Mar 27 2015

Clips Get The W, But Not Without A Career Night From Nerlens Noel

Los Angeles Clippers 119 Final
Recap | Box Score
98 Philadelphia 76ers
Robert Covington, SF 24 MIN | 0-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -8 +/-Ever since suffering a right elbow contusion at the month’s start, Bob’s night-to-night performance has been all over the place. Coming off of back-to-back 20+ point performances where he made a combined 15 of his 26 field goals, the Clippers held Covington to his first goose egg from the field in over four months. Not great, Bob.

Nerlens Noel, C 39 MIN | 12-17 FG | 6-8 FT | 14 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 30 PTS | -8 +/-Just an outstanding all-around performance from Noel tonight, but particularly on the offensive end. He nailed an array of jumpers, dunks, and that awkward lefty hook, and took Glenn Rivers’ Defensive Player of the Year nominee to school for a career-high 30 points. Looks like the race for Rookie of the Year isn’t as clear-cut as we thought after all

Ish Smith, PG 32 MIN | 8-14 FG | 0-1 FT | 2 REB | 9 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 18 PTS | -5 +/-Chris Paul does not intimidate Ish Smith. For NBA floaters like Ish, performances against an all-time point guard like he put together tonight are huge in determining his future in this league. And don’t look now (small sample size alert), but his 3-point percentage is slowly creeping towards a league-average rate after tonight’s outing.

Isaiah Canaan, PG 20 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | -22 +/-After an incendiary early stretch in a Sixers uniform, Canaan’s field goal percentage has hit a brick wall since his career night against Oklahoma City — he’s hit just 34.3 percent of his shots from the field and 32.6 percent of his 3-pointers since then. At first he seemed like the clear favorite to win the starting point guard position in favor of Ish Smith, but with his shooting taking a dive, his substandard defense, and his inability to run the pick-and-roll, Canaan may be seeing a lot more of the pine in this last stretch of the season.

Henry Sims, C DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | +/-Hank registered his ninth DNP-CD in the month of March tonight. I look forward to following his career in the Chinese Basketball Association.

Quote of the Night

“He’s got a broken-hearted girls ponytail” – Malik Rose, on Spencer Hawes’ hair.

Tweet of the Game


By the Numbers

6 - The number of other 20 year-olds besides Nerlens who have posted lines with at least 30 points, 14 rebounds, and two steals in league history. Hooray for arbitrary milestones!

Parting Shots

  • The Sixers honored Spencer Hawes at the end of the first quarter. No, seriously.
  • With about four minutes remaining in the first half, Brett Brown initiated the Hack-A-DeAndre strategy. While this is a strategically sound basketball move (it helped cut the Clippers lead from 19 down to eight going into halftime), the league seriously needs to address this issue. All it did was make an already fairly unbearable game all the more unwatchable.
  • Earlier this month, Doc Rivers quite confidently proclaimed DeAndre Jordan this season’s Defensive Player of the Year. Nerlens made that proclamation look absolutely foolish tonight however, with the bulk of his 30 points coming against Jordan. Not only that, but so far this season Nerlens is racking up more combined steals and blocks than DeAndre, while also allowing fewer of his opponents shots at the rim. Quite frankly, if DeAndre ends up with more DPOY votes than Nerlens, there needs to be an investigation.
  • This game was essentially over at the opening tip; the only point the Sixers showed some semblance of keeping this game close came after the aforementioned Hack-A-DeAndre exploits, leading to the Clippers outscoring the Sixers by 14 points in the following half. The Clippers have now won seven straight games against the Sixers dating back to 2012.

Mar 27 2015

5-on-5: Should The Sixers Re-Sign Ish Smith?

1. Ish Smith: Sign or decline? (Unrestricted free agent)

Eric Goldwein: I think Smith could be a solid backup point guard, and if they can get him for cheap (2 yr/$3M), then I’m all for it. But players like him are easy to find. (Case in point: Ish Smith). The show he’s put on the last few weeks might lead to him landing a sizeable payday, and with the Sixers already having Canaan, Wroten, draft picks, plus potentially Jordan McRae, and others, they’d be better off preserving their cap space.

