Posts for sixers

The Sixers Win By 10 Tonight

Kyle Scott - October 20, 2017

In case you haven’t noticed, the Sixers are -1.5 tonight against the 0-2 Celtics.

They will win by 10.

I’m not putting on my Brandon Lang hat, but I’ve thought since the beginning of the week – before Gordon Hayward’s awful and unfortunate injury – that the Sixers would pick off the Celtics at home tonight. The line moving in their direction makes it all the more clear.

This game opened with the Sixers as a +1 and has shifted a full (partial?) 2.5 points in their favor.

If there’s one team that has less experience playing together and needs more time to gel than the Sixers, it’s the Celtics, who will start Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and Al Horford. Tatum, the supposed all-world rookie who may win the Jahlil Michael Carter Okafor award for hitting their ceiling as a rookie, was a -15 against the Bucks. Joel Embiid may literally eat Al Horford in the paint. Dario Saric will awaken in front of the home crowd. Having Hayward would have at least given the Celtics vastly superior talent to most teams in the East even as they all figured out how to play together. Without him, they’re an above average group that is without their top two ballhandlers from last season. They are well on their way to a panicky 0-3 start, which they will eventually bounce back from.

The Sixers may have more raw talent, actually more chemistry, and will be playing in front of a RAUCOUS The Center crowd. Take the Sixers all day. Big win tonight.

Sixers Notes: She Blinded Me With Sports Science

Kevin Kinkead - October 19, 2017

Joel Embiid’s “minutes plan” is not your mom’s low carb diet. You don’t count points and then stop when you hit a certain number. You don’t get prepackaged granola bars in the mail.

Maybe that was the case last season, when the plan was a restriction that included hard numbers and zero wiggle room. This year there’s flexibility and fluidity, which you saw on Wednesday night when Embiid played 27 minutes in the 120-115 loss in Washington.

It was the main topic once again at Thursday’s practice session, where Brett Brown reflected on the usage of his 148 million dollar center.

“I think it’s a good example, last night, for all of us to understand why there could be a tremendous variance in minutes,” the head coach told reporters. “We all come back and look at a box score that says he played ‘X.’ I sat down with the sports science people this morning and they’re very thoughtful in how they come up with this decision, in relation to the loading. And you can judge the loading scientifically in blocks. There was only one section in his loading, his chunk of minutes, that they viewed to be higher – it was a torrid pace up and down. The other times he came in, it was played at a reasonable pace.”

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Fadeaways: Transition Offense and Interior Defense

Kevin Kinkead - October 19, 2017

Hey, finally some game film to take a look at. I’ll try to do a shorter video post to follow each “observations” story on the day after Sixers games.

If you’ve got a better title than “fadeaways,” leave a really snarky comment below.

I could go in about 500 directions here, but let’s keep it simple with a couple of team topics. Continue Reading

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Glass Half Full: Six Observations from Wizards 120, Sixers 115

Kevin Kinkead - October 19, 2017

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That went a lot better than I thought it would. I didn’t have the Sixers hanging tough until the final minute of a one-possession game against a top-four Eastern Conference team.

The irony is that those backbreaking last-minute turnovers weren’t committed by rookies– they were committed by two of the team’s more experienced players.

And the further disappointment is that one of those players, Robert Covington, was absolutely fantastic for the prior 28 minutes he was on the court.

That’s what it came down to, a pair of brutal deflections that killed off a really nice Sixers comeback bid in an entertaining season opener.

There’s a lot to like about that game. They played tough against a quality team on the road. Ben Simmons didn’t look like a rookie. Markelle Fultz played better than I thought he would. Joel Embiid was on the floor in the fourth quarter. Covington shot the ball like the second coming of Jerry West.

Still, I think it’s legitimate to feel dissatisfaction with the way that game ended. Nobody expected this team to win in Washington, but they were in a position to do it. They blew a halftime lead with a sloppy third quarter, pulled level with a small ball fourth quarter lineup, then shot themselves in the foot with a combination of mediocre interior defense and a pair of momentous giveaways. Continue Reading

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Keeping the Horse in Front of the Cart: Realistic Expectations for the 2017 Sixers

Kevin Kinkead - October 18, 2017

I’m gonna go way out on a limb and predict that one of the four teams that played last night will win the NBA championship.

