Category Archives: NBA

So Long Nerlens Noel!

It is true that

  • the Sixers need swingmen and have an excess of bigs
  • Nerlens Noel started the season badly with some adolescent pouting

But here is the thing. Nerlens has  since then demonstrated that he can provide high quality minutes at the 5 — especially on defense. That means 48 minute rim protection if Embiid and Noel are playing in tandem at the 5. If also means insurance if Embiid goes down.And Noel has demonstrated that he has chemistry withe the team and the fans.

Bottom line –  if you value rim protection, Embiid and Noel should have had a lock on the 1,2 Sixer rotation at  the 5.

The only problem was that Noel’s rookie (cheap) contract expires this year, and he will want a max deal. The Sixers could afford it, but would they pay it? Apparently Sixer, GM  Bryan Colandelo decided “no”. . He has dealt Nerlens to the Mavs for second year swing man Justin Anderson and change.

What do the Sixers get? Anderson is the key to the deal If he develops into a great 3, the Sixers have taken a step forward in filling that hole. The operative word there is “if”. It is a big if. BTW, meanwhile, this year’s draft is loaded with guards and wings. And the so called “first round” pick – this will not convey, and is bullshit.

Liberty Ballers says

This is, undoubtedly, the worst basketball decision Bryan Colangelo has made in his tenure as Sixers general manager.

My take on this — the Sixers gave up what was as close as you can get in the NBA to a sure thing in favor of a weak gamble. As  Liberty Ballers writes, the Siers could have got a better deal for Noel earlier. But more important, Noel fit into this team. He made the team better. Now he is gone. Jah, cannot make that claim, but he will remain on the roster. In other words, the problem at the 5 position is not solved.

So long  Nerlens!! It was fun!

A quick follow up – – The fact is that the Sixers are now is full tank mode. They are going to lose a lot of games coming up, and with their crappy record, and the possibility of swapping for Sacramento’s top pick (a team that is also in full tank mode), the Sixers may end up with a top 3 pick in this year’s draft. They have a shot at Fultz. And if they can land Fultz by giving up Noel, this might have been worth it.

Anyway, we are now hoping for the ping pong balls to drop our way again!

The Sixers and the DeMarcus Cousins Trade

Wow!

This came out of left field. The Kings just gave up their premier center, DeMarcus Cousins to the Pelicans. Keep in mind that Cousins is at the top of his game. True, he is also a pain in the butt. And true, he will be a free agent in 2018. But no one expected this deal to happen. With Cousins, the Pelicans will have two dominate bigs – Davis and Cousins. That will be fun to watch. The Kings will get some players and some draft picks. But it looks like they are moving int a rebuilding phas.

Here is the thing for the Sixers. They have swap rights to the Kings first round draft pick this year, if it is a top ten pick. That right vests if the Sixers get a lower first round pick than the Kings AND if the Kings pick is top 10.  At present the Sixers have 21 wins against 35 losses with a .375 won/lost record. The Kings have 24 wins against 33 losses with a ,421 won/loss record. It is close. If the Kings fall off a cliff after losing Cousins, the odds for a high Kings pick get better and better and it matter not if the Sixers  come on strong at the end of the season.

Meanwhile, the Sixers also have the Lakers top pick  — though that pick is top three protected. If the Lakers fall out of the top three, the Sixers may end up with 2 high lottery picks in this loaded draft.

Onward!

BTW, the Kings are getting torched for making this deal.

Kyle Newbeck for Liberty Ballers gets into why this deal is SO big for th eSixers.

 

Celtics Too Smart for the Sixers!

On the bright side, the Sixers played very tough …   in the first half. BTW, that first half gassed both sides. It was a track meet. and very fun to watch.

The Sixers then did their usual thing, fall behind, then charge back to take a small lead thing in the third and early fourth quarters. But  at crunch time, they couldn’t make the plays. The Celts took control. You have to give Marcus Smart credit for the Celts. The dude played some great defense.a with around 8,000 steals. Or so it seemed.

Roco took a face plant into a  court side chair – hope he is ok.  Assuming he is, the Sixers can walk away from this one with their heads up. They went toe to toe with one of the hottest teams in the league.

Can the Sixers Deliver a Can of Whoop Ass to the Celtics?

The Celtics are the number 2 team in the east, just behind the Cavs. They lead their division. They are hot.

So you would not expect the lowly Sixers — without Embiid or Simmons — to stand a chance against them, right? Well, not so fast. The Sixers are playing amazingly well over the last 3 games. And they are gaining confidence with each win.

