Posts for sixers

This is a Good Sixers Column

Kevin Kinkead - January 10, 2019

By now you know that the national media hates Philadelphia. They’re out to get us. Everybody but Kyle Brandt.

Add Zach Lowe to the list of measured takers after writing a very good and expansive Sixers column for ESPN today, a thought-out article that puts numerous points of contention into proper context.

You could probably preface any discussion about a rising team by pointing out that most problems are going to be good problems to have. We’re sitting here talking about fitting three superstars together on the court, when most NBA teams do not have anything resembling this kind of top-end talent on the roster. The whole Butler/Simmons/Embiid exercise might be laborious, but I think every good squad navigates something similar at some point.

Seriously, when’s the last time the Sixers had to solve this “problem?” It’s been a long time since the days of surrounding Allen Iverson with anybody and everybody in an attempt to push the squad over the top, but what we got was more of an “Iverson plus seven role players” type of configuration, year-in and year-out. It was Kemba Walker and Russell Westbrook in a different epoch.

Writes Lowe:

The Sixers know Embiid and Simmons are an awkward fit on offense. They know the history of young star duos portends a clash for control. They notice when two stars duck into the post at the same time, almost bumping each other.

They understand stashing Simmons in the dunker spot is an inelegant solution to getting him out of the way while Embiid posts up.

They feel the tension between a fast-break sprinter and a back-it-down bully. “That Ben is one of the three or four fastest players in the league — and that the game can sometimes just run past Joel — is both a blessing and a curse,” Brett Brown says. “Joel needs the ball. This isn’t the 100-meter dash. Ben is getting better at recognizing that.”

That’s the key to me, and one of the problems from the Christmas Day loss in Boston. Ben’s liabilities are in the half court, where he just needs to feel his way through tight fourth quarter situations better than he currently is. It’s on Brett Brown to help a young “point guard” navigate those situations and not run his All-Star center ragged.

More, after the jump:

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Really Bad – Observations from Wizards 123, Sixers 106

Kevin Kinkead - January 10, 2019

The Sixers couldn’t shoot or protect the basketball last night. The bench offered up pretty much nothing and the effort was maybe a 1.8 on a scale of 10.

That’s good enough for a 17-point loss to a 16-25 Wizards team, a team they clobbered by… <checks notes> …17 points on Tuesday night.

They split with a bad team in the world’s most useless home-and-home series, a series that they needed to sweep.

They needed to sweep it because this is what the schedule looks like after three more cupcake games against the Hawks, Knicks, and Wolves:

  • at Pacers
  • vs Thunder
  • vs Rockets
  • vs Spurs
  • at Nuggets
  • at Lakers
  • at Warriors
  • at Kings
  • vs Raptors
  • vs Nuggets
  • vs Lakers
  • vs Celtics

How many guaranteed wins do you see in there?

Yep.

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Sports Betting Updates

fanduel sportsbook

FanDuel Sportsbook Review

Things have picked up for NJ online sports betting. FanDuel Sportsbook launched their sports betting app in September and they, along with DraftKings, have quickly become the leaders in the space. If you want to know how the sites compare to each other, read our DraftKings Sportsbook vs. FanDuel Sportsbook post. Otherwise, keep reading to get our review of FanDuel and their current bonus offers. Bonus: First deposit matched up to $100 Minimum Deposit: $10 FanDuel

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Your Complete Rams and Saints NFC Championship Game Betting Preview

The Rams and Saints will meet on Sunday afternoon in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with a trip to Super Bowl 53 on the line. If the rematch possesses the intensity of the first meeting between the two teams, a 45-35 Saints win back in November, then we should be in for quite a game. That leads us to perhaps the most important question ahead of what’s expected to be another high-scoring shootout between two of the

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Premier League Picks Week 23

You can analyze trends and probabilities all you like. You can diagnose a match to within an inch of its life. But there are certain things you really can’t account for. Before shutting out an impotent Newcastle United on January 2, Manchester United hadn’t kept a clean sheet in the league in their prior seven matches. The Red Devils went to Wembley last weekend to take on Tottenham Hotspur. Goals aplenty, right? Yeah, no: 11

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Joel Embiid, Sitting in the Second Row With a Kid on his Lap

Kevin Kinkead - January 9, 2019

The Sixers were beating the Wizards so badly last night that Joel Embiid decided to take a seat in the second row, just off the end of the team bench.

