Category Archives: NBA

Markelle Fultz Has the Right Vision

I like Markelle Fultz. Not just as a player — and there is a lot to like about him as a player — but as a person. Fultz didn’t make it to the number 1 pick by just cruising on natural talent. As a sophomore in high school (i.e. just a few years ago), he was cut form the varsity basketball team. He get there with a combination of talent and hard work.

So now that he is in the NBA, the really hard work begins. And I like that Fultz is fully aware of that. His vision is to be the greatest player ever. To get there, he will be putting in a lot of hours in the gym and on the court. More important, he will be assessing everything he does in light of his vision. Is it progress? Is it enough progress?

Most of us don’t do that. Must of us cruise through situations without having or using a vision like that. But a few do. And those folks are fun to watch.

Stay tuned!

Magic Johnson Puts on His Strategy Cap

The Lkers have been in a funk for a while now. So they brought in Magic Johnson as GM to see if he could shake things up and move the team forward. He is doing just that.

Magic just completed a big deal with the Nets, sending the overpaid Mozgov and under performing Russell for a slimmed down Brook Lopez and  a late first round pick. As BI reports, this looks like Magic will go for Lonzo Ball to replace Russell at the point and that he wants to clear out space for a big free agent in 2018. Lebron?

Stay tuned.

A Close Up Look At Fultz

So the Sixers will land Markelle Fultz. What is the big deal?

Check out this post to find out what the big deal is all about.

This dude — still a teenager — is showing amazing potential.

Most important, Fultz developed the skills that we are drooling over through hard work. This is not just a case of a young guy excelling because he is incredibly gifted. That bodes well for his NBA experience where he will need to level up again.

I am VERY excited!

It Looks Like Fultz is Headed for Philly!

I posted on this yesterday … and with great excitement. Yesterday, it appeared that a deal between the Sixers and the Celtics was possible that would send the top pick of this year’s draft to the Sixers for the Sixers pick at 3 plus other considerations.  That would mean the Sixers can get the player that they are drooling over – Markelle Fultz.

The deal is done and will be finalized on Monday!

Mhy wait? The Sixers need a meeting with Fultz and want to take one more look at him when he arrives in Philly. These are formalities.

In return, the Sixers will give up their pick at 3 as welll as next year’s Lakers pick — which is protected. If that does not convey, they will give over the 2019 Kings pick.

Adding to the fun, the Lakers appeared to be in competition with the Sixers to get Fultz but could not offer the above combination. Thank you basketball Gods for not allowing the Lakers pick to convey earlier! And thank you Sam Hinkie for stockpiling picks and getting the trade swap!

This is very, very exciting for sixer fans! Embiid, Simmons and Fultz are a perfect fit and 3 players who all have elite potential.  This quote gives you the feeling that Sixers fans share

…  within seconds of Marc Stein hitting send on a tweet Friday afternoon, it felt like those gray clouds had passed the Sixers. Finally. After four years of an endlessly mocked rebuild and essentially a quarter of a century of incompetence dating back to the day the Sixers dealt Charles Barkley, Sixers fans are finally set up to reap the harvest they patiently waited for. Sam Hinkie built the orchard and Bryan Colangelo grabbed a bushel off it and is trying to send it packing to Boston for Fultz. When it feels too good to be true, it usually is in Philadelphia, but maybe we’ve reached a new era in this city where optimism is the norm instead of a fleeting ray of sunshine.

That about sums it up!

You Heard it First Here: A Sixers/Celtics Deal is Being Discussed

The NBA draft is coming up – June 22!!!

A while back, I brought out in a post here that

  • the consensus is the Markelle Fultz is the best prospect in the draft – the dude can create offense, move without the ball, has a great handle and can pass, has a great outside shot and can play defense. He is a “full package”. Every other player has weaknesses. Fultz is the most likely to evolve into an elite NBA player.
  • The Celtics have the number 1 pick, but don’t really need a player like Fultz. They are already well stocked with very talented guards
  • The Sixers are drafting 3rd, and while they will get a great player at 3, that player may not be a great fit for the Sixers. This quote says it all

(Most likley pick Josh) Jackson’s shaky ball skills and jumper may not help a team like Philadelphia in need of offense. Jayson Tatum would force the Sixers to play big with Simmons, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric when the rest of the league is going small. De’Aaron Fox’s ball-dominant style and poor shooting clash with Simmons. Malik Monk fits, but he isn’t worth selecting as high as No. 3

  • Fultz is the guy that the Sixers need, but the Sixers have no chance to get him at 3.

It is logical, therefore, that the Sixers might try to do a deal with the Celtics to trade up and get Fultz. Getting Fultz would give the Sixers an amazing core group – Embiid, Simmons and Fultz. Young, but amazing. And the Sixers already have other bright prospects like Dario, Roco, etc. The team starts to look pretty exciting. Not just playoff bound (that is likely with just Simmons and Embiid playing full seasons). But going beyond the first round and perhaps over time, challenging a team like the Warriors.

And the news is out — the Sixers and Celtics may be close to a deal that would send the Celtics number 1 pick (Fultz) to Philly and the number 3 pick plus other considerations to the Celtics.

The question is what are the “other considerations”? So far, they appear not to include any players. Instead, the Sixers might be offering other picks — and the Celtics are stockpiling picks. Would the Sixers send their next year Lakers first round  pick? The 2019 first round Kings pick? No doubt the Celtics would like both. But would it be worth it? The deal would be golden for one of the two in my view).. Here is the argument for doing “whateverr it takes” to get Fultz. And it looks like the Sixers iwll deal the unprotected Lakers pick in next year’s draft.

Here is an assessment of the potential trade from the Celtics perspective. That assessment is generally favorable, and the main risk factor from giving Fultz to the Sixers might be enabling a dangerous competitor. Hmmm …. that is music to Sixer fan ears!

Stay tuned!

Sixers Beat says that it is unlikely that the deal will fall apart at this stage!

And After the Cavs Lose to the Warriors?

The Cleveland Caveliers are one of the best teams in the NBA. And that is precisely the problem. They are built to be the best team. Put another way, they have spent all of their resources to get where they are now. But it is now apparent that they need something more in order to compete with the Warriors. And there is no obvious way to bring that something more into the team.

So what to do? That is far from clear. There are no Kevin Durantsjust waiting around to join up, and if there were, the Cavs do not have the cap space to pay for one.

Scott Davis ponders the problem.

NBA Finals Game 3 – Wow!

What a great game!

The Cavs came out with amazing energy and were able to sustain it  through 3 quqarters.  James and Irving played their hearts out.  Irving pulled off so many amazing drives that I began to think that I was watching a highlights video instead of the game.

But the Warriors kept their poise. In the clutch, Kevin Durant made key shots including several 3’s. Suddenly the Cavs lead was gone. They had a chance to tie it up with 12 seconds left but James was stripped by Iguadala. Wow!

This was the key game of the series. The Cavs had to show the Warriors that they could win at home. And if they had won — which they were so very close to doing —  they could have looked forward to trying up the series in game 4. Now they are down 3 – 0. Worse still, they threw eveything they had against the Warriors at home and came up short.  That has to hurt.

But what a great game! There is some amazing talent on the court and both teams played at a high level.  I loved it!

BI has a nice article on the game with selected videos of key final moments. Go for it!