Feb 25 2015

76ers Knocked Out Quickly By MCW And Bucks

Philadelphia 76ers 88 Final
Recap | Box Score
104 Milwaukee Bucks
Robert Covington, SF 19 MIN | 4-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 13 PTS | -8 +/-A beneficiary of garbage time, Covington’ s 13 points in 19 minutes and three 3-pointers were tempered by the fact that 10 of his 13 points and two of his 3-pointers came in the fourth quarter. Also in the fourth quarter, there was a minor scare when Covington took a hard fall after a foul on a dunk attempt. This one was over so early I’m just happy that Covington, and every other 76er came out of it all unscathed.

Isaiah Canaan, PG 33 MIN | 3-10 FG | 4-5 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 11 PTS | -7 +/-Not a very strong performance from Canaan. He was part of a starting unit that struggled with Milwaukee’s perimeter length. While his final stat line doesn’t look awful, like Covington, many of Canaan’s points came in true garbage time. Then again, over half this game was garbage time so it’s difficult to truly give context to any of the performances.

Jason Richardson, SG 25 MIN | 6-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 16 PTS | +1 +/-Richardson looked spry, impressive, and was willing to fight to avoid utter collective embarrassment for he and his teammates Tonight marked the most minutes Richardson has played since returning post All-Star break and doubled as his best performance of the year. If this team does manage to win any games down the stretch it is likely that he will be a big part of those victories.

Thomas Robinson, PF 13 MIN | 3-6 FG | 1-3 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | -5 +/-T-Rob’s first game as a 76er was solid given the circumstances—he played the same day he joined the team and the team was out of it really before he even checked in. Instant, knee-jerk analysis of T-Rob is that you can see why Hinkie was intrigued and also why he hasn’t quite stuck anywhere despite his high draft status. Robinson possesses a true NBA skill: rebounding. But he also has holes in his game offensively as a passer and scorer and his size is underwhelming. He is worth watching moving forward and being on this 76ers team will give him every opportunity to prove he belongs in an NBA rotation.

MIchael Carter-Williams, PG 18 MIN | 3-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 8 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | +8 +/-

MCW came out strong to start the game. Whether it was excitement, a desire to send a message to the 76ers front office, or just the fact that he finally got to go against the worst (non-Knicks) team in the NBA, he was instrumental to the Bucks early success, especially on defense and in the fast break. It’s difficult to judge him by his stat line or anything that happened beyond the first quarter because the game was over early. Ultimately, tonight likely felt great for MCW. Even if he harbors little ill will to the 76ers, he must be happy to have the chance to be on the other side of a night like this.

By the Numbers: 32 The Bucks scored 32 in the second quarter, the 76ers scored 32 in the first half.

Tweet of the Game: 

Parting Shots:
These ones pop up from time to time—games where you’re reminded how truly incomplete and raw this team is even if certain players are intriguing as long term development projects. Milwaukee’s length on defense was able to disrupt the perimeter offense early, and convert the massive amount of 1st half turnovers into easy baskets. By the time the 76ers had regrouped and found a rhythm in the fourth quarter it was long over. The Bucks had also probably stopped caring at that point.
The story that should have been big was MCW. This game should have been “The MCW Game”, but it didn’t quite feel that way. Maybe it was because the game happened so quickly after the trade—without any distance there wasn’t any nostalgia. Or maybe it was just a terrible game that was difficult to watch.

Feb 24 2015

Woj: Sixers Claim Thomas Robinson Off Waivers

Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Sixers have put in a last-second claim on 2012 fifth overall pick Thomas Robinson and the $3,678,360 remaining on his contract. The Kansas product is set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer after his option was declined by Portland, prior to his trade to the Nuggets, who waived him at his request.

It seemed, as Woj reported, as if Robinson was set to join Brooklyn after clearing waivers — only Philly, Atlanta, Orlando, Phoenix and Milwaukee had the cap space to claim him outright.

