Sixers Balls: Scenarios…

Awww yeeesss… Let all SCENARIOS begin and there is a plethora of them. By the way, plethora has to be my favorite word of all-time. Before I get into the scenarios for the Sixers, here is a message from my sponsor..

So the Sixers have the 3rd and 10th pick in the first round. Not going to lie, to say I was slightly disappointed about the Sixers not getting the first overall pick is  an understatement. I was speechless. I honestly felt like my pet turtle died. I was so depressed. I know this draft is deep as hell, but I wanted Andrew Wiggins sooo baaadd. Well, I ‘m finally over it and ready to move on from my depression. I have put my full trust in Sam Hinkie.

To go along with the two-first rounders, the Sixers have the 32nd, 39th, 47th, 52nd, and the 54th picks. Hinkie could easily package a couple of those second rounders and get back a late-first rounder. As we found out quickly last year, Hinkie is locked and loaded to make moves.

There will be many more scenarios falling from the sky in the coming weeks leading up to the draft, but here are some I have found or heard so far.

Thad  to the Sacramento Kings for the 8th pick.

There would be a player that the Kings would send back and the Sixers would likely send a second rounder as well to make it work. If you’re going to move Thad, the Sixers might as well do it on draft night. I really would like to see Thad stay but this might be too good to pass up. Scott Howard-Cooper of  NBA.com reports that the Kings are looking for a veteran in exchange for the 8th pick.  Libertyballers reported that the Sixers and Kings came very close last year on striking a deal, involving DeMarcus Cousins and Jrue Holiday. The Kings are not interested in drafting and developing another kid. Hinkie’s gotta be all over this. I mean, if the Sixers can add the 8th pick, to go along with the 3rd and 10th, helloooo opportunities (trades)…

Then there is this: That would be just lovely, if Embiid’s back is truly healthy. There have been a ton of reports out all year on how much the Bucks loved him.  That would mean Jabari Parker or Wiggins could slide. Me likey.

Oh God, yes… I’m starting to feel better about  the Sixers chances for Wiggins. Jason Lloyd is a Cavs beat writer for the Akron Beacon Journal. Though I still see Embiid going here more than Parker, especially if the Cavs are going to make a run at LeBron. I don’t see them drafting  Parker or Wiggins if Embiid is healthy. Kyrie Irving, LeBron James and Embiid would be scary.

Aaron Gordon would a great pick at number 10, though I don’t see him sliding  down that far. It also seems that the Sixers may decide on shooter at the 10 spot. Look at Doug “Buckets” McDermott and Nik Stauskas. Maybe, even a solid two-way player-Garry Harris. I personally, love Harris.

The Sixers 3rd and 10th pick for 1st overall.

Yes, this might be the biggest one I heard so far. Could it happen? I mean, I don’t think you can say no when Hinkie’s involved.  I would definitely do it, if they do indeed trade Thad to the Kings for the 8th. Then you could see a Sixers lineup with Wiggins (1st pick) and  Gordon (8th pick) in it next year. By the way, both Bleacher Report and SBNation both have the Sixers drafting Wiggins with the 3rd pick in their latest mock drafts.

I’m spent…

Sixers Balls..We Talkin Chances..

NBA Draft Lottery

The time has finally come. The right of passage. The day the basketball gods will shine down upon us. Well, for the love of God they better.  I don’t think that I can endure another shit-show of a season by the Sixers or take on another 26-game losing streak. To be honest, I may cry if the Sixers don’t at-least get the number two pick.

Before I keep going on about the Sixers Lotto chances on Tuesday night, I must put my two-cents in about these Michael Carter-Williams trade rumors.  GO KICK ROCKS...Come on peeps, you’re really searching for a story, especially saying that if the Sixers drafted Dante Exum they would trade MCW. I’m guessing that you peeps didn’t watch the Phoenix Suns play. They used  two-man point guard combo all season in their back-court. I must say that Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe were fun as hell to watch. I could use more examples but I won’t waste my time anymore on this non-sense. Moving on…

Well lets get right into it. Here are the chances for each Lotto team for the top pick.