Shamus Clancy, writing for the Liberty Ballers, offers a few pre-game thoughts.Shamus has a point — Dario is tearing up the court.  I also think that TJ is maturing into a strong leader at point guard. And Nerlens is looking like a mini-Embiid at the 5.

Can the Sixers do the unthinkable toinght? Stay tuned! This is a game to watch!

BTW,  the Jah trade talks are apparently stalled. And  no on understand s why Simmons is still not practicing with the team – his foot should have healed by now. And why did the front office not reveal that Embiid’s knee injury was “slightly” more serious than a bruise? Ah well, this front office stuff is a side show. An interesting side show, but meanwhile, the games are more so!

 

Sixers Lore: Looks Like Jah is Gone

Sixerland is brimming with news today. Joel Embiid has a slight meniscus tear in his left knee (not a big deal).  He will no doubt be out until after the all star break — will he come back along with Ben Simmons? Why not? That would be awesome!

And, btw, the Sixers beat a tired Heat team last night. The Heat had been hot, but they looked  gassed last night – especially Whiteside.  On the plus side, I liked the way that Nerlens and Roco played — aggressive on both ends of the court. If Nerlens ever figures out how to shoot a mid range jumper, he could be deadly. And the rest of the crew is gaining confidence – fewer miscues and bad shots. This is all positive.

And btw, it looks like a deal for Jah is almost done. There are several teams bidding for him and he will likely be out the door by the trade deadline.

About Jah — I have not been his biggest fan in Sixerland, but at the same time, you can’t help but wish the dude well. He is very young, very talented on the offensive side of the court, and should do well in the league —  given time to to improve his defense and rebounding. BTW, in his recent games he showed that he is not a bad passer.  I hope that whatever deal Bryan cooks up, the Sixers get closer to a balanced team. out of this. And go for it Jah!

Onward!

Sixer Fans, Look Ahead to the Draft

For a moment in January, the sports community in Philadelphia went insane. They started to ask whether the Sixers were going to make the playoffs this year. It was a long shot, but the mere possibility drove some folks nuts!

Then Embiid got hurt, and since then, the Sixers have gone into a tailspin. And you can say bye bye to the playoffs. To be honest, I have not watched most of these games. Just not enough to keep my interested. But … there is hope

  • reading the tea leaves, it looks like Jah will be traded either to the Bulls or the Pelicans by the trade deadline.  That is big news, as Joh’s talents just don’t fit this team. The conventional wisdom has been that the Sixers will not get much in return for Jah, but if a bidding war erupts, who knows?
  • Ben Simmons is likely to be on the floor after the All Star game. It will be lots of fun to see how Ben can match up with Embiid.  It will be important as well to see how his play develops.  that will affect who the Sixers target in the drat.
  • While we daydream of Simmons coming back, we might also reflect whether Ersan Ilyasova should move on. Ersan has upgraded the team this year. But he also overloads the front court. Not to mention that keeping him will be expensive AND he is aging. Let’s see if the Sixers do a deal here.
  • The Sixers are likely to get a high level lottery pick, yet again. Indeed, they may get 2 picks if the Lakers pick — which is top 3 protected — conveys. And with Fultz, Jackson, Ball, and Monk all fantastic prospects at positions the Sixers need help with, this will be a very important draft for the team. If th eSixers can walk away from the draft with 2 talented guard prospects, that would be awesome!

One more thing — the Nets have the NBA’s worst record and have the highest likelihood of getting the top pick in the draft. But their pick goes to the Celtics, who don’t need guards. The Celtics may be in the mood either to trade down or to try to lure an all star to Boston for that pick. That might put the top pick — most likely Fultz — in play.  Could the Sixers somehow end up with Fults?

Very interesting!

No Pardon from Harden! Sixers Fall

The Sixers have been riding high lately, and it has been fun to watch.  At the same time, you had to wonder how far they could go. Last night, we discovered that — at least for now — there is a limit.  James Harden working the pick and roll is it.

Harden can beat you in so many ways. And this year, the Rockets have surrounded him with excellent support. So when Harden gets into the paint, he can shoot or pass. This was too much for Embiid to cover and Harden had a monster game, ending up with 51 points and a lot of assists.

BTW, while the Sixers lost, they were not wiped out. They fell behind by double digits more than once and each time fought back. For a few precious seconds, they even took the lead by a point or two. And they were still in it up to the end.

Bottom line – the Sixers nearly beat one of the hottest teams from the west. And Embiid? He came away with 31 points. With a bit more firepower, you could imagine the Sixers taking a game like this!