Robinson’s offensive game hasn’t translated at the pro level, which certainly has contributed to his inability to find traction in the league (the Sixers will be the fourth team he plays for in three seasons). But his rebounding has been a glimmer of hope. Last season in Portland with the NBA’s best rebounding squad (46.4 rebounds per game), he led the team in Total Rebounding Percentage at 18.9 in 12.5 minutes per game. The ability looks like it’s there. He may just be a player who needs more playing time to find his footing in the league – after all, over the course of his career, he’s only played 13.5 minutes per night. He’ll find no shortage of those in Philly.

T-Rob’s contract situation is a bit trickier than what we usually see, since young players on rookie scale deals are generally very valuable. But Portland declined his option, so he’s now set to be an unrestricted free agent. Since Philly claimed him, they claimed his Early Bird rights as well, but that’s mostly irrelevant — the Sixers will have loads of cap space anyway, and his max will be no higher than what the rookie scale could’ve paid him next season, which by my calculations, would be ~$4.7 million (26.7 percent increase over third year option salary).

The claiming of Robinson, which, by the way, helps the Sixers meet the (inconsequential) salary floor, appears to be a low-risk move on the harsh expedition for NBA talent. Wojnarowski says the “initial plan is to keep Robinson and take a look at him in the short-term,” so we’ll see how it goes. There’s no reason he shouldn’t get major minutes at the four right off the bat.

Feb 24 2015

The 76ers 2015 Draft Domination Rooting Guide

So here we are again. Another final third of the season and another chance to root for nightly progress from the individual members of the Sixers that results in collective failure by the team.

But Philadelphia isn’t the only team you should be keeping an eye on. Hinkie’s collection of protected 1st round picks (Miami T-10, OKC T-18, LAL T-5) gives fans a legitimate stake and rooting interest in two playoff races and the ability to go heavy on the nostalgia and cheer on Swaggy P heat checks. I’m not sure any other fanbase has more reason to go all in on that late season League Pass discount than the Philly faithful. What more could you ask for?

If you were seeking clarity on where your allegiance should lie moving forward, look no further:

I. Sixers Pick (relinquished if not T-14. Ha!)

Even those of us who take an unusual amount of joy in rooting for improved draft position will still occasionally grimace at desperately searching our feed in hopes of a Knicks or Lakers victory. Alas, this is the fate of a Sixers fan in the modern world.

Despite the Lakers win on Sunday night against the Celtics, the Timberwolves, who pulled out a victory Friday night, seem to be the most likely of this terrible trio to amass a respectable amount of wins post All-Star break. The Jeannie Buss-Phil Jackson two-headed monster is basically a dumpster fire and any win that the Lakers or Knicks get the rest of the way should be treated like a holiday in Philly.

What the numbers say: Hollinger’s odds project 18 wins for the Knicks, 19 for the Sixers, 20 for the Timberwolves, and 23 for the Lakers.

Via ESPN

Via ESPN

 

 

 

 

 


Root for:
New York Knicks
Los Angeles Lakers
Minnesota Timberwolves

Root against:
Philadelphia 76ers

II. Lakers Pick (Protected 1-5 in 2015)

Here are the Lakers again, this time via that sweet sweet Top-5 protected nectar that Hinkie acquired for reigning ROTY MCW. There’s no team that 76ers fans should be rooting for more than the Los Angeles Lakers. Words I never thought I would speak or write, but there’s a lot at stake here in the way of instant 2015 draft pick gratification.

If the Lakers finish third, they have a 96 percent shot of keeping that pick. It drops to 83 percent if they’re fourth, and 55 percent if they’re fifth. That means the Knicks, Timberwolves, and 76ers will need to stay down and someone else needs to lose… a lot. Of the candidates my vote goes to Denver as most likely. Things are getting ugly for Brian Shaw and the Nuggets and trading Aaron Afflalo won’t help anything. The Sacramento Demarcus Cousins’ are always a good dark horse candidate for a serious losing streak/meltdown as well. (Bonus: A full Sacramento breakdown could also double as the final straw for the Cousins-Sacramento relationship and guess who’s better equipped than anyone else in the league to put together a package of picks for a young superstar?) A complete collapse, however, seems less likely with George Karl on the sidelines.