NBA Lottery Odds
Team Odds
1 Milwaukee Bucks 25.0%
2 Philadelphia 76ers 19.9%
3 Orlando Magic 15.6%
4 Utah Jazz 11.9%
5 Boston Celtics 8.8%
6 Los Angeles Lakers 6.3%
7 Sacramento Kings 3.6%
8 Detroit Pistons 3.5%
9 Cleveland Cavaliers 1.7%
10 New Orleans Pelicans 1.1%
11 Denver Nuggets 0.8%
12 New York Knicks 0.7%
13 Minnesota Timberwolves 0.6%
14 Phoenix Suns 0.5%

Since 1996 (Sixers won Lotto that year), the team that finished with the second-worst record has gotten the first pick only twice (Sixers-AI and Clippers-Blake Griffin). The team that finished with the worst record has gotten the first pick twice (Cavs-LeBron and Magic-Dwight). To go along with the 1996 theme, the team that finished with the third-worst record (Magic this year) has won the Lotto the most (6 times). By the way, its good to know that the tenth-worst team in the league has never won the lottery. That would be the Pelicans. So the Sixers are looking good on that part.

To go along with winning the Lottery in 1996, the Sixers also had the top pick in 1986.  The NBA used a different format for the Lottery up until 1990 (current process now). I won’t bore you with the old process, just click on the link if you want to read. As Sixers fans, we like to forget 1986. On June 16, 1986, after the lottery and a day before the draft, the Sixers traded the first pick to the Cavs  for Roy Hinson. Who did the Cavs draft that year? Oh, that’s right, Brad Daugherty. That one hurts just a little. What could’ve been with Charles Barkley and Daugherty as part of the Sixers front-court. Long live Harold Katz

So where should the Sixers fall with their pick and the Pellis pick? According to LibertyBallers, their best chance is fourth and tenth (27.75%). Their second best chance is first and tenth (17.31%).  I will take the latter please. Tanks…..

 

Sixers Balls: The Race For More Balls..

NBA Lottery Machine

Well, I just took notice that I haven’t written anything in about 4 months. Unfortunately, “Real-Life” got in the way, but now I am back. I am refreshed, recharged, and ready to talk about some balls. I mean, a lot of balls.  OK, fine. I will be professional for a split-second. I am obviously talking about Lottery Balls. The date that every Sixers fan should have circled is May 20, 2014.

That is a “Date Which Will Live in Infamy“, to quote  FDR. I will tell you what, if it doesn’t, I will cry like baby to mother or go play with on-coming traffic. I mean, shit we (Sixers Fans) deserve nothing less than a TOP TWO pick. Right?  After all we been through this season. The 21 players and counting the Sixers and Hinkie have rolled out at the Wells Fargo Center. The Darius Johnson-Odom’s, Brandon Davies’, and the Daniel Orton’s of the world. I really don’t want to list anymore. The basketball gods have to be looking down on the Sixers fans. They have to be.

With all my whining going on in this post, I figured to check out how the race for the most balls are going. Lets begin..

Milwaukee Bucks

1.  Bucks  13-55 (25% chance of the first pick)

Remaining Home Games: Lakers, Heat, Raptors, Pacers, Cavs, and Hawks

Remaining Away Games: Warriors, Kings, Clippers, Pistons, Heat, Bulls, Wiz, and Raptors.

OK, I am trying to find enough wins for this team. They have a chance against the Lakers at home and even the Cavs (Irving out).  Maybe the Pistons on the road? Probably pushing it there. Considering the Bucks have 5 road wins all year. After that, I don’t see another “W” unfortunately. Hawks are battling the Knicks for that great 8th seed in the East, but maybe the have that 8th seed rapped up and they “rest” their starters on the last game of the season. Let’s just say that happens.  The Bucks go 3-11 the rest of the way.

