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Nov 02 2014

Brandon Davies Is A Superstar, Sixers Still Lose

Miami Heat 114 Final
Recap | Box Score
96 Philadelphia 76ers
Nerlens Noel, PF 25 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 2 PTS | -19Nerlens came down to earth after his strong performance in Milwaukee. He struggled to find any offensive rhythm against what is a particularly weak Miami interior defense, and his post moves continue to look awkward.

Tony Wroten, SG 33 MIN | 6-11 FG | 8-11 FT | 3 REB | 10 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 21 PTS | -11Performances like this are actually frustrating because it reminds you that buried deep beneath all the wretched shooting and bad decisions, there is some real basketball talent.This is Wroten’s second solid performance this season, so maybe it’s the start of him turning over a new leaf.

Malcolm Thomas, PF 19 MIN | 4-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | -6This guy might be worth keeping an eye on. He can’t shoot a lick (like every other Sixer), but he once again showed that he can be a hard worker on the boards as well as a smart and willing defender. If he can keep this up, he might be able to earn himself some more minutes in Philadelphia’s thin frontcourt rotation.

Brandon Davies, PF 24 MIN | 7-9 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 18 PTS | -1This is a performance that you’ll tell your grandchildren about one day. Davies was a God amongst mere mortals, and nobody saw it coming. In fact, the aftershock created by his lone 3-pointer was so deafening that it wiped Alexey Shved’s facial hair clean off his face. Get ready world, this may be only the beginning of the Brandon Davies era.

Alexey Shved, PG 15 MIN | 1-4 FG | 3-3 FT | 1 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | -7#PointAlexey was in full effect for a good stretch in the first half, but his inability to score once again limited Shved’s playing time. If he can’t become a consistently effective scorer before Michael Carter-Williams returns from injury, Shved might be seeing a lot of the pine this season.

By the Numbers

38 – Philadelphia has scored just 38 fourth-quarter points through its first three games. That’s really bad.

Quote of the Game

“48 minutes is a very long game for the group we have.” – Brett Brown.

Tweet of the Game

BELIEVE THE HYPE.

Parting Shots

This team’s inexperience is really starting to show as Philadelphia doesn’t have a scorer to lean on in the fourth quarter. Despite how frustrating veterans such as Evan Turner or Spencer Hawes used to be at times, they could still be depended on in crunch time. The eventual return of Michael Carter-Williams should help, but this season could get ugly fast if the Sixers don’t address this problem soon.

  • robbybonfire23

    We will see if his hot streak continues, but, so far, Anthony Bennett has scored a total of 25 points on just seven missed shots from the floor, to go with 11 D-boards racked up in 48 minutes of play. How the hell was this organization convinced to back off from acquiring Bennett, in favor of acquiring two bean bags?

    Also looking good in a brief sampling is Dante Exum, someone we could have drafted, with 17 points scored on just five missed shots. Understanding it’s early and nothing means anything yet, but Bennett and Exum could be helping around here a lot more than Embiid and Saric are helping right now, safe to say.

    Elfrid Payton, after a rough opening night has settled in and now shows 23 assists in 84 minutes play, along with 22 total points on 14 floor x’s. Of course he is another one who was not good enough to come here and make any kind of contribution.

    This raises the question, why the tanking strategy when the good times are right in front of your face? We could have Exum, Payton and Bennett, right now, if…………..
    How could that hurt?

    • egoldwein

      First off, who says they could’ve acquired Bennett? There were reports of interest, but I don’t think the Sixers turned down any Bennett offer. And they got a first-round pick in addition to the two bean bags. Even considering Bennett’s strong start in Minny, that’s comparable value.

      Re: the rest of your points. You’re just repeating the tank-related complaints, and using tiny sample sizes as your evidence. Payton and Exum are playing well. Great. Does that mean they should’ve drafted Exum over Embiid? Does that mean they shouldn’t have taken Saric, a future first, and two second rounders in exchange for Payton. Idk. Time will tell. But even if Exum/Payton/Bennett turn into stars, they were still unknowns four months ago. Ditto with Embiid/Saric and the picks headed Philly’s way.

      All things considered the Sixers seem to have done well in these trades, at least from a value perspective. If it doesn’t pan out, it’ll be because they misevaluated talent, and because of luck. Not sure how much you can knock the tanking strategy.

      • robbybonfire23

        Come on, you saw the reports, re Bennett to Philly, fully two weeks before that changed up for the fluff we settled for. This G.M. doesn’t need smoke screen cover from anyone here. The Bennett gaff is a major mistake, and look at the trash bin rot we settled for, instead.

        We got out-maneuvered, badly on the entire Thad deal. Best option was trading Thad for Bennett. Second-best option was not trading Thad. Worst-option was how we wound up getting suckered – or chose to, in the interest of tanking.