Xylon Dimoff: Depends on what happens in the draft. If the Sixers end up taking (please, Hinkie, come on, seriously) D’Angelo Russell, I don’t see where Ish will find minutes in the backcourt, especially with Pierre Jackson’s cryptic tweets looming in the background. And while I see neither Ish nor Isaiah Canaan as long-term pieces on this team, I’d give a slight edge to Canaan for next season because Ish is already 26 and we can rightfully assume that he’ll never find his jumper.

Ben Smolen: I admit it. When the Sixers brought Ish Smith in, I had no idea who he was. I didn’t think to myself “Hey, this Ish Smith guy could be a pretty good add;” I thought, “Hey this Ish Smith guy has a really fun name.”  But he’s shown some shocking levels of competency since he’s been here. Ish Smith is not the future, but he could be a totally viable bench player on a good team. I would like to see him signed for a low money two year deal.

Drew Stone:  Decline, but this was the toughest one to call. Smith is probably a more well-rounded point guard than Canaan, and he’s shown flashes lately that his ceiling is something like a poor man’s Jeff Teague. But with Wroten coming back, Canaan’s three-point shooting and measly contract, and the ever-tantalizing prospect of D’Angelo Russell, it’s hard to justify keeping Ish the Dish (trademarked).

Bryan Toporek: I’m all for re-signing him on a short-term deal, so long as he’s not the team’s starting point guard come October. Something like a two-year, $4 million contract with a second-year team option sounds reasonable. Guaranteeing any money past the 2015-16 season would give me pause, though, especially with Pierre Jackson likely coming back to the team next year.

2. Thomas Robinson: Sign or decline? (Unrestricted free agent)

Goldwein: Decline. Robinson could be a productive, 15/20-minute per game high-energy player, but there might be a decent sized bidding war for him, and if that happens, the Sixers would be better off avoiding it. I’d take him for the right price (3yr/$7M); I just don’t see that being an option.

Dimoff: Sign. Even if Philly opts to go big in the draft, I think we could definitely do worse than having T-Rob as the fourth big in the rotation. I wouldn’t give him anything more than one year/$2-3 million however, as he really hasn’t proved anything in this league yet and it would give him incentive to work at his offensive game.

Smolen: Pay this man (a reasonable amount of money). T-Rob may never be a superstar, but he was taken in the top 5 for a reason, and since he’s been in Philly, he has shown real upside–rich man’s Reggie Evans, anyone? I think something in the range of one year/$4 million would be enough to bring him back without getting in the way of any future plans. After another season, we can reassess and see if he can justify his original draft position.

Stone: Absolutely sign. With the cap set to explode, lock him up in the three year, nine million range before other teams even get ideas. The correlation between Robinson’s signing this year and the team winning more as of late is real, a product of the energy and heart he exhibits off the bench. It doesn’t hurt that the former fifth-overall pick gives his young teammates a nightly reminder of the effort that’s necessary if you’re going to survive in this league, regardless of where you were drafted.

Toporek: Would love him back on a one-year, $3-4 million “prove it” deal, as his aggressiveness on the glass alone would serve as a great learning opportunity for Nerlens and Embiid in practice. Here’s hoping T-Rob recognizes that he’s getting more opportunity in Philly than he did anywhere else and agrees to a short-term deal with no guaranteed money beyond next season.

3. Hollis Thompson: Sign or decline? ($947K non-guaranteed in 2015-16, $1.02M team option in 2016-17)

Goldwein: Sign. Yes, roster spots are valuable, and Hollis doesn’t have the highest ceiling. But he’s young, he’s cheap, he’s productive (leads the Sixers in 3pt at 39%!!), and he’s tradeable. You could do far worse for a backup.