Sam Hinkie Philadelphia Sixers

2. Sixers  15-52 (19.9% chance of the first pick)

Remaining Home Games: Bulls, Knicks, Pistons, Bobcats, Nets, and Celtics

Remaining Away Games: Bulls, Spurs, Rockets, Hawks, Celtics, Raptors, Griz, Bobcats, and Heat.

As much as people think that the Sixers will not win another game the rest of the year, I still think that they have a chance at  two. Then again…. I have them splitting with the Celtics and maybe beating the Pistons. After that, I have nothing else. I mean,  I guess they could just maybe, beat the Knicks at home. Though I really don’t see that happening. I think that 2 wins the rest of the way is a decent gauge. The Sixers go 2-13 the rest of the way.

Orlando Magic

3. Magic   19-49 (15.6% chance for the first pick)

Remaining Home Games: Portland, Bobcats, Raptors, Cavs, Minny, Nets, Wiz, and Pacers.

Remaining Away Games: Suns, Jazz, Lakers, Bobcats, Nets, and Bulls.

I have to figure that the Magic have a couple of home wins in them. They are not completely terrible at home (15-18).  I really don’t see them catching the Sixers and/or the Bucks. The Magic roster is just not as bad as those two teams.  Not sure why I am even writing about them. This thing is a two-team race for more balls. I will say, just for fun, that they go 4-10 the rest of the way.

The Rest: Celtics (10.4%), Jazz (10.3%), Lakers (6.3%) 

In ending..

The Sixers (17-65) and Bucks (16-66). Every Sixers fan will NEVER forgive Evan Turner for that game winner that hit the rim about thousands times, if it ends up this way. In case of a tie, here is how that works out:

In the event that teams finish with the same record, each tied team receives the average of the total number of combinations for the positions that they occupy. In 2007, the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Portland Trail Blazers tied for the sixth worst record. The average of the 6th and 7th positions in the lottery was taken, resulting in each team getting 53 combinations (the average of 63 and 43). Should the average number not be an integer, a coin flip is then used to determine which team or teams receive the extra combination(s). The result of the coin flip is also used to determine who receives the earlier pick in the event that neither of the tied teams wins one of the first three picks via the lottery. via SBNation.com

So yeah, let’s hope the Sixers don’t win another game.  Plus, I always suck at predicting shit.

Contributor: Marc Davis (Editing)

Sixers Balls: Oh, There You Are Mr. Turner…

Evan Turner Philadelphia Sixers

Bust, Bum, Can’t shoot, Head Case, Looks like a Twelve year-old kid calling for the Ball…All this sound familiar?  Yes, that would be Evan Turner, to which I am referring too. Those sayings were all common themes for Evan. Dare I say it? Until this year? Well, damn…It sure looks that way.

There have been many articles written about this dude. Some saying he just needs to play (earlier on in his career). I remember writing one a couple years back about his playing time:

 Turner is only averaging 20 minutes a game, and overall this season he is averaging 23 minutes a game. For example here are some of his 2010 draft classmates that are averaging more minutes than him. Gordon Hayward 27.5 minutes a game, John Wall 37 minutes a game, Greg Monroe 33 minutes a game, and DeMarcus Cousins 29.5 minutes a game.In Turner’s last 12 games he has not even reach the 20 minute plateau in 6 of them.

I used to love calling Cousins a moron. Well, still do. It was always perplexing how Turner (only 34 starts in his first two years) didn’t get much tic early on in his career. Even in his second year, there were issues of playing time. Then last year he finally got the time (35.5 minutes a game), he had a few glimpse of hope, but for the most part struggled. It would be different if he was a second round pick or even a late round pick. This dude was the number 2 overall pick in the 2010 draft.

