Jan 17 2015

76ers’ Garbage Time Unit Attempts to Give You Cheaper Crappy Pizza for Championship Sunday, Fails

Philadelphia 76ers 89 Final
Recap | Box Score
107 Detroit Pistons
Nerlens Noel, C 24 MIN | 3-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | -20 +/-

By no means was this game a step backwards for Noel, but against stiffer competition in Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, he failed to establish tempo and momentum like he did a night ago. Like most starters, Noel didn’t play many minutes in a blowout second half, but for a player trying to establish consistency, tonight remained consistently inconsistent.

Michael Carter-Williams, PG 24 MIN | 6-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 15 PTS | -14 +/-

Carter-Williams played a fine game in Wroten’s absence once again. His box score would have looked much sexier if he had a reason to play in the fourth quarter. Yet he was absolutely pummeled attempting to defend Detroit’s perimeter shooters off screens in the first quarter, enabling the Pistons to open up a lead they wouldn’t give up.

K.J. McDaniels, SG 27 MIN | 2-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 4 PTS | -12 +/-

Detroit excels in forming effing walls, so it makes sense that no game has better encapsulated the rookie wall K.J. McDaniels has crashed into. Originally considered a three-and-D wing prospect, McDaniels simply has to work right now to figure out what role he fills on the team.

Henry Sims, C 17 MIN | 5-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 12 PTS | -1 +/-

In the computer game The Sims, a character can die of starvation if left to his or her own devices. Henry Sims is the opposite; if left alone, he drains buckets. Sorry. It’s hard to find much to get excited about from this game.

Larry Drew II, G 24 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 9 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 6 PTS | -4 +/-

Drew 2K continues to pass the eye test. Though the scoring numbers don’t jump out at you, his assist numbers are much more important to a prospective back-up point guard. His nine dimes don’t even do him justice, as he was able to find some absurd windows that led to fouls or missed opportunities. Swirling Wroten and/or MCW trade rumors continue to look more feasible as this kid continues to demonstrate he belongs in the league.

By the Numbers

90 – The number of points it takes for the 76ers to get us a discount on our Papa John’s pizza tomorrow. Apparently no one told them. Because they did not score 90. They scored 89, like they get off on being withholding. There are two great football games on TV tomorrow. You know what goes great with football? Uh, Earth to Sixers – pizza!

Quote of the Game

“Haha, no.” -Peyton Manning, on whether you can still get the Papa John’s discount tomorrow.

Tweet of the Game

Parting Shots

Look, no one likes Papa John’s anyway. The crust is doughy, the cheese is pathetic, they throw in that weird pepper thing almost as an apology… remember that episode of The Office, when Michael assumes the Scranton employees will enjoy a higher quantity of shitty pizza as opposed to a smaller amount of good pizza, and they universally agree he’s wrong? That’s what getting Papa John’s feels like. But if it was considerably cheaper than getting a full-priced, quality pizza, you’d have to, at the very least, weigh your options. The 76ers stripped us of that option tonight, and I literally felt like Sam Hinkie was slapping a slice of pizza out of my hand as part of his “master-plan.”

This felt like the rare game the Sixers wanted no part of. They got their win last night in front of a great home crowd, and as soon as the Pistons caught fire (roughly 3.8 seconds into the game), they collectively scoffed and said “whatever,” as only a team with a pedigree of being better than the Knicks and Timberwolves can. They obviously can’t play with that mentality going forward, but for tonight, we’ll let the kids leave early and go party in Detroit, which seems like what they really wanted to do for some reason.

Jan 16 2015

Your 76ers Look Like an NBA Team, Destroy New Orleans, It’s Very Fun

New Orleans Pelicans 81 Final
Recap | Box Score
96 Philadelphia 76ers
Nerlens Noel, C 33 MIN | 7-10 FG | 3-4 FT | 11 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 5 BLK | 0 TO | 17 PTS | +19 +/-Nerlens was the Sixers’ spark plug from the tip tonight and continued to have the best game of his rookie season. 17 points on 7-10 shooting, 11 boards, five blocks… this is the player the Sixers envisioned when they traded (the absent) Jrue Holiday for him in 2013. He had everything to do with the Sixers’ first wire-to-wire win.