Problem is, a young kid was already sitting there. So Embiid did what anybody would do, and let the kid sit on his lap instead:

Joel asked the child what he wanted for Christmas, to which the kid reportedly said, “I’d like an NBA title and for PennDOT to hurry the fuck up with the I-95 construction project.”

I was not able to confirm that report, but Embiid later spoke about his interaction after the game:

“I just asked him what his name was and how old he was and if he wanted to play basketball when he’s older. He said yes.”

Joel was asked a follow-up, something about Philly fans in general:

“They show me a lot of love, and I feel like I’ve showed them a lot of love, too. A lot of times I need them to get going. Sometimes the game is kind of easy and I just relax, but I always need someone in the background to push me to play harder and keep dominating. That’s what they do to me. We have a special relationship. I would love to be here for the rest of my career, and these are the type of fans I want to play for.”

I think Philadelphia would love to have him here for the rest of his career. Trust the reciprocity.

Sixers Sign Haywood Highsmith to Two-Way Contract

Kevin Kinkead - January 8, 2019

Worst kept secret out there.

Keith Pompey and Jason Blevins were the first ones to report and/or intimate that 6’7″ Blue Coats swingman Haywood Highsmith would take the two-way roster spot vacated by Demetrius Jackson, who was waived on Sunday in order to pursue an opportunity in China.

From the press release:

“In 22 G League games, he holds averages of 13.8 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 33.3 minutes per game, while shooting .450 from the field and .394 from three-point range. He’s posted five 20-point performances, including a career-high 23-point outing in a Dec. 10 victory over the Oklahoma City Blue. Highsmith shot 10-14 in that game and added six rebounds, three assists and career highs of four steals and two blocks. On Dec. 28 at Fort Wayne, Highsmith tallied 20 points as he shot a perfect 7-7 from the field, including 4-4 from three-point range, and 2-2 from the free-throw line, while adding six rebounds, two assists and two steals in the win.”

Highsmith spent four years at division two Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia. He’s a 3 and D wing player with a lot of upside, sort of a youngish Robert Covington type with a slightly better handle, in my opinion. That’s really what the Sixers need right now – two-way wing guys who can shoot a bit, play some defense, and beef up the bench. Demetrius Jackson found himself way down on the point guard depth chart with no real opportunity to break into the Sixers rotation, so the decision to let him go and sign Highsmith to the open two-way spot makes a lot more sense.

More from the release:

“…based upon this contract signing date, Highsmith can spend a maximum 24 service days with the 76ers this regular season, not including any time spent with Philadelphia following the conclusion of Delaware’s regular season.”

He’s an intriguing guy. A couple of highlight videos after the jump:

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The Sixers Hired a Vice President to Focus on “Holistic Development”

Kevin Kinkead - January 8, 2019

We got a press release this morning describing the hiring of someone who sounds like a much more important version of a sports psychologist.

It’s not to downplay the resume and career achievements of Annelie Schmittel, PhD, who was a player engagement expert for the Oakland Raiders prior to coming to Philadelphia. But she seems more or less like the Markelle Fultz whisperer, a 2019 type of hire to oversee the mental health and personal development of young athletes who become millionaires at age 20 while being simultaneously thrust into the world’s biggest spotlights.

Per press release:

In her new role as 76ers Vice President of Player Development, Schmittel will be responsible for creating, managing and overseeing the holistic development and implementation of programs that support the professional and personal growth of 76ers players, staff and families.

With nearly a decade of experience in athlete development, Schmittel joins the team after spending the last three seasons with the Oakland Raiders. Also boasting experience working with NCAA Division I and II collegiate athletes, Schmittel is a proven leader with an unparalleled passion for maximizing players’ athletic and personal growth, on and off the court. Under Schmittel’s creative leadership and innovative mindset, the 76ers will continue to augment on-court progress with off-court development and strive to help players balance on-court priorities and personal responsibilities.

This section from her Linkedin bio stood out to me, after the jump:

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Fake Brett Brown Twitter Account Suspended at 16,500 Followers

Kevin Kinkead - January 7, 2019

Impostor alert.