Lakers 6 zone

What the numbers say, via ESPN’s Kevin Pelton ($): “My simulations of the remainder of the season (factoring in lottery odds) have the Lakers keeping it nearly 84 percent of the time, with a small chance of the pick falling to sixth (14 percent) or rarely seventh (2 percent) and going to Philadelphia.”

Root For:
Los Angeles Lakers

Root Against:
New York Knicks
Minnesota Timberwolves
Denver Nuggets
Sacramento Kings
Orlando Magic

III. Miami Heat Pick (Protected 1-10 in 2015)

Before getting to anything else, the news that Chris Bosh will miss the rest of the season due to a serious lung condition is awful. Bosh is a tremendous player and by all accounts, a class act. The league is better when Bosh is taking the floor for Miami, so here’s to a speedy recovery.

Shifting to the pick, the Goran Dragic acquisition certainly puts a dent in the chances that Miami drops out of the playoffs, especially given that none of the contenders to take their spot are particularly impressive. And Pelton’s recent projections ($) seem to indicate that even without Bosh, Miami should be a playoff team in the lowly Eastern Conference.

Look out for the Magic!

Look out for the Magic!

If Reggie Jackson goes crazy with his newfound responsibilities in Detroit, the Pistons could make a run. Indiana also has an incentive to hold it together if Paul George comes back this season at anything close to his old self. Current reports have him targeting a mid-March return. But let’s be honest: the race for the final two playoff spots in the East is a war of attrition. Who loses the least rather than who will win the most is the best way to think of it.

Also, if the Heat begin to lose too much and all four of the playoff contenders listed below threaten to overtake them, be prepared to flip allegiance and root for Heat victories. Remember, being a 76ers fan in 2015 is all about facing and rationalizing a new reality every few weeks anyway. (Alternatively, you could hope the pick gets protected, so the Sixers will have a chance at hitting the jackpot in 2017.)

What the numbers say: “Increasingly likely,” Hinkie said at the Feb. 20 press conference.

Root For:
Charlotte Hornets
Detroit Pistons
Indiana Pacers
Brooklyn Nets

Root Against:
Miami Heat (for now)

IV. Oklahoma City Thunder Pick (Protected 1-18 in 2015)

Who says Sam Hinkie doesn’t care about bringing high-caliber NBA basketball to 76ers fans? It may not be in Philadelphia, but the protection placed on the Thunder’s pick certainly gives fans another reason to pay close attention to the Western Conference playoff race. If the Thunder can overtake San Antonio (they’re three back) to claim the seventh seed it is a virtual lock that this pick gets conveyed to the Sixers. They’d also hand over the pick if they passed the bottom four Eastern Conference teams. If Thursday night’s Thunder-Mavs game was any indication the Thunder have a whole lot of W’s coming their way down the stretch. News that Durant will miss time to replace a screw in his surgically repaired foot is not good for Thunder or 76ers fans, but Russell Westbrook and the new additions still seem intent on going on a significant run and Durant is not expected to miss the rest of the regular season.

Thunder would need to pass two of those teams.

Thunder would need to pass two of those teams.

What the numbers say: Hinkie estimated 30 percent at the press conference, though things have since changed (for the better). Hollinger have Thunder at 47 wins, Bucks at 46, Wizards at 46, and Spurs at 49.

Root For:
Oklahoma City Thunder

Root Against:
San Antonio Spurs
Washington Wizards
Milwaukee Bucks
Phoenix Suns
New Orleans Pelicans
V. Bonus Round: 2nd Round Picks

Orlando Magic 2nd Round Pick (Currently 35th)
Orlando is already in the mix as a team whose collapse could help send the Lakers Top-5 protected 1st the 76ers’ way, and that scenario would be made even sweeter by the fact that Hinkie has Orlando’s 2nd rounder. Every spot matters when you’re looking for the next 2nd round lottery ticket.

Root For: Los Angeles Lakers. Root Against: Orlando Magic.

Worse of Minnesota Timberwolves and Denver Nuggets 2nd Round Pick (Currently Denver’s at 37th)
Another opportunity to root for the Lakers! As mentioned earlier, Denver is a serious down-the-stretch-collapse candidate, and this pick moving up to 34th if Minnesota stays bad and Denver gets worse is certainly in play.