Michael Carter-Williams, PG 34 MIN | 9-19 FG | 3-7 FT | 6 REB | 7 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 22 PTS | +21 +/-Maybe it has something to do with recent trade rumors. Maybe it has something to do with recent Wroten injuries. MCW is again resembling the hyper-talented, quasi-efficient rookie of the year from last season. His blossoming bromance with Nerlens is setting James Franco and Seth Rogan on edge.

Jerami Grant, SF 25 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | -2 +/-Jerami Grant is like a really good dish on Chopped. The various ingredients in his game have been transformed beautifully. His presentation is stellar. There’s the occasional rough component that needs seasoning, but overall, the judges (and Philly’s front office) can agree that the overall selection was a good decision.

Larry Drew II, G 14 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | -6 +/-Two Zero Zero Zero Drew 2K, the New Millennium, excuse me, Drewllennium, had an encouraging debut. Though it won’t show it in the box score, Drew 2K showed off his court vision with a number of stellar passes that weren’t necessarily capitalized on by his recipient team-mates. He also showed off an extremely confident jump shot. Only getting completely crossed-over by Jimmer in garbage time took the + off his B.

Brett Brown
Brett actually got to sit down tonight. “Hey, this feels a lot like the nights where we’re not playing basketball” is what I imagine he said to his confused assistants.

By the Numbers

32 – Robert Covington’s positive plus/minus, which would seem like a glitch in the Matrix, if he weren’t Robert frickin’ Covington.

Quote of the Game

So many contenders here. Let’s do a top three:

3.) Malik, on the Sixers’ first half: “I don’t think I’ve seen the Sixers make this many good plays in succession in a long time.”

2.) Malik, on Luke Babbitt: “He looks like he should be in the Mystery Machine, solving crimes with a dog.”

1.) Nerlens Noel, post-game: “You come to Philadelphia, you better play with full forces.”

Parting Shots

The Pelicans played without Anthony Davis or Jrue Holiday. As Nerlens reminded us after the game – who cares? The Sixers’ wire-to-wire domination was stunning. It was fun. It was the best game we’ve seen yet from Noel, and a notice to the rest of the league that the Sixers are a determined, dangerous team on the rise. Bring it on Detroit – and don’t even think about resting Andre Drummond if you want a chance tomorrow.

Jan 15 2015

Too Many Rooks?

How the Sixers are managing their overabundance of underwhelming talent

Last June, the Sixers made seven draft selections. This June, as it stands, they’re due to make six more, with two first-rounders and four in the second. As part of the equation, six players — Michael Carter-Williams, Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid, Tony Wroten, Jerami Grant and Furkan Aldemir — have guaranteed contracts on the books for next season, with K.J. McDaniels’ impending restricted free agency and Robert Covington’s emergence as a viable piece. Hollis Thompson and JaKarr Sampson — both with cheap, team-options through 2016-17 — could also hang around, as could Henry Sims, who’s due for a qualifying offer this summer.

There’s also the stashed players, and Pierre Jackson, who and insists he’ll return to the Sixers next season after they basically handed him $400K following an achilles injury. Not to mention, the possible picks that the veteran expiring contracts — Jason Richardson, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Andrei Kirilenko, Sims — could bring back.