In his first two seasons he averaged only 24.7 minutes a game. That’s pretty DAMN low for that high of a draft pick. Yes, it was likely because of Iguodala/Lou-Will’s presences on this team but still very low. The fact that Doug Collins was extremely tough on him and the fact that they couldn’t stand each other may have helped too. Though the same can be said for Derrick Favors (drafted right after Turner, 3rd overall) of the Utah Jazz, who has only averaged 21.9 minutes in his career. He was stuck behind Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson. Now Favors is finally getting the time that he needs (averaging 34 minutes this year) in his fourth year.

A common theme in the NBA is that usually you know what a type of player a player is going to be by his third year. The problem with Evan was that last year was his first real year to learn on the court. The only real way to learn and grow on the court is to be out on the court. You can only learn so much by listening to players and coaches.  You have to go out on the court make mistakes and learn from them. You learn by being in different situations of a game. Learning how to play in a tight-game with two minutes left, being that guy that your teammates look too, to come up with a big-play in a key situation.

Maybe, this is the year that Turner is learning from his previous mistakes, in his fourth year, when it should have been his third year. Zack Lowe of Grantland.com, put Evan on his “All-Intriguing Team”. Basically, saying it is now or never for Turner. Lowe:

Turner still holds some appeal to old-guard GMs who remember when teams barely used the 3-point shot and needed ball handlers who could find slivers of space even with all 10 players packed below the top of the key. But that league doesn’t exist anymore.

He’s got a nifty herky-jerky game full of crossovers, behind-the-back dribbles, abrupt pull-ups, and spins that dazzle when they work.

Zack also talked about how Turner would do his herky-jerky game full of crossovers and seemly be going nowhere. That was very true of Turner. Turner really would do all his behind the back dribbles, pull-ups, spins and really be going nowhere. That is not happening this year. He is going somewhere. That some where is the rim. He averaging 6 attempts per game from the charity strip, compared to only averaging 2 attempts for his career. Turner is playing carefree and his game is better for it.

Turner knows that if he makes a mistake he can get back on the next play. He is not looking over his shoulder, seeing if he is coming out. He is not pouting/crying/whining or whatever you want to call it, anymore. He is just out there hoopin and that’s it. Guess what? He is actually playing off the ball better as well. His numbers have gone up across the board because of this.

He is shooting 48% from the field (career 43.3%). He is shooting 86% from the foul-line (career 75%). In the advance stat world, he is at 17.16 PER (career high is 12.69). Going into last night’s game against the Pelicans (that was fun), he was at 56.4 TS%(True Shooting Percentage). His career high is 48.8% his rookie year. His is also shooting better at the rim and is tied for fourth in the league in “Clutch Time” points (24) with Kevin Durant.

All those numbers are all well and good. BUT, what makes a difference in a player’s game is confidence. It’s early, but that is a different Evan Turner on the court, one that has confidence in his abilities.  The likely hood of the Sixers and Hinkie moving forward with Evan are slim. BUT maybe, just maybe, a player that you can move forward with.

Sixers Balls: Let’s Enjoy The Ride…

Thad Young Sixers

Yes, this was the year that the Sixers were supposedly “Tanking”, as of right now? Yeah, not so much…But hey, I am cool with it. First and for most, I am a fan. I will NEVER just sit there and root for the Sixers to lose. It’s just not in my DNA. If you do root for them to lose, I am not sure how you call yourself a fan if I’m being honest.  Of course I want them to get a high draft pick, so they can continue the draft process, but just maybe they’re already a step higher then we thought.

Its waaaaaay early, but maybe this team could win 30-35 games this year? I know I had them around 17-18 wins this year like most. We all thought that this team was going to struggle with every part of the game-scoring, rebounding, defense, and turnovers. This team is built with guys that are getting their last chance, rookies, underachievers, and guys fighting for their next contracts.