Root For: Los Angeles Lakers. Root Against: Minnesota Timberwolves, Denver Nuggets.

New Orleans Pelicans 2nd Round Pick (Currently 45th)

The Pelicans also make their second appearance on the list, again in a “root against” scenario. The reality is that with the Thunder likely to run away with at least the 8th seed, and the rest of the Eastern Conference non-playoff teams well below .500, the Pelicans pick is likely to be fairly static. Keeping with our “every spot counts” mantra 76ers fans can still comb Suns and Pelicans box scores to ensure that pick doesn’t drop to 46.

Root For: Oklahoma City Thunder, Phoenix Suns (but less than the Thunder). Root Against: New Orleans Pelicans.

Houston Rockets 2nd Round Pick (Currently 56th)

Don’t laugh, but this one is actually worth watching. It actually has the opportunity to change significantly. The Rockets sit at 37-18, tied with Toronto and slightly ahead of Portland, the Clippers, Dallas, and the surging Cavs. That’s a full five positions the pick could move. It also opens up this exercise to the heretofore undisturbed elite upper echelon of the Western Conference playoff race.

Root For: Toronto Raptors, Cleveland Cavaliers, Portland Trailblazers, Los Angeles Clippers, Dallas Mavericks. Root Against: Houston Rockets.

Golden State Warriors 2nd Round Pick (Currently 60th)

Yes, this one could move up two spots if the Warriors find a way to fall behind Atlanta and Memphis. And yes, our mantra has been “every spot counts” all along. But, wouldn’t it be fitting given the plan, all the talk of assets, all the media attention that Hinkie and the 76ers have gotten this year if the 76ers had the 1st and last pick in the 2015 draft. Isn’t this really the 76ers draft? If the idea of this exercise is to have it all, shouldn’t that include the right to start June 26th off and shut Madison Square Garden down when it’s all over?

Root For: Golden State.

Feb 23 2015

Heat Top Sixers, 119-108

Philadelphia 76ers 108 Final

Recap |   Box Score

119 Miami Heat
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, PF 30 MIN | 3-11 FG | 0-2 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | -4 +/-Luc is an undervalued defender, but with the team taking more of an offense-first approach the rest of the way, Grant may be a better fit starting with Covington and J-Rich once he gets healthy. Mbah a Moute takes a ton of long twos as well (unsuccessfully), and we saw several of those tonight.

Robert Covington, SF 34 MIN | 6-15 FG | 1-3 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 5 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 16 PTS | -4 +/-Covington is reaping the benefits of the newfound spacing in the half-court, firing away without much hesitation. He made a difference on both ends tonight though, grabbing five steals in the first quarter.

Nerlens Noel, C 31 MIN | 5-10 FG | 8-10 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 4 BLK | 0 TO | 18 PTS | 0 +/-We haven’t really seen Nerlens relentlessly attack offensively yet, and it was fun to watch. He looks increasingly more comfortable with his midrange jumper (9-19 from that area over the past 10 games, per Sixers.com’s Max Rappaport) and that’s huge for his development. If he can be so much as a non-liability on the offensive end, he’ll be sure to play a major role for a competitive team, whether it be in Philly or elsewhere.

Isaiah Canaan, PG 30 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 11 PTS | -8 +/-Canaan is surely a defensive downgrade from MCW – as LB’s Derek Bodner points out, without a point guard with a size advantage, the Sixers will have to actually defend the pick-and-roll rather than just switching every time. But having a point guard with the range to legitimately command respect from defenders has opened things up for the offense and noticeably created some much-needed spacing. He showed more of that range tonight, dropping three treys. It would’ve been four, but this ridiculous circus shot that had no business going in was ruled a two.

Hollis Thompson, SG 28 MIN | 7-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 22 PTS | -7 +/-Holliswood continues his resurgence that began in mid-January. As Drew Corrigan points out, Thompson is shooting 30-75 from long range since January 1, good for 40 percent, and his eFG% in February has jumped to 60.3 percent. He’s proving that he may be an NBA player after all, something many of us doubted throughout the first couple months of the season.