Dimoff: Sign, although it’s close. The opportunities for the roster spots on this team are going to deteriorate rapidly next season, especially with the potential for the Sixers to own 13 percent of the first round in the draft this summer. But even if Hollis ends up just being the 12th man on this squad, he’s proved his worth as a floor spacer, one of the hardest-working guys on the team, and somebody who has earned Brett Brown’s trust.

Smolen: Let him go. Admittedly, I’ve never been the biggest Hollis fan, but I feel like at this point, we know exactly what he is: not good enough to be a real contributor on a playoff team. I’d prefer to not dedicate any further monies to ole Holliswood and instead see what else is out there. Maybe Brandon Davies again? Is it too late for Brandon Davies to come back?

Stone: If you don’t need the roster spot, I guess you bring him back. The price is certainly right. I’ve never been as sold on Holliswood’s long-term role with the team as some. He can get on a hot streak, and that’s nice but expendable. Put it this way: if they had dealt Hollis at the deadline for a 2032 second-rounder, my first thought would have been “wait, you can do that?” and my second thought would have been “I’m fine with that.”

Toporek: Sign. There’s something to be said about keeping moderately productive bench players around on dirt-cheap contracts. If nothing else, it frees Hinkie up to make a big splash in free agency whenever he decides to dip his toes in those waters, knowing the 10th/11th/12th man on the roster is already accounted for. Given the health issues that wiped out a good bit of his 2014-15 season, I’d like to see Hollis back for one more year, in hopes of him becoming RoCo’s “Splash Brother” in crime.

4. Henry Sims: Sign or decline? ($1.181M qualifying offer)

Goldwein: Decline. He’s been riding the bench the last few months, and that’s with Joel Embiid still out, and Furkan Aldemir still getting his feet wet. Let him go, and maybe in a few years they can get him back, equipped with a 3-point shot.

Dimoff: What a difference six months can make. I was ready to pronounce Hank as the third or fourth rotation big in the long-term at this season’s start, but his offense has been on a seesaw all year and watching him defend the pick-and-roll is like watching a car accident. He’s decent as a floor spacer and a passer at the center position, but I have a feeling this is the best he’ll ever be. Decline.

Smolen: Show him the door. I had hope for Sims at the end of last year, and he has shown some flashes of offensive potential throughout the season, but with Noel, Embiid, a potential first round pick, and Saric clogging up the front court for years to come, I think the dollars required to keep Sims would be better spent allocated somewhere else.

Stone: It’s been a good run, Henry. You knew how to knock down a wide open ten-foot  jumper, and for that we’ll always be grateful. But all those DNP’s you’ve racked up recently are polite Brett Brown reminders that the Sixers have a gazillion draft picks this year, and they’re gonna need that roster spot.

Toporek: This depends largely on what the Sixers do in the draft. If they land a few promising bigs and don’t plan on stashing any of them abroad, they’ll have to let Sims walk. If they go heavy on guards and wings, however, the Sixers should throw the qualifying offer his way. If any other team comes out firing with a big offer (doubtful), it’s time to let him walk; otherwise, they can keep him around as a decent practice big man for one more year.

5. Luc Mbah a Moute: Sign or decline? (Unrestricted free agent)

Goldwein: Sign! I love his offensive/defensive versatility (he can be mediocre everywhere!) and his #veteraness.  Continuity and leadership are important, and if the Sixers can sign (for cheap .. $2/5M?) a low maintenance player that provides those qualities, then I’m on board.

Dimoff: Sign, but that is only if he wants to stay. I enjoy watching Luc play basketball about as much as I enjoy changing a flat tire, but I’d really like him to be here for Embiid’s first season on the court. And with Jason Richardson unlikely to return, I guess it’d be nice to have LRMAM around as the team’s token #veteran.

Smolen: Sign! My first instinct was to say decline, simply to see what tsunami of false outrage would come Philly’s way for cutting ties with yet another “veteran leader.” That said, LRMAM’s relationship with Embiid is common knowledge. As long as the cost isn’t prohibitive, then you should absolutely do what you can do to keep the potential future of your franchise happy.