 

Guaranteed Contracts for 2015-2016 Non-guarateed Contracts 2015 Draft Picks Overseas Prospects
MCW: $2,399,040 K.J. McDaniels: upcoming RFA; $1,045,059 qualifying offer. 2015 1st-round pick: owed to Boston if Sixers make playoffs; will become 2015/2016 second-round picks. Dario Saric: under contract with Anadolu Efes through 2016 with option for 2016-2017.
Nerlens Noel: $3,457,800 Robert Covington: $1,000,000; fully non-guaranteed. MIA 2015 1st-round pick (via Thad trade) – top-10 protected. Jordan McRae: signed with Melbourne United this season; eligible to sign with Sixers when NBL season ends (likely March with playoffs).
Joel Embiid: $4,626,960 Henry Sims: upcoming RFA; $1,181,348 qualifying offer. GS 2nd-round pick Arsalan Kazemi: signed with Chongqing Flying Dragons until CBA season ends in March.
Tony Wroten: $2,179,353 JaKarr Sampson: $845,059; fully non-guaranteed. HOU 2nd-round pick Vasilijé Micic: signed with FC Bayern Munich until 2016 with option for 2016-2017.
Furkan Aldemir: $2,836,768 Hollis Thompson: $947,276; fully non-guaranteed. NOLA 2nd-round pick Cenk Akyol: rights acquired in the Jared Cunningham trade; under contract with Anadolu Efes.
Jerami Grant: $845,059 Malcolm Thomas: $1,015,421; fully non-guaranteed. ORL 2nd-round pick

To summarize, that’s six guaranteed contracts, six restricted FAs/non-guaranteed contracts, six draft picks (so far), five stashed players, and an abundance of cap space available for, dare I say it, an offseason acquisition. I’m no math whiz, but with a roster max of 15….yeah, it’s getting crowded in here.

Image by William Brasington. (Photos from here.)

Image by William Brasington. (Photos from here.)

Now, having too many borderline NBA players isn’t exactly a problem. And if it was, the Sixers have already figured out ways to circumvent it. For starters, they aren’t hesitating to draft international players, or stash players themselves. Dario Saric is under contract in Turkey until at least 2016, Jordan McRae is in Australia on a one-year deal, Vasilije Micic is under contract in Germany until at least 2016, and 2013 second-rounder Arsalan Kazemi is still puttering around out in China. Not to mention, Cenk Akyol is playing with Saric in Turkey, doing whatever it is Cenk Akyol does for however long Cenk Akyol damn pleases. With their abundance of second-round picks in 2015 and beyond, the Sixers are likely to continue planting seeds abroad.

They could also consolidate their assets, combining their extra draft picks to move up in the first or second round. Or they could kick the can and trade their 2015 picks for future picks, milking some extra value in the process. Organizations may place a premium on present value and “their guy,” even when that guy is Arnett Moultrie. Win-now GMs and owners (hello there, Vivek) are there to be taken advantage of. (And if they get really desperate for a roster spot, they could suspend a player.)

And what about the Delaware 87ers? Well, the D-League team could help the Sixers gain an information advantage, but it won’t give them any extra roster spots. Teams can designate up to four “affiliate” players to their D-League teams — guys who they didn’t see a fit for immediately, but whose development they’d like to watch closely. In the Sixers’ case, the Sevens would exclusively own that affiliate player’s D-League rights. However, using this strategy, the Sixers would not own the NBA rights to that player. Ronald Roberts, Jr., for example, is currently an affiliate player of the Sevens, but any team could sign him. Even that, however indirectly, gives the Sixers roster flexibility. If it was love at first sight with Roberts, he’d be locked into a four-year team-friendly deal. With the Sevens, they can evaluate him first before using a roster spot on him.

So where does this leave the Sixers? With lots of questions, no clear answers, and a slew of fringe NBA players. One benefit of the ‘disregard wins’ strategy is that it gives a team more freedom to take chances at the end of their rotation. Can Sampson run the point? Is Dewayne Dedmon a serviceable backup? Will Covington’s shooting translate? The Sixers had no idea when they signed these players, but they could afford to find out, with minimal opportunity cost. They can afford to experiment because they don’t care about immediate results.

The Sixers have fully taken advantage of this, and their returns thus far include Tony Wroten, Robert Covington, Henry Sims, and Hollis Thompson. They were all castaways, but they appear to have carved out roles as rotation players. That’s a win considering they were basically acquired for free. At some point however, when wins are prioritized and roster spots become more competitive, these tryouts will come with a price, and management will have to make tough decisions — like cutting Tarik Black for Josh Smith, or Nate Wolters for Kenyon Martin, or trading Wroten for cap relief.

