Posts for sixers

Pistons Putting Ed Stefanski in Charge of Rebuild

Kevin Kinkead - May 24, 2018

Sounds like a home run to me.

The former Sixers President and General Manager is resurfacing with Detroit on a three-year contract to become a “senior adviser responsible for overhauling the franchise’s basketball operations,” according to ESPN:

“I’m going to Detroit to meet with all the employees, and I am going to listen to all their thoughts and visions,” Stefanski told ESPN. “And then I am going to give advice to our owner, Tom Gores, on how we are going to structure things going forward. The big thing right now, though, is that we need a head coach and a GM. Those will be two items that we will probably do simultaneously.”

The Pistons’ top target in the coaching search is former Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey, according to league sources. Stefanski, 64, is regarded as a well-connected and energetic executive — with a Wharton School of Business background.”

Detroit parted ways with Stan Van Gundy a few weeks back.

Stefanski was the Sixers’ GM from 2007 to 2011, steering the franchise to a pair of .500 records and first round playoff exits. His best move was probably the #17 overall selection of Jrue Holiday in the 2009 draft, though he also presided over the Evan Turner pick in 2010 and took Marreese Speights in 2008. He fired Mo Cheeks, hired Eddie Jordan and Doug Collins, and extended Andre Iguodala and Lou Williams. He made a big free agent splash for Elton Brand and brought back Allen Iverson.

You can relive the magic of his Sixers’ tenure over at Basketball Reference, which lists every single personnel move he made. 

Stefanski was relieved of his duties when Josh Harris and company took control of the Sixers back in 2011.


This is Satire, Right?

Kevin Kinkead - May 24, 2018

The Ringer published an article on Wednesday called “Offseason Fantasy Island,” a collection of some theoretical NBA offseason trades and free agent signings.

There’s some Sixers-related stuff in there, including this entry from Jason Concepcion:

“The Sixers Trade Markelle Fultz and Dario Saric to the Bucks for Delly and a 2018 First-Round Pick”

Hmmm… what?

Lemme read that again:

“The Sixers Trade Markelle Fultz and Dario Saric to the Bucks for Delly and a 2018 First-Round Pick”

Alright then, I’ll continue reading. I’m not big on doing theoretical offseason moves, which inherently include some elements of nonsense, but I guess it can be fun to play the “what if” game and just sort of piss around with different scenarios.

I read the description from the article three times in a row and I’m 99.9% sure this is satire. If not, God have mercy on his soul:

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Sixers Season Review: Robert Covington

Kevin Kinkead - May 23, 2018

This is part six 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

Part five – Amir Johnson

Robert Covington had a bad Boston series.

The Sixers’ streaky swing man shot 27% over the course of five games, going 0-6 in game one, 0-8 in game three, and 1-7 in game four. A 22 point, 8-15 game two effort was the outlier in an otherwise disappointing offensive performance from a guy who showed similar inconsistency all season long. He was the odd man out when T.J. McConnell was inserted into the starting lineup, coming off the bench to play just 19 and 21 minutes in the final two games of the series.

Covington recently had surgery to repair the middle finger in his guide hand, but didn’t seem to be affected by the extensor tendon issue, at least not outwardly. He brought it up but didn’t make a big deal of it when asked about lingering issues during his exit interview, so it’s hard to know how much discomfort he really felt while shooting the ball. Covington had some recurring back tightness beginning in mid-December but only missed two games, starting 80 times and averaging 31.6 minutes.

A look at the raw season-to-season totals shows that his field goal and three-point percentages were up from last year. 41.3% from the field was his best mark as a Sixer and a 36.9 three-point number was his second best, much better than 2016-17 but down slightly from his first year in town:

All of that looks pretty good on paper.

It was the peaks and valleys on the offensive end of the floor and the low-IQ plays that popped up every so often that would drag down Covington’s game, whether it was a bad turnover or questionable shot choice. Cov wasn’t great in finishing at the rim this year and didn’t create many shots for himself, operating mostly as a stationary “3 and D” guy. To his credit, he spoke to those weaknesses specifically, telling reporters two weeks ago that he’s going to spend the summer focusing on “ball handling, quickness, explosion, and finishing at the rim.”

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The Bad Boy Club

Kevin Kinkead - May 22, 2018

I missed this one earlier.

Here’s Joel Embiid playing pickup ball with a bunch of random dudes in the Bahamas:

Rough transcription:

“Hell nah. Hell nah.” (Embiid grabs defensive rebound)


“Shoot it!”

“Gimme the ball. Post him up. Post him up.”

I need more of this video.


Sam Hinkie Surfaces on Investing Podcast

Kevin Kinkead - May 22, 2018

Sam Hinkie doesn’t often do public appearances these days. He was at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference back in February and teaches a pair of classes at Stanford University.

He recently joined Patrick O’Shaughnessy on the “Invest Like the Best” podcast, an episode titled “Data, Decisions, and Basketball.”

The first 30 minutes were a blur to me, filled with buzz words that made my non-financial head hurt. The relevant Sixers stuff begins about 50 minutes in.

Some snippets:

On some of the biggest risks during his time with the Sixers – 

“One of the lights at the end of the tunnel, during the first year, which was very hard, was that we had two lottery picks, our pick and the pick from New Orleans. So we had two lottery picks coming and we would get back another guy on our team who could help, so that would be great, everyone was excited about that. So there was a bit of a hype around that, even leading into the draft, reasonably so for fans, and some of that came from the team. But it was all reasonable stuff – ‘the cavalry is coming.’ We got to draft night and made a bunch of transactions, but the gist of it – at least at the top of the draft – was that we drafted one guy that was structurally unavailable to play for the first year (Joel Embiid) and another guy that was locked in to play in Europe for the next two years (Dario Saric). Coming in, everyone felt like we were going to get two great players tonight and it’s going to be so much fun in summer league in a week, and three hours later we don’t have anyone. That was very hard. I was super proud of us for doing that and proud of ownership for having the courage to do that, because we had talked about it days ahead of time, that it might go that way, and there was a real possibility it could be our best option…”

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Joel Embiid Shares His Thoughts on Aron Baynes

Kevin Kinkead - May 22, 2018

Joel Embiid is in the Bahamas on vacation, or “holiday,” as the British would say. He hasn’t Tweeted since the Sixers lost their second round playoff series to the Boston Celtics, but resurfaced last night with a take on Aron Baynes:

I laughed, but of course people will say, “well Embiid should shut his mouth since the Celtics beat the Sixers in the playoffs.” 

That’s probably true and fair, but I think this is just Joel being Joel.

By the way, not sure if you saw this last night, but Baynes grabbed an offensive rebound and forgot which way he was facing for a moment. Teammates had to point him to the basket:

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.