Some dude made a fake Brett Brown Twitter account and accumulated a ton of followers before this jawn was suspended.

Said the real Brett Brown at practice today, jokingly:

“Last night I’m watching the Philadelphia Eagles game and one of my guys calls and says something about a new Twitter account. I’ve got a new Twitter account, like I’m following everybody. I have no idea. I don’t even know how to log in to Twitter. You’ve got this fake coach Brett Brown out there that’s, it’s social media, and this is the world we live in. I’m completely surprised that’s not against the law, but what do I know? So a little while ago the league helped us take Brett Brown off Twitter.”

So no, Brett was never on Twitter.

There is, however, a parody account still out there:

Jimmy Butler Downplays ESPN Report of Film Session Confrontation

Kevin Kinkead - January 7, 2019

Jimmy Butler and Wilson Chandler practiced Monday after missing out on Saturday’s win with upper respiratory infections.

That same infection has apparently spread to Ben Simmons, who did not take part in today’s training but should be okay for tomorrow’s game, according to Brett Brown.

But the big story on Action News is Butler’s response to the ESPN story regarding the film session confrontation that took place on the recent west coast road trip, a story Brown commented on at length in his pregame comments Saturday night.

Like his head coach, Butler downplayed the idea of having a confrontational exchange:

“I don’t think anything was confrontational. I just think that whenever we talk, when it’s in the office and it’s me and him, or in front of anybody else, I’m gonna speak my mind and he speaks his. I think everybody else does a great job of doing that, too. I don’t think any part of that was confrontational. It was just a player and coach talking and it just happened to be in front of everybody. I think we (came) away from it great and we got better as a team.”

All relevant Butler quotes after the jump:

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Brett Brown Responds to the Jimmy Butler ESPN Story

Kevin Kinkead - January 5, 2019

Brett Brown spoke for nearly 20 minutes pre-game Saturday night about the ESPN story regarding a recent film session confrontation with Jimmy Butler.

The Sixers head coach confirmed that the incident happened but downplayed its severity. He spoke at length about the idea of managing superstar talent within the team ecosystem while continuing to win games, and he reiterated several times that his team is doing just that – winning games and performing well offensively when Butler is on the floor.

I honestly think the whole thing is a little overblown, but I get it. Most professional sports teams are going to have varying degrees of internal strife or conflicting opinions over strategy and playing time. Look at the Kevin Durant and Draymond Green beef as an example. It is what it is.

That said, here are the most relevant parts from Brett’s presser:

On the ESPN report and what happened: 

“I have had many meetings with Jimmy over the duration of coaching him – Facetime, hotel meetings, late night phone calls. I enjoy it. I don’t mind talking to my players. In that film session that was referenced, I didn’t feel like any of it crossed the line. And if it did, it would have been dealt with quickly. So people speculating about an argument or some type of ‘aggressive disagreement’ – if it were, I would own it. From his standpoint, that is unfair. From my standpoint, judging it in the light of day, I’ve had many conversations with players over the years that would warrant that type of description. This wasn’t one of them”

On Butler bringing up his role in the offensive system:

“That was true, he wanted to be in more pick and rolls. I’ll say this first; my job is to try to find ways to make this work. This is my job. When you come into the situation with Ben and Joel and JJ, it doesn’t always equal immediate sort of pleasure, it doesn’t always equal immediate comfort. As I’ve said to all of our guys over the years, you can’t always win on your own terms. And since December 25th last year until now, we have the best record in the NBA. Not the 3rd or the 5th, the best. And since the trade, only three other teams have more wins. With him playing with us, we have the second ranked offense in the league when he’s on the floor. We’re doing okay. The notion of being in more pick and rolls, I agree with. His usage, his touches, his shots, is the same. He is in less pick and rolls but the team is doing well. So that ecosystem of me doing my job and coexisting within the framework that we have is part of the challenge. Joel will want to be posted more. Ben will want to be in pick and rolls more. JJ will want my shots. It’s all ‘2018 coaching in the NBA, welcome to it’ kind of stuff. And I think if we do anything here, my opinion comfortably is communicating. Everything I’ve said to you is the truth, how I see it. That has been spoken to my team and to Jimmy and we’ll move on.”

More after the jump:

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