By the Numbers

13 – The amount of threes the Sixers have made in consecutive games. That’s never been done before in franchise history, according to Max Rappaport.

Tweet of the Game

Keep this one handy for future humiliation.

Parting Shots

It would’ve been nice for the Sixers and Heat to have both lost this game for the sake of draft positioning,  but you can’t always get what you want. In all seriousness, for Canaan, Covington and Thompson to combine for 10 threes in a SEGABABA is incredibly encouraging. The results can only be more positive if/when Embiid is in the middle commanding double-teams and owning the paint.

The Sixers play on Wednesday in Milwaukee, when MCW may be making his Bucks debut. 

Feb 22 2015

Canaan Debut Not Enough To Overtake Magic

Philadelphia 76ers 98 Final
Recap | Box Score
103 Orlando Magic
Robert Covington, SF 33 MIN | 6-13 FG | 1-1 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 16 PTS | -3+/-Covington’s story continues to be remarkable. With MCW no longer around RoCo, a guy who wasn’t on an NBA roster on opening night, becomes the team’s go-to scorer. Bearing that burden and taking on the extra attention from defenses will certainly lead to some cold shooting nights, but tonight Covington acquitted himself well offensively. He also managed to fall only one rebound short of a double-double.

Nerlens Noel, C 35 MIN | 3-7 FG | 4-6 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | -7+/-If you put his stats up against Vucevic’s, tonight seems like a disaster for Nerlens. The reality of his performance was better than the stat line. His ball movement was great and the effort is there offensively. He is always a force protecting rim against any guard driving the lane, and was active denying entry passes all night. Seeing how Noel continues to develop over the final part of the season is perhaps the top reason for tuning in nightly.

Isaiah Canaan, PG 29 MIN | 5-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 14 PTS | -2+/-He may not be the long defender MCW is, but we’re certainly going to see a more confident shooter from behind the arc than we did in the MCW era. Canaan’s four 3-point makes were a revelation tonight, especially the last one, from well beyond the arc with a defender’s hand in his face. We should all keep our jump to conclusions mats packed away for the time being, but there is a very distinct possibility that Canaan runs a 76ers offense that spaces the floor better than the one run by his predecessor.

JaVale McGee, C 13 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | +2+/-I know, easy target. In only two games McGee, of the frequent goaltends, has already managed to display both the athleticism and lapses in concentration that have defined his career. He doesn’t look to be in spectacular shape right now, so judgment on his ability to contribute and also turn into a tradable asset by next year’s deadline should be reserved. Let’s just all agree to enjoy the Javale ride and trust that Hinkie and Brown won’t let him do anything to hinder the team’s development.

JaKarr Sampson, SG 21 MIN | 6-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | +6+/-Don’t look now but that’s three straight double-digit scoring performances from JaKarr. His 16 points included 14 in ridiculous fourth quarter. Sampson may be the 76er that was on the team pre-deadline who benefits the most from the departures of MCW and KJ McDaniels. If the 76ers see more of what they saw tonight the rest of this season, Sampson could develop into a player worth keeping around.

By the Numbers: 13 3-pointers made by the 76ers, nearly double their season average of 7.6.

Tweet of the Game: 

Canaan added a fourth for good measure.

Parting Shots:

There was a lot to be pleased with watching tonight’s close loss, but the team’s ability to stretch the floor was most impressive. As many have noted, there may be many things to miss about MCW, but shooting beyond the arc will not be one of them. Perhaps equally as important, no one seems to be reeling from the loss of two key teammates, only eager to prove they deserve a place in the league. Next up Miami and another opportunity to be confused as to what outcome you should be rooting for.

Feb 21 2015

Fact Checking Deadspin’s Philadelphia 76ers Coverage

(Note: Initial post had things out of order. I’ve since updated the order and a couple other things).

Deadspin’s writers don’t seem to like what GM Sam Hinkie is doing. They’ve brought up valid points, but they’ve also brought up invalid points. Some of the latter are addressed below. Bolded words are mine.