Alright!

Now that we’ve got that squared away, let’s talk about your team, your town, your playoff-bound Philadelphia 76ers. I went on the record Wednesday with this prediction:

41-41, 8th seed in the Eastern Conference

That’s assuming Joel Embiid can play somewhere between 50 and 60 games and isn’t hampered by his “fucking bullshit” minutes restriction.

Whether you agreed with The Process or not, I think everyone understands that this team still has a long way to go. Ben Simmons is a rookie. Markelle Fultz is a rookie. Embiid might as well be a rookie. But one facet of The Process that falls by the wayside is the idea that your core talent is being brought along at the same time. Sam Hinkie was patient enough to move on from guys like Michael Carter-Williams because he thought he could do better. He thought he could assemble a trio that would contend for a title and not just get the team into the postseason.

In that regard, The Process is over. Any half-hearted extension of the concept cheapens the philosophy and makes people forget why it was even executed in the first place. It’s like a band that releases a bunch of great albums then drops a disc like “St. Anger.”

This year, returning to the playoffs would be a big success for a team that has won 19, 18, 10, and 28 games in the last four years. Even cresting 30 wins is a step forward. You’ve been loyal enough to sit through four years of tanking, so suddenly putting the cart before the horse seems hypocritical for a fan base that has tolerated (and even invited) a half-decade of abeyance.

Here’s how I have it going down in the Eastern Conference: Continue Reading

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I Like the Difficulty of the Sixers’ Early-Season Schedule

Kevin Kinkead - October 18, 2017

Everybody talks about how challenging the Sixers’ schedule is, but I kind of like it.

In lieu of a harrowing slog toward the playoffs, you’re really just getting the hard part out of the way early.

Ten of the first 15 are on the road, including a five-game West Coast road swing. The reward for running that gauntlet is a “welcome home!” game against the Warriors, just seven days removed from a visit to Oracle Arena.

Yea, it’s gonna be a merciless start, but do you want Golden State now, or later?

This is a Sixers team that will need time to jell, evolve, and learn how to win. I’d prefer they start that curve in games where they won’t be favored, instead of facing pressure to get the job done right off the bat. Expectations feel like they’re a bit high for a squad that’s somewhere between nascent and burgeoning on the developmental scale.

We’re probably looking at a 5-10 or 4-11 start, but I don’t think anyone was expecting otherwise, not unless Ben Simmons and a restricted Joel Embiid come flying out of the gates ala Rhys Hoskins. Markelle Fultz is starting the season with the second unit and will need some time. I don’t know if a full-strength squad is winning at Houston anyway, so let’s get the ducks in a row before we get ahead of ourselves.

This isn’t next-level thinking; the flip side is that the back-end schedule is incredibly ideal.

You’re starting the final 15 games with six of seven at home against the likes of Brooklyn and New York. Assuming you tread water from December to March, there’s a really good chance to barrel towards the postseason with some momentum-building wins.

For the hell of it, let’s go down the list and see where we end up, starting with the first 15. Continue Reading

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Trust The Process

Kyle Scott - October 18, 2017

Brett Brown Says It’s Not Responsible to Expose His Rookies to a “Roadrunner” on Opening Night

Kevin Kinkead - October 17, 2017

Lost in the Joel Embiid “fucking bullshit” minutes restriction Tuesday drama was the fact that the Philadelphia 76ers are playing a regular season basketball game tomorrow.

Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz will be welcomed to the NBA with a road trip against John Wall, Bradley Beal, and a 49-win Washington team that took Boston to seven games in last year’s conference semifinals.

“I mean, you just start with the head of the snake; you better get back in defense,” said Brown of Wednesday night’s matchup. “You’ve got a roadrunner, you’ve got a gazelle in John Wall. It certainly starts there. It might even stop there. Then you get into Beal. You’re dealing with All-Stars and scorers, and you’re especially dealing with a veteran team that has played in the playoffs and has some continuity. I think (Scott Brooks) does a great job with them, you know, that’s a bunch of men that have played deep in the playoffs or had that playoff-hardening experience. I think those types of things come to my mind.”

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