Stone: (The longest, most conflicted groan in human history.) Fine, two years, ten million-ish, with two conditions: 1.) He never takes another mid-range jumper in his life, professionally or otherwise. 2.) He promises to stop mentoring Embiid if Embiid starts looking like him. I like Luc – he’s a solid glue guy, both on and off the court – but man is he tough to watch sometimes.

Toporek: Assuming the whole “veteran mentor” storyline isn’t overblown, I’d re-sign LRMAM if for no other reason than to ease Joel Embiid’s transition into playing next season. It took Nerlens a few months to emerge as the world-crushing defensive dynamo that he’s become since the All-Star break. Given how quickly the “Is Embiid Fat?” stories escalated earlier this year, I’d want Mbah a Moute around to tell JoJo to tune out the haters if he starts out slowly, too. How much is that worth on the open market? Here’s hoping no one forces Hinkie’s hand too far.

Mar 26 2015

Six Thoughts On The Sixers’ Win Over The Nuggets

1. There are plenty of teams out of playoff contention that have checked out or half-checked out in the last few weeks. The Sixers aren’t one of them. Playing on the second half of a back to back in Denver’s high altitude, the Philly looked fresher than the Nuggets, closing out on 3-point shooters, getting to loose balls, and getting back on fastbreaks. That effort and fitness edge looked like it was the difference, as the Sixers outscored the Nuggets 27-9 in the fourth quarter and escaped with a 99-85 win.

I predicted 20 wins before the season, in part because of the projected improvements on defense, but also because NBA regular season wins are not exactly prized commodities. Good teams won’t prioritize them midseason, and lottery-bound teams will give them away come spring time. This is a long way of saying: this was a nice win, but any team with a heartbeat could’ve pulled it off.

2. Nerlens Noel is playing as well as anybody could’ve imagined. The ridiculous blocks/steals numbers were expected, but he’s also shown two-way potential, with his offensive game breaking out since the deadline. Tonight he showed off an assortment of post up moves and aggressive drives to the hoop, using his athleticism and massive wingspan to get good shots off. He also had a few nice passes, and anything in that area is a great sign from a 20-year-old center. He finished 14 points (5-8 fgs), 15 boards, 2 assists, 4 steals, 4 blocks, and 2 turnovers. That’s a statline that, while more impressive in fantasy basketball, is indicative of a player who can do a lot of things. Maybe he’s not the next Kevin Garnett. But he’s looking more like the big ticket than he is to Tyrus Thomas or Sam Dalembert.

3. A lot of this can also be said about Jerami Grant. His athleticism, while impressive, isn’t much of a surprise. But on offense he’s shown that he’s more than a human highlight reel. He had three assists tonight to go along with his five blocks. He looks like someone who worst case, is hideable on offense, and best case, is a versatile two-way forward.

4. After slumping the last few weeks (coinciding with his elbow injury) Robert Covington is back doing what he does best: nailing 3-pointers. He had 25 points, shooting 6 of 11 from beyond the arc, after going 5-6 from downtown against the Kings on Tuesday.

5. Furkan Aldemir looked like a player who could one day help out a good NBA team. He was moving well and seemed to have good reads on the passing lanes as he collected two steals. He even made a few nice passes, and as usual was reliable as a rebounder (six boards, 14 minutes).

6. Development is good, and wins can be a sign of development. But the wins themselves are still detrimental to one of the team’s most important assets: the 2015 pick. The Sixers — thanks to their improved play in meaningless regular season games — are 18-54 and have the third worst record, one win behind the Lakers, two ahead of the Timberwolves, and four ahead of the Knicks. At this point, finishing with the third-most ping pong balls seems like a reasonable expectation.