But for now, the Sixers have the freedom and roster flexibility that comes along with being a losing organization. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Jan 14 2015

Sixers Block Everything But the Boxscore, Lose 100-84 to Raptors

Philadelphia 76ers 84 FinalRecap | Box Score 100 Toronto Raptors
Nerlens Noel, C 39 MIN | 5-9 FG | 2-4 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | -19 +/-Nerlens was all over the court tonight and his stat line is something that we’d like to see more of. His points came mainly from putback dunks, but he did hit a nice running hook shot. It’s been a slow offensive development process for Noel, and will continue to be, but the promise is there.

Michael Carter-Williams, PG 41 MIN | 12-25 FG | 4-8 FT | 7 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 29 PTS | -15 +/-That’s a season-high 29 points for MCW, four points away from his career high of 33. MCW was hyper-aggressive in the first half, scoring 18 of his 29 points. He was attacking the basket and seeing a lot of success. This marks his second straight 20-point game on a decent shooting night, which bodes well going forward.

K.J. McDaniels, SG 32 MIN | 2-10 FG | 5-6 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 4 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | -14 +/-McDaniels’ shooting tonight was just ugly. His only triple came with a few seconds left in the game and he registered more blocks (4) than field goals (2). However, the four blocks tied a career-high. The fact that K.J. can struggle so mightily from the field and yet still be a nightmare for opposing teams on the defensive end highlights the promise in the youngin’.

Jerami Grant, SF 22 MIN | 3-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | -3 +/-Another all-around solid performance from Jerami. He only scored seven points, but he’s becoming very good at not forcing anything on offense and taking what the defense gives him. He looks like an actual NBA player, especially when attacking the rim, and that’s not something anyone thought would be said so early in his development.

Robert Covington, SF DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | +/-Covington was a late scratch with a shoulder contusion and was sorely missed from the starting lineup. The Sixers shot 3-of-19 from the 3-point line on the night, something that Big Shot Bob could have helped out with.

By the Numbers

8 The number of blocks the Sixers had tonight. Even though it was a lopsided loss, the eight blocks kept the game fun and intense, which goes a long way in an 82-game season.

Tweet of the Game

Block of the year? Block of the year.

Parting Shots

One could imagine that this team will be something magical once the offensive side of the ball gets figured out. The team literally can’t score to save their lives, but that will come with NBA-ready players. There were lots of encouraging things to take away from this from MCW, Noel, McDaniels and Grant. Don’t put too much weight in the box scores; just watch the development.

Jan 13 2015

Sixers Fall To Shorthanded Hawks, 105-87

Atlanta Hawks 105 FinalRecap | Box Score 87 Philadelphia 76ers
Robert Covington, SF 32 MIN | 2-13 FG | 3-3 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 7 PTS | -20Covington didn’t do much of anything other than miss shots tonight. 0-7 from three and 2-13 from the field on top of getting burned defensively a handful of times? Not Bob’s best night.

Michael Carter-Williams, PG 30 MIN | 8-13 FG | 3-3 FT | 9 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 5 TO | 20 PTS | -16Carter-Williams was a little hot and cold tonight, racking up five turnovers and routinely getting roasted on D. He was efficient in his scoring – we don’t see that every night from him – but left more to be desired in most other areas.

K.J. McDaniels, SG 33 MIN | 5-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | -20There are times when McDaniels just seems to defy gravity. He had one impressive pump-dunk and then almost dunked on about three Hawks in the fourth quarter. He contributed consistently throughout night, and was one of Philadelphia’s few bright spots.

Jerami Grant, SF 21 MIN | 5-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | -13Grant had one of his best games, connecting on five of his seven shots for 13 points and playing effective defense for short stretches. As could have been expected, he had his share of mental lapses on defense and on the boards. But he played an overall controlled game.