There are two things that usually happen when players have their “backs against the wall” or even everyday people like us for that matter. One is that they succumb to the pressure. They just go into a shell and just can’t take the pressure. The other is that they come out fighting, laying everything on the line. They’re ready to run over any obstacle that is put in front of them. No matter what the cost is. They don’t care what anyone else thinks about them. They believe in themselves and at the end of the day, that is all that matters. In the first few weeks of the NBA season that is what the Sixers are doing. They have come swinging.

It’s funny as I am watching last nights game, I realized to myself that I am seeing something that I haven’t seen in awhile around these parts. This Sixers team has some “dog” in them. There was no better evidence then these few plays where Wroten and MCW both dived on the floor for the loose ball and the Sixers came up with it, Thad coming out of nowhere and blocking the hell out of Dion Waiters, when he could have easily just let him throw it down, then of course Thad again stealing the ball from Tristan Thompson. That was a play you see all the time where the player will grab the rebound and just kinda walk it out of the lane and set the offense up again. It happens all the time. What doesn’t happen is what Thad did.

Listen, I not trying to glorify this team. Really, I am not. But there is an excitement about this team. It’s the way they play and with the energy that they play with. All that starts with Thad and Wroten. Both go full tilt. MCW doesn’t shy away from anyone, even Orton brings physicality from the bench. All of this style has rubbed off on Turner and Hawes. Turner (shooting 55%. Career 43%) is playing with a chip on his shoulder and playing his best basketball maybe ever. He has seemed to conquer his own demons (whining, sulking and disappearing), while attacking the rim and not worrying if he is going to get the call or not.

Hawes has been equally as good (10.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game).  Hawes has been very good with starting the break. His outlet passes have been very impressive, if there where “Hockey assists” in the NBA, Hawes might lead the league in them. He has been decent defensively as well (coming off 6 block shots performance). He also is shooting the ball well at 56% clip. And for you advance stat lovers- Hawes is at 23.42 per (21st overall).His career high is 18.19. Turner is at 22.21 per (34th overall). His career high is 12.69. So everyone is winning right now.

This whole Sixers thing could go up in flames. They could lose 17 of their next 20 games.  BUT, all I know is that I am enjoying this ride while it last.

Sixers Balls: “False Hope” (Bynum) comes in to town..

Andrew Bynum Philadelphia Sixers

Well then, Bynum to retire? Nah, not until he gets DAT money. There was a time where I would be fully ready and willing to blast Bynum, but for some reason though, I kind of pity him now. Maybe, it’s because I just got back from vacation feeling fresh and delightful. Just delightful… Here’s a guy with all the talent in the world for a big-man, a throw-back type of big-man (back to the basket) in the ERA of “pick and pop” big-men. Here’s a guy that had the nastiness that could fit right into the “Bad-Boy” days of the NBA.

Yes, he has won two titles with the Lakers and to some that might be enough. Though there is something missing. Yes, his knees could rival ninety year old’s knees. Christ, some ninety year old’s knees might be better.  He is still trying to salvage what he can for his career, likely just money from what we hear through media outlets about his personality. Though through his actions they seemed to be warranted (Vodka shots ordered during half-time and pre-game).

Bynum (averaging 5.5 points and 3.5 rebounds this year) could have been the best center in the league for the next Ten years if he wanted to and if his knees allowed him to be. The guy looks to be on his last leg. Bynum talking to Brian Windhorst of ESPN. Bynum:

“Retirement was a thought, it was a serious thought. It still is,” Bynum said after the Cavs practice Thursday at TempleUniversity. “It’s tough to enjoy the game of how limited I am physically. I’m working through that. Every now and again I do (think about retirement)…It’s still career threatening. I’m a shell of myself on the court right now. I’m just struggling mentally.” …

“I just want to be able to play without pain and find the joy again,” Bynum said. “Right now I’m battling pain and it’s annoying. I’m not able to do the things I’m used to doing and it’s frustrating.”