Mar 25 2015

Sixers Throw Game Away In Sacramento

 

Philadelphia 76ers 106 Final
Recap | Box Score
107 Sacramento Kings
Robert Covington, SF 27 MIN | 7-9 FG | 2-4 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 21 PTS | +11 +/-It’s hard to give him anything lower than an A- when his ridiculous run of 12 points in under 1 minute and 45 seconds is the only reason the Sixers had a chance down the stretch. Yes, he missed a game-tying free-throw late, but you can’t ignore his barrage of 3-pointers that essentially turned him into a human flamethrower.

Nerlens Noel, C 29 MIN | 5-10 FG | 4-5 FT | 10 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 6 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | +7 +/-Noel’s foul trouble probably cost the Sixers a few points. Other than that, he was the hyper-active, defensive stalwart everyone knows him to be. He blocked six shots and showed some offensive moves, including a ridiculous turnaround jumper that made half the NBA soil their pants with fear.

Furkan Aldemir, PF 10 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +1 +/-Shot and missed a 3-pointer. Had four fouls in 10 minutes because Boogie is strong.

Thomas Robinson, PF 21 MIN | 7-12 FG | 2-4 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | -9 +/-Robinson set a career high in points and was again active on the glass. Sixteen and eight in 21 minutes? This is just an enhanced version of the line fans have come to expect of him. He’s always a tenacious rebounder, but when he shows some of the offensive moves he displayed tonight (looking at you, spin move), you’re reminded of why he was a top-5 pick.

Hollis Thompson, SG 27 MIN | 5-11 FG | 0-1 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | -3 +/-It was a weird game for Thompson, who seemed to have an answer whenever Philadelphia really needed a bucket. He provided two pick-me-up baskets late in an otherwise terrible third quarter, and those were the shots that are easily remembered. But, he went 1-5 from deep and almost pathetically threw the ball away on the game’s final possession as time expired.

By the Numbers: 20. That’s how many turnovers the 76ers committed. The Kings had 10. That 2:1 ratio might explain how the Sixers lost a game in which they shot approximately 50% from their field, while holding their opponent to 36%.

Tweet of the Night:

X4. Nerlens Noel blocked Cousins four different times in Tuesday’s game.

Parting Shots: The Sixers were in another game they probably could have, and maybe should have, won, but didn’t. They scored 70 points in the first half but allowed 63. They came back from a seven point deficit after a dismal third quarter to take the lead, but lost their lead again. Basically, they were all over the place. The game was at the whims of ridiculous runs, and both teams seemed perfectly content with choking things away down the stretch, especially Hollis Thompson, who actually did choke the game away with a turnover as time expired. Despite all the chaos, watching Noel battle with Cousins was incredible. Sure, Cousins had 33 and 17, but it’s not like all of that was on Noel, and Nerlens held his own on quite a few occasions while showing offensive flashes, too. That’s why we all really came out, for Boogie vs. Nerlens. Everything else was hogwash.

Mar 23 2015

Sixers Collapse And Lose HUGE Game. That’s A Good Thing.

Philadelphia 76ers 87 Final
Recap | Box Score
101 Los Angeles Lakers
Nerlens Noel, C 33 MIN | 4-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | -13 +/-He was his usual self defensively, steering away shots by simply with his presence. But overall, this was rookie Nerlens at his worst. He was pushed around some on defense, and on offense he took some ill-advised shots with mostly bad results. His night took a turn for the worse after he got hit in the eye. That very well could’ve contributed to the late-game collapse.

Ish Smith, PG 29 MIN | 3-14 FG | 3-3 FT | 2 REB | 9 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 9 PTS | -15 +/-It’s easy to get carried away with the new point guards, especially when they’re draining 3s and tossing up alley-oops to Noel and Thomas Robinson. But games like this — where Isaiah Canaan and Smith combined to shoot 4-26, and Jeremy Lin dropped 29 — should serve as a reminder that these guys aren’t serviceable NBA starters right now, and possibly never will be.

Thomas Robinson, PF 16 MIN | 7-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 14 PTS | -5 +/-Scored efficiently and dominated the boards. How much the latter actually helps is unclear, but he certainly makes his presence felt whenever he’s in the game.

