were going into the season with a core of young stars that had played 31 combined NBA games. They got off to a strong start and we stupidly adjusted our expectations based on a miniscule sample size.

Now, don’t get me wrong, you can absolutely rip Brett Brown for letting his team waste 10 seconds before fouling at the end of last night’s game. What exactly was Jerryd Bayless doing there? Stuff like that from a veteran is inexcusable, and we write it down, log it, and come back to that when evaluating the coach and that player somewhere down the road.

Also inexcusable were some of the bogus foul calls Toronto received at the end of the game. The Raptors went 32-35 from the free throw line while the Sixers went 10-14.

This one was particularly egregious: Continue Reading

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Joel Embiid Is…. Wait For It……… “Out” For Tonight’s Game

Kevin Kinkead - December 21, 2017

Surprise!

Joel Embiid will not play tonight.

The Sixers center was officially ruled “out” around 6:30 p.m., one hour after he was deemed “probable.” Six hours prior, he was said to be “questionable” for the contest.

So if you’re keeping track, he went from questionable, to probable, to out, in a span of less than eight hours.

He looked fine in warm-ups from what I saw, shooting some baskets and dancing around a bit:

Trevor Booker WILL play tonight, so there’s that. Jerryd Bayless gets the nod for the injured JJ Redick.

Your starting lineups:

K.J. McDaniels Personally Victimized Greivis Vasquez Again Last Night

Jim Adair - January 15, 2015

http://giant.gfycat.com/EvilHeartfeltGalapagoshawk.gif

It was just two months ago that K.J. McDaniels embarrassed Greivis Vasquez in front of his home fans, concussing one of them. You’d think that Vasquez would’ve learned his lesson, but as you can see above, he didn’t. Same play. Same place. Different time.

It looks alarmingly similar to the first block, just with the addition of Henry Sims in the way. The first one:

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 12.43.47 PM

A gif of that is after the jump.

Maybe Vasquez could, I don’t know, pump fake or something? Or maybe just not throw a shot up in K.J.’s general direction from that exact same spot on the floor. That might work. Because the definition of insanity… you know the rest.

GIF via r/Sixers

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Sixers Game Film: Would Joakim Noah Watch that Shit?

Jim Adair - November 13, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 2.24.17 PM

Joakim Noah would not watch that shit. But really, the Bulls beat the Sixers last Friday by a measly three points, while the Raptors barely played against a basketball team when they crushed the Sixers on Sunday. The Bulls and Raptors play each other tonight. Maybe he should watch that game film.

via SLAM Magazine