Tony Wroten, SG 21 MIN | 4-12 FG | 1-4 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | -8Wroten was a hot mess for most of his minutes, jacking errant shots and forcing himself into heavy traffic inside. At times being all over the place can carry a positive connotation. He was certainly all over the place tonight, but I’m afraid it wasn’t in a good way.

By the Numbers

21, 10, and 10. That’s Al Horford’s stat line as he put together his first career triple double by exposing Philadelphia’s confused perimeter defense, often finding teammates for open threes and uncontested long distance looks.

Tweet of the Game

 In honor of Jerami Grant’s best game as a pro…

Parting Shots

The Hawks rested three of their five best players and two of their best three. They still put a beatdown on the Sixers, and I think that says more about Atlanta than it does about Philadelphia. The Sixers are definitely improved from back in November, but the Hawks are a Spursian offensive juggernaut and have the depth to do this to a lot of teams.

Unfortunately for the Sixers, they don’t get much rest before travelling up north to take on the Raptors in Toronto. That one doesn’t look any more promising than this one.

Jan 13 2015

5-on-5: Sleepers, AK-47 and More

1. Who is your sleeper (not top 5) NBA draft prospect?

Eric Goldwein: Tyus Jones. The Duke freshman has range, a high bball IQ, and he’s only 6-foot-1. He’s everything the Sixers are not.

Wesley Share: D’Angelo Russell. He’s a 6-5 guard who can play both the one and two, and he’s shooting over 61 percent at the rim and 45 percent from downtown.

Bryan Toporek: I’ve long been a Rondae Hollis-Jefferson guy, and would gladly pounce on him if he fell to the second round. Justin Anderson also intrigues me as a possibility with the Miami pick. The dude’s shooting 56.3 percent from three-point range on 4.3 attempts per game, has the sixth-highest eFG% in the NCAA, and ranks 13th in win shares per 40 minutes. Also, shoutout to our boy RobbyBonfire23: Delon Wright is a stud and would make for a hell of a backup PG (if not a starter).

Xylon Dimoff: I second Hollis-Jefferson. He’ll probably never be an NBA shooter at all, but he’d be a great grab for Philly (or anybody, really) early in the second round as a guy with lockdown defensive potential.

Ben Smolen: This guy gets some press, but not nearly as much as everyone else: R.J. Hunter. A small school shooting guard who historically can knock it down from deep. Probably not as good as Lillard, but there are a lot of parallels, and the value may be right with the Sixers’ second first round pick.

2. Why are the Sixers going to all this trouble for Andrei Kirilenko?

Goldwein: Depends how much trouble he is actually causing them. Yeah, there’ve been reports that Hinkie reneged on the agreement to cut the disgruntled forward. And yeah, it hasn’t looked great PR-wise. And maybe it’ll hurt in future negotiations with his agent, Marc Fleisher. Is all that worth whatever money they’re saving, plus a possible second round pick? Sam Hinkie seems to think so.

Share: I suppose it’s their right to in this business, but it just doesn’t seem worth the battle. They want him to play so they can flip him at the deadline, but at this point they’ve lost all leverage in those negotiations and the last thing you want to do is turn off upcoming FA. Just let it go.

Toporek: Sam Hinkie stops at no expense for future second-round picks. Frankly, assuming the Sixers didn’t have a handshake agreement with Kirilenko to release him following the trade — and from the sound of things, they never did — they’re justified in suspending him without pay, as bad as it looks in terms of PR. Whether he’s traded or waived in the coming weeks, I highly doubt he’s a Sixer as of Feb. 20.

Dimoff: I don’t necessarily agree with it, but we have to remember that the NBA is a business first and foremost. Hinkie made a deal with a plan in mind to turn AK-47 into an asset, and he technically has a right to be upset that Kirilenko hasn’t shown up. I don’t think this is worth the trouble if it’s just to gain another second-rounder, especially considering the horrible personal situation that Kirilenko is currently dealing with, but hopefully both sides can respectfully resolve this situation.