Jerami Grant, SF 22 MIN | 2-6 FG | 4-6 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | -3 +/-Solid all around game; most notable was his assertiveness on offense. Didn’t hesitate on his jumper, and made a few nice passes that led to easy buckets. Four assists tied a career high.

Robert Covington, SF 25 MIN | 3-9 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | -6 +/-Looks like the stroke has returned. Made two of 5, and also got fouled attempting one.

Hollis Thompson, SG 16 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | -6 +/-Approaching 40 percent from downtown and quietly leading the Sixers in 3-point percentage. Did plenty in minimal PT. Wonder if we’ll see more of him down the stretch.

Brett Brown
The Sixers lost, the Lakers won, everybody got to play (like, that’s some serious PT balance), and nobody got hurt.

By the Numbers: 

  • 15 – Consecutive road losses. It’s been since January 9…

Tweet of the Game:

Parting Shots:

This was a best case scenario. The Sixers lost (good). The Lakers won (better). And everybody stayed healthy (best). This was a reasonably well played game early on. The ball movement was there (Smith to Noel is always fun) and the defense was doing what it needed to do to shut down whatever it is the Lakers have put together. The second half was a different story. After going into intermission ahead 47-41, the defense collapsed and the offense followed. Jeremy Lin was playing like his 2011-12 self while Ed Davis took control of the paint, helping the Lakers close the deficit, and then dominate in what was one of the ugliest fourth quarters I’ve seen the Sixers play this season.

As for the lottery pick, Lakers are now two games (1 win) up on Philly for the third, and two games (4 wins) behind Orlando for the fifth. Elsewhere, OKC won, the Wizards lost, and the mid/bottom-tier Eastern Conference remains a mess. It’s a long shot, but having four first rounders in the upcoming draft isn’t an impossibility.

 

Mar 18 2015

Sixers Beat Pistons, Haunt SVG

Detroit Pistons 83 FinalRecap | Box Score 94 Philadelphia 76ers
Nerlens Noel, C 22 MIN | 5-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 3 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | +2 +/-Noel continues to assert his defensive dominance. Prior to leaving the game with a right foot contusion, Noel showed that he could consistently hold his own against superior big men such as Andre Drummond.

Ish Smith, PG 26 MIN | 6-12 FG | 3-4 FT | 1 REB | 8 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 15 PTS | +10 +/-He’s consistently ridiculously fun to watch, AND he directed the offense remarkably. Coach Brown trusted Smith with the start tonight, which he only validated.

Thomas Robinson, PF 16 MIN | 6-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 3 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | +6 +/-Aside from padding his stats in garbage time, Robinson provided the Sixers with quality minutes early in the game. His rebounding and scoring are setting up him for a decent payday this offseason.

Jerami Grant, SF 25 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | +7 +/-Grant continues to impress in extended bench minutes, providing the Sixers with fine shooting, robust defense and ferocious dunking.

Isaiah Canaan, PG 22 MIN | 2-10 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 9 PTS | +5 +/-Canaan warranted his benching tonight, looking inadequate on both sides of the court. Although he has proven his shooting capability, Canaan has the tendency to get a little too comfortable from beyond the arc. That was visible at certain parts of the game, disrupting the flow of the offense.

By the Numbers: 

  • 3 – Sixers wins against the Detroit Pistons this season.
  • 14 – Games remaining in the Sixers regular season.

Tweet of the Game:

Parting Shots:

The Sixers had another great defensive effort (granted, against the Pistons). Noel looked fantastic anchoring the defense though his injury will be something to monitor over the next several days. He returned to the bench within minutes, but ultimately sat the rest of the game as the Sixers cruised to a victory. Ish Smith started his second game for the Sixers and looked better than Isaiah Canaan. It will be interesting to see which, if either, of the two point guards stick around in Philadelphia after this season.

Remember when Stan Van Gundy said, “If you’re putting [the Sixers] roster on the floor, you’re doing everything you can possibly do to try to lose.”? Well, the Sixers won the season series against the Pistons,  3-1.

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