        Each to his own (valid) opinion, but I, for one, take a healthy Exum now over the futures market of Embiid. Look, if either Embiid or Noel wind up with a foreshortened career in the “damaged goods” category, ALL of this tanking nonsense will be kaput. I am really concerened about Noel’s physical vulnerability, where his playing in this league is concerned. Hope he never goes down again, but I must say I see it as a strong probability.

        Plus we know Saric may never get here. Enough of this Philadelphia has to be the laughing stock of the NBA nonsense!

        Really tired of this franchise cornering the “damaged goods” market when viable alternatives, starting with Exum, etc. are right in front of us for the cherry picking.

        • egoldwein

          Please show me the exact report where the Sixers turned down an offer for Bennett. This would be a necessary piece of information if you’re going to argue that it was a mistake.

          • egoldwein

            And don’t get me wrong. I like Bennett. But you’re going to complain about them acquiring damaged goods and not mention that Bennett had injury problems last year and played 52 NBA games at 13 MPG. Even this season he’s only playing 16 MPG. The jury is very much still out.

            But mostly, this is about your tanking argument. Drafting Noel/Embiid/Saric wasn’t about tanking; it was about them not caring about immediate regular season wins, and believing that they were both the better players long term. All else equal, they’d have obviously preferred a healthy player that’d be on this team right now. But If Noel was healthy, he’d have been off the board. Ditto with Embiid and Saric. They’ll come with risks, sure. But so do all prospects. The thinking is that Noel/Embiid/Saric can do more down the line than the players they passed on. I’m excluding Bennett from here because we’re not sure they passed on him.

          • robbybonfire23

            Excellent point re Bennett, too, having to overcome injury problems – well taken, although, given our committment to Noel and Embiid, Bennett’s injury history could not have been a deterrent to our willingness to acquire him.

          • robbybonfire23

            Eric –

            I don’t understand the third degree I am getting from you? It was reported in the media that Bennett was coming to Philadelphia, like it was a done deal. Hell, if you go back far enough, you can find that I made reference to that, right here, understanding that everyone else who follows the NBA knew about it too, at the time.

            A better, but unanswerable question for we who follow this business is WHY the 76ers deal in the works for Bennett fell apart?

            And who said we “turned down” the deal of Thad for Bennett and whatever other considerations were on the table, because a case can be made that we got aced out by Minny, on that one? Bennett WAS on the trading block, given that he wound up in Minnesota. No one can deny that.

            Of vital interest here is the fact, which you mention, that in taking on Shved and Luc Richard xxx we did receive a future first round draft pick, as well. Find and good, BUT, Bennett was the first pick in the first round last year. What is so bad about Bennett that the team would prefer an unknown first round pick, quite lower on the pecking order, we can safely say, some years down the road?

            This is, I believe, the bottom-line point in all this discussion. The fact that our man keeps deferring this club’s turnaround ever farther into the future. I too, am extremely long-term building oriented, as contrasted with the expedience of the short-term patching approach of so many “just make the playoffs” mentality organizations in professionals sports today – the collapse of former powers the Phillies and the Yankees being foremost examples of that myopia.

            But Eric, at some point I had to bail out of hanging in there, philosophically, with Sam Hinkie, and that point was reached probably when he passed on Exum at #3, which shocked the boots off me, and assuredly when he dumped off Payton for the Saric promissory note, just after Saric had committed to two years, minimum, of playing basketball on the other side of the Atlantic.

            At what point, I might ask, do you become tired of all this seemingly masochistic behavior on the part of this G.M? Because many of us are reaching the stark realization that this franchise is not going to turn the corner and become competitive, during this man’s tenure here, so long as he manifests having a psychological block against living in the present time.

          • egoldwein

            The Bennett-to-Sixers report stemmed from Brian Windhorst (See link below).

            “Kevin Love to the Cavs, Andrew Wiggins to the Timberwolves, and I believe Thaddeus Young will end up in Minnesota, either as part of a separate deal or as part of a three-way deal, possibly Anthony Bennett who’s on the Cavs right now could get re-routed to Philadelphia in part of a deal for Thaddeus Young. There will be draft picks involved, but essentially what you need to know if you’re an NBA fan: Kevin Love will end up in Cleveland barring anything unforeseen, and Andrew Wiggins will end up in Minnesota.”

            As noted on Liberty Ballers, the Bennett part was speculation. Windhorst knew the Sixers were involved, just not necessarily how. So he filled in the blanks and mentioned Anthony Bennett as a possibliity. People, including me, took that and ran with it.

            It’s worth noting that later on, Hinkie denied that Bennett was even discussed. I don’t buy that either. Bennett seems the type of buy-low target he’d be interested in. I can’t find it, but I also think Flip Saunders said the Sixers inquired about Bennett.