The 76ers Are Run By A Ridiculous TED-Humping Moron (Albert Burneko):

Now consider the real world, where in the two drafts Hinkie has overseen since assuming stewardship of Philly’s basketball operations, he’s come away with Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid, Michael Carter-Williams, and an assortment of international men of mystery, most of some of the latter of whom will never so much as appear in a Sixers team photo. Noel and Embiid were both presumptive first overall picks who slid in the draft because of leg injuries; Carter-Williams was a no-brainer at 11th, especially for a team that was in the process of trading young, All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday and the rights to Pierre Jackson for the rights to Noel and New Orleans’ 2014 1st round pick.

This isn’t incorrect (yet), but it should be addressed. The assortment of “international men of mystery” from the last two drafts would be Dario Saric (12th in 2014, via Orlando), Vasilije Micic (52nd, 2014), and Arsalan Kazemi (54th, 2013). Other international men of mystery include: Jordan McRae, an American born player the Sixers took 58th overall, who is currently playing in Australia. They also traded nothing for Furkan Aldemir (who is now playing on the Sixers), and Chukwudiebere Maduabum (who likely will never play on the Sixers). Also worth noting: Micic, Saric, and Aldemir all have the same agent: Misko Raznatovic.

The New Orleans 1st, which Burneko didn’t mention, was traded on 2014 draft night for Saric (12th), Philadelphia’s 2017 1st (previously traded away), and Orlando’s 2015 2nd. 

Burneko:

Noel and Embiid were drafted at least in part for their short-term inability to stop the team from sucking raccoon ass on the court, according to the narrative.

If there weren’t a lottery system that incentivized losses, would the Sixers have drafted Noel and Embiid? I’m not sure, and neither is the author.

Burneko:

Virtually any NBA personnel honcho (with backing from ownership) could use a young All-Star and high draft picks in successive drafts to get a pair of sliding blue-chip prospects with injury and NBA-readiness concerns, a well-regarded but unexceptional player at the NBA’s deepest position, and nothing multiple things of note from the later parts of the draft.

Jerami Grant, and K.J. McDaniels are “of note.” Others could be “of note” in the future.

As for the NBA personnel honchos … many GMs, I suspect, would have wanted to take the injured Noel and Embiid. It’s not that they didn’t have the guts to do it; it’s that a lot of them face win-now pressure from their ownership, and wouldn’t have been allowed to. Sixers owner Josh Harris, who purchased the team in 2011, has (by all accounts) given Hinkie the freedom to do what he wants. Whether what Hinkie wants is “good” for basketball can certainly be debated.

Burneko:

To wit: No one [at Deadspin?] disputes that Philadelphia’s on-court goal, this season, has been to lose as many games as they can without embarrassing the NBA thoroughly enough to force a rejiggering of the draft lottery system.

This fits well with the narrative. Pingpong balls have certainly played a role in their decision making, and they’re part of the reason why they’ve avoided spending on proven veterans. But so have the salary cap and the CBA, which put a premium on low-cost talent. Sixers management doesn’t care much about winning regular season games in 2014-15. It also isn’t actively trying to field a team that loses. These statements are not mutually exclusive.

Burneko:

On the actual basketball court, Hinkie’s cagey, analytics-juiced process is utterly indistinguishable from Jackson’s pure ineptitude.

Putting aside wins and losses … the Sixers and Knicks on-court products are, objectively, polar opposites:

Via Deadspin: “[The Sixers] are playing basically correctly on offense and passably on defense, and have somehow accumulated a -16.9 point differential—a number that would demolish the current record of -15.2, held by the 1992-93 Mavericks. They’re this bad while trying to do things the right way!”

Via Deadspin: “Naturally, much of their conversation focuses on the triangle offense, and Jackson’s disastrous attempt to install the system in New York. The good news is that Jackson acknowledges what a failure his experiment has been thus far—”So far, my experiment has fallen flat on its face.”—but the bad news is that Jackson doesn’t give much indication that he’s going to stop humping his archaic system anytime soon.”

As for how the Knicks and Sixers are doing off the actual basketball court …

Salary and draft pick information via Spotrac, HoopsHype, RealGM

Salary and draft pick information via Spotrac, HoopsHype, RealGM

It turns out there are benefits to researching international exchange rates and ergonomic efficiency.