Smolen: Simple answer: Because they can. I’ve been doing my best to not get self-righteous about this years Sixers team, but the fact is this: If it were any other team doing this, this would be a much smaller story. A player was traded for, the player has yet to report, the player has been suspended. As long as Hinkie didn’t directly make any promises to AK-47, he is well within his rights to operate this way. People just chalk this up to crappy Sixers doing something crappy, when in reality, it’s just a basketball team doing a basketball team thing.

3. Compose a haiku about this tweet from Arnett Moultrie: https://twitter.com/amoultrie/status/554271636393054208:

Goldwein:

Hitting from 16.

Missing from everywhere else.
The Doug Collins way.

Share: Mid-range game on point.

A bad basketball player.

Top of our draft board.

Toporek: Moultrie loves jump shots.

Hello, Doug Collins’ wet dreams.

Good riddance to both.

Dimoff: “I woke up like this.”

You’re flawless, Arnett, tell ‘em.

“I woke up like this.”

Smolen: NBA burnout.

Three points per game for career.

Have fun in China!

4. If Robert Covington was drafted with the ____ pick in the 2014 Draft, he would be a steal. (h/t: LB’s Derek Bodner)

Goldwein: 30th. Let’s not get carried away. While Covington has been terrific for this offense, he doesn’t exactly have a rare skill set. He can shoot, certainly, but that wasn’t enough to make another team, let alone get important minutes. That being said, Covington, 24, has shown he might have a bright future as a floor-spacing big. The biggest thing he has going for him: his team-friendly 4yr/$4 million deal.

Share: 24-ish (where Napier was picked), or somewhere in the late first-round. He’s not a high-ceiling player, but he’s proven to be an effective offensive player at the NBA level with one clear-cut great skill. We can’t say the same about some of the last June’s first-rounders.

Toporek: 20th. He currently has the 10th-highest PER of any first- or second-year player, and it’s no secret that adding his three-point shooting ability coincided with the Sixers going from “Worst Team Ever?” to a half-respectable team on a good night. His ceiling might be lower than some of the late-first-round picks, but his floor is considerably higher. The biggest drawback for him would have been age (24).

Dimoff: 25th. Covington reminds me a bit of Hollis Thompson as a mostly one-dimensional offensive player (with a few extra tricks up his sleeve from time to time) and is underwhelming defensively. Covington’s deal looks spectacular as of right now, but like Hollis, his value could take a nosedive if his shooting percentages drop.

Smolen: I agree that somewhere in the mid to early 20s makes sense. He certainly lacks the ceiling of most prospects, but Covington has undeniable shown himself to be a viable NBA player. His age would crush his value in last years draft, but it’s pretty hard to deny that the Sixers got themselves and absolute steal so far.

5. Is Joel Embiid’s weight gain a legitimate concern?

Goldwein: Everything that has even the slightest chance of slowing his rehab concerns me. Is that concern legitimate? Probably not, but I’d prefer no news to probably irrelevant news.

Toporek: No. I’m guessing he’s been relatively limited in terms of the cardio work he can do as he recovers from his foot injury. Brett Brown has long emphasized how much stock he puts into fitness and sports science, so as Embiid progresses in his recovery, one would imagine the pounds will begin to shed off. If he’s looking like Boris Diaw Jr. come June, I’ll start being worried.

Share: It’s not something to lose sleep over, but adding weight on a foot injury of his extent is at least something to keep an eye on. No reason to be in panic mode, just keep his conditioning and rehab process going.

Dimoff: Not necessarily, at least for now. Like Derek Bodner pointed out, it’s not much of an issue as long as he’s not partaking in any physical activity. Obviously adding extra weight onto his foot as it recovers isn’t ideal, but it shouldn’t be much to worry about until he actually hits the floor.

Smolen: It doesn’t concern me in the slightest. Dude is barely allowed to move right now, is suddenly wealthy, and has a lot of free time on his hands. It’s only natural for him to gain a couple of pounds in the short term. I’m sure that when he gets cleared for more extensive cardio, he will get his weight down and will be back to working order.

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