            But again, you keep implying that the Sixers preferred the package of Shved/RLMAM and a future first over Bennett. We don’t know if Bennett was on the table for the Sixers. And even if he was, the future first round pick is comparable value.
            Bennett has the talent of a low-lotto/mid first-round pick, and he’s getting the paycheck of a first overall pick. I still like him, and think he’ll be worth it. But it wouldn’t be insane if the Sixers preferred the future first over an expensive second-year player with a lot of health/talent concerns.

            http://www.libertyballers.com/2014/8/4/5968877/report-76ers-involved-in-love-wiggins-trade-anthony-bennett

          • robbybonfire23

            These are good points, and I, too, always view with skepticism public statements by management and athletes as regards any situation. This is why quoting them, as some sources incessantly do, rates as non-credible “space filler,” at best.

            If this organization entertained private concerns re the health of Anthony Bennett, where are those same concerns re Embiid and Noel? My guess is Noel goes down before Bennett, hoping that none of the above ever suffers another physical reversal.
            If the G.M. had health concerns about the above three players, what would have been wrong with his settling for the Exum, Payton crowd on draft day?

            Too much intrigue surrounding this franchise, starting with tanking while awaiting the arrival of rehabilitated damaged goods. While I don’t like the myriad losses, along the way, I am starting to think that I like this team’s long-term philosophy even less.

    • tbowman

      Holy cow Robby! You jumped off the bandwagon awfully quick!

      1. You are seriously suggesting Sixers should have drafted Exum over Embiid? Seriously? We will have to strongly agree to disagree here. Embiid potentially is a once in a generation talent. No way you pass that up.

      2. I am a huge MCW fan. He’s already really good and I think he’s going to be fantastic. I realize others would, but there is no way I would give up MCW for Exum. MCW can defend, rebound, and dole out the assists. Has Exum demonstrated he can do these things? So he may be a slightly more efficient scorer. So what? I’ll stick with MCW.

      3. If you are done with the tanking, fine. But don’t say you are all about the long term and then go and complain after the 3rd game of year 2 of the rebuild.

      4. You are off the Noel bandwagon as well already? Weren’t you singing all last season. Let the guy play.

      5. That Sixers took Saric (and 1st round pick don’t forget) instead of Payton is a legitimate gripe. For me, it’s way too early. Saric could be great and getting the 1st round draft pick back was a steal. I will wait and see.

      6. Without question I think a conscious decision was made to fully and completely tank for one more season. The full out tank last season landed them Embiid which was a huge win in my book. If tanking this season lands another huge talent it was worth it in my book.

      7. The majority of Sixers fans seemed to get on board with last season’s tank. Many of those fans seemed to have turned with the drafting of two players who won’t play this season. I get it – especially with the 10 pick. But I’m down with one more season of tanking. Next season, however, my expectations will shift to winning. Sixers should be well poised next season to put a nice product on the floor.

      • robbybonfire23

        Mr. Bowman – Thank you for your input, addressing my take and concerns, in such depth. I will just respond as clearly as I can…

        1. We agree re Embiid being special. He graded, by far, on my scale, as the best center in college, last season. So it’s a close call, do you draft a healthy Exum, for immediate delivery, or a possibly chronic injury case in the great Embiid, for next season delivery? Both positions are valid, so put me down as “safety first” going for Exum, under the circumstances. I have no problem with anyone who wants to roll the dice on Embiid. Usually I go for the big score, too.

        2. Who is giving up MCW for Exum? You have MCW on the point and Exum at the SG, with Wroten in the mix, somewhere, too. I can live with depth of quality at these positions. Injuries and fatigue are a factor, being deeper and fresher going into the playoffs is the way to win out throughout the playoffs. And the competition on your team for time on the court brings out the best in everybody.

        3. I did change-up my tanking position when I conjured that we could have a lineup, right now, of Noel, and Bennett (sticking to my guns, there, I take Bennett now over a future, low first round pick) in the front court, and MCW and Exum and Wroten leading off the back court depth chart. Plus, we could have traded Payton for some front court help right now.

        4. I have no idea where you are coming from re my take on Noel? I am one of his biggest fans and supporters. Glad we have him, just hoping he doesn’t suffer another serious injury – which would probably be career-ending. But I like him a lot and have long lobbied for this team to include him in their offensive scheme, quite a bit. He can shoot and defend – well, just not as physical as we would all like him to be.

        5. Payton now vs. Saric later (we hope)? Great debate. Payton shoots well, and his 23 assists in his first 84 minutes of NBA play is awesome. He looks like he could be the real deal. Maybe we should have drafted him and traded him for a talented forward not named Saric for 2014 delivery.

        6. Now that Exum and Payton got away and Saric and Embiid are not here, yet, hard to disagree with your logic.

        7. Essentially an extension of #6. Yes, tanking beyond this season has to be out of the question.

        Thanks again…Nice to hear from you.