Maybe, he really is trying for once and the pain is just too much. It’s hard to feel bad for Bynum. We have heard and read all the stories of how Bynum doesn’t really care for basketball. He is just good at it. Maybe, if he loved the game he would have done the proper steps in his rehabbing or even earlier in his career and been able to push away his aging knees for a few more years.

When I think about it, I really should be pissed off at him.  He’s is about to come strolling in on Friday Night and play more minutes on the Wells Fargo floor as a visitor, then he did as a home-player last season. I should boo the hell out of him after watching Nik Vucevic score 30 points and grab 21 rebounds just the other night. You can throw Moe Harkless and  the future first round pick in there as well. Not because of his knees, but for his attitude. Bynum on if the Philly fans boo him. Bynum:

“I honestly don’t really care,” Bynum said. “I don’t know how they will treat me. I was hurt. It is what it is, and I’m still hurt. But I’m still trying.

“Sixers fans ‘are still great fans. While I was here, I got nothing but love. I don’t have any animosity or anything.” via CSNPhilly

But I won’t boo (even though I should).  So in the end, like I said before, I feel some what pity for the guy.  He will always be looked as “False Hope” around these parts. He will be remembered as a guy, who just really didn’t care. Maybe, even as a waste of talent. A guy that has ruined his reputation and what could have been legacy forever. Not because of his knees, but for his attitude and the way he handled things.

Sixers Balls: It’s about those “Ping-Pong” Balls…

NBA Lottery Machine

The time has come. The hour is upon us . The “Winless for Wiggins”, “Diggin 4 Wiggins”, or just “Tankadelphia”, whatever you prefer to call it, is about to begin. Will the Sixers make history this year? I mean, will they make run at the worst winning percentage they once held close to their hearts? Well… I am going to go with 17 wins. Last time I looked that is where Vegas had them.  Most people I talk too think it will be even less than that. Hey, I will take it .That just means more ping-pong balls coming the Sixers way. That last sentence could be taken in so many different ways.

I was thinking how to do a Sixers preview this year. I could sit here and write a few paragraphs on every player currently on the roster. Nah…I say, I should do a break down  on who will last the entire season on this team. Yeah, that sounds more fun.  I will go from highest to lowest.

Let’s Begin.

99.9% (I would say 100%, but with Hinkie you never know)

Carter-Williams- The rookie will be thrown to the wolves. He will likely play 30-35 minutes a game. He will turn the ball over a ton and he will be able to create off the dribble for others.  I am going to have fun watching him develop. He will have to learn the mental toughness to be a NBA point guard.

Nerlens Noel– As Brown once said, I doubt he will see the floor this year. Of course, I would like to see him out there causing havoc on the defense side of the ball, and a lot less havoc offensively, but it makes sense to get this dude totally healthy.

75%

James Anderson– To be honest, he might be Sixers second or third best player this year. He had a good preseason and won the starting two-guard spot with that. I said it before; he might be the only Sixers that can knock down an open jumper.

Tony Wroten– The Sixers look fully ready to take on the “Wroten Project’ and that makes me happy. Now, just work on that jumper Tony.

Arnett Moultrie– Why is he so high? Well, he is hurt and is out until at least January. Plus, nobody else wants him. I really don’t see the Sixers picking up his option for next year,even if it is only 1.1 million.

60%

Thaddeus Young– It really seems on the surface that Brown wants Thad to stick around through this process.  He is the perfect pro for kids to learn from. At the same time though, I hope that Hinkie trades him to a contender. Thad doesn’t deserve this hot-mess.  He is the Sixers likely best trading chip. He’s due about 27.4 million over the next three years.

Lavoy Allen– I would put him lower, but I just don’t see any value he has. He is an OK backup big-man. I think he makes it through the year for the Sixers and then they will likely let him walk.

Jason Richardson– J-Rich is going on a hiatus this year. Hinkie found him a nice a little time share in Caribbean.  He has a player option for 6.6 million next season. My guess, is that he picks it up. Hey, at least you can still use him in 2K.