Burneko:

Hinkie, poker-faced, paranoid, hunched over the secrets and insights of his intricate Master Plan—one that hinges not just  on the Sixers winning participating in a weighted draft lottery that has screwed the league’s worst team in 22 of the 25 years since its inception, but also  or on two clumsy, raw young big men with bad leg injuries in their pasts developing into legitimate cornerstone players, and on Michael Carter-Williams [Ed. note: Burneko’s post was published before trade deadline] not being ruined by these years of nightly humiliation, or on the Lakers 2015 protected pick, or their own 2015 first-round pick, and or on all that abundant cap space sufficing to attract a superstar or two who might reasonably prefer literally any other team, and or on one of those stashed-away Euro dudes eventually deciding he’d like to come play for an NBA team.

The weighted lottery hasn’t screwed the league’s worst team 22 of the last 25 years. Probability has. The benefit of finishing with the worst record isn’t the 25 percent shot at getting the top pick. It’s the 100 percent shot at getting a top 4 pick.

The Hinkie “plan” isn’t relying on any one of these things specifically — that’s the logic behind it. Acquiring superstars requires luck and planning. The Sixers have indisputably increased their chances of landing stars by preserving their cap space, collecting trade chips, and accumulating high draft picks. There are legitimate reasons for critiquing the strategy. The above is not one of them.

2015 Trade Deadline Roundup (Kyle Wagner, Tom Ley):

The Sixers get a pretty good (but not great) pick for a pretty good (but not great) point guard, and hand over the balance of the season to, uh, Tony Wroten Isaiah Canaan?  That’ll be a thrill to watch, I’m sure.

Tony Wroten has been sidelined with a partially torn ACL since Jan. 14.

The 76ers Are A Godless Abomination (Tom Ley, Nov. 18):

The Sixers did not sign Robert Covington or any of the other and their undrafted scrubs that populate the roster because they are looking for good basketball players who can help them win basketball games. They also signed him because they only have to pay him $816,482 to go out and do things like shoot 1-of-5 from the field in 17 minutes against the San Antonio Spurs lead the team in Win Shares. Robert Covington is in Philly to help the Sixerslose.

Yes, tallest midget in the room, but Covington has been Philly’s most productive player. The Sixers have spent the last two seasons investing in second-round picks and low-priced D-League talent over the slightly more expensive veterans and low-ceiling veterans. Covington, along with JaKarr Sampson, Hollis Thompson, and the since traded K.J. McDaniels are the reasons why.

Ley:

What this means is that the Sixers aren’t even signing these shit-ass players because they want to save money—they’re going to have to pony up that extra $20 million at the end of the season no matter what—but because they are actively trying to field the worst possible roster maintain roster flexibility and exploit the CBA.

Again, narrative. They’re not actively trying to lose. They just don’t give a shit about winning regular season games in 2014-15.

Ley:

Fan satisfaction, entertainment value, and players who need to make a living never even enter into what the Sixers are trying to do, not when there’s an extra fraction of a percent to be had.

I’ll reluctantly surrender “fan satisfaction and entertainment value.” I’m satisfied and entertained, though I can see why others are turned off.

As for the “players who need to make a living” part … what the fuck does this even mean? The Sixers hand out contracts to younger, lesser-known fringe NBA players, and so now Earl Watson is out of a job? We’re really worried about Earl Watson’s employment?

NBA Shit List: The Philadelphia 76ers, Who Are Capitalism’s Diarrhea (Wagner, Dec. 18):

The 76ers prefer to sign five-and-dime players to five-and-dime contracts, jamming the roster full of scrap metal and undrafted fucknuts like JaKarr Sampson—a rookie out of my alma mater St. John’s best known as the 2013 Big East Rookie of the Year and for shooting jump shots by pantomiming a man giving a horse an enema—instead of paying real NBA players real NBA salaries.

JaKarr Sampson is not a fucknut! But yeah, this is otherwise correct.

76ers Get First Win, Are Still A Cynical And Indescribable Fraud (Ley, Dec. 4):

The Sixers play the Thunder tomorrow night. They will probably lose by 30.

The Sixers lost that game by 12. Robert Covington had 21 points off 8-13 shooting.

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