50%

Kwame Brown– The only way he leaves the Sixers is if they buy him out. So I figured to go 50/50. What? They are tanking…

Evan Turner– Turner is in line to have a solid year. The main reason for that is the current state of this roster. Brown did say there were only six NBA players on this roster. His number should go up. By the way, I know most of you can’t stand Turner, but he is one of those players Brown was talking about. The Sixers have until Thursday to pick up Turners option for next year. If they don’t (which they likely won’t), Turner becomes even more valuable. EXPIRING contract.

Spencer Hawes– I have said it a millions times. Hawes does have some value. He is a big-man that can shoot and pass. He would be solid first big-man off the bench for a playoff team. Yes, I said that correctly. I know, I cant’t stand him either. He is in his last year of his contract at 6.5 million. You know what that means.

40%

Daniel Orton- I could see him lasting the year, strictly off his size (6-10, 275 lbs).  Other than that reason, I have no clue.

Darius Morris– I am a little bitter about him beating out Wyatt but it is what it is. Really don’t feel like writing about this dude.  Maybe a playoff team could use a third point-guard?

25%

Hollis Thompson– One of those guys lucky to make it out of training camp, even on a Sixers team like this.

Brandon Davies- The 22-year-old, power-forward was signed by the Clippers in early September and was waived by them just a few days back.  He was suspended from BYU’s team in 2012 for having sex with girl.

Many people have said and written about it. This year is about finding individuals that fit this team moving forward.  I am expecting a lot of shuffling with this roster before years end. The Sixers have only 21.3 million committed to players next season, according to HoopsHype.com (Noel, MCW, Turner, J-Rich, Wroten, Thad, and Moultrie); though Moultrie and Wroten’s contracts for next year are a team option. We will know by Thursday with Turner (8.7 million qualifying offer).  Like I said before, J-Rich has a player option for 6.6 million.  Sixers are going to have a ton of money in the future and likely a lot of “Ping-Pong” balls. On The Road For More Balls…

Sixers Balls: Who gets the last spot…

Brett Brown Philadelphia Sixers

When you talk about the Sixers roster, you really don’t think of players having a hard time making it. Seriously, some may think that the Sixers are in no place for cutting anyone.  I can see some people’s point with that. At the end of day, someone is going to have to get cut, even on a roster like this. Obliviously, the first casualties were Royce White, Khalif Wyatt, Vander Blue and Mac Koshwal. 

To be honest, I thought that the Sixers were in a perfect spot to take a chance on White (might still end up in the D-League for the Sixers), I guess not. He isn’t in Hinkie’s calculations.  I didn’t think both Wyatt and Blue would make this team, but I thought at least one would. Well, that didn’t workout either.  I have stopped thinking things.  To go back to White real quick, all I really saw from him was his passing skills this preseason. At times, he looked scared to shoot the ball.  Some think that it was his attitude that got him cut. Maybe…

Now the times comes to see who makes the final roster or not. I will take a crack at it. The roster stands at 16, so obviously someone’s gotta go.

On the outside looking in…

Rodney Williams, Hollis Thompson, and Gani Lawal

If I’m picking any of those three, my guess would be Williams. Strictly based off his athletic abilities.

Who the hell knows….

Kwame Brown

I mean, I said it before and I will say it again. The Sixers are “Tanking”. It only makes sense to keep him here. Though it’s still possible that the Sixers could buy him out and give his spot to some else.

On the Cusp…

Daniel Orton and Darius Morris

I once thought Wyatt could maybe beat out Morris for a roster, BUT I have stop thinking. Orton hasn’t done much out there and neither has Morris. So they should fit nicely into Hinkie’s plans this year.

Guaranteed 

Lavoy Allen, Evan Turner, MCW, Hawes, Moultrie (injured), Noel (injured), Richardson (injured), Thad Young, Tony Wroten, and James Anderson.

A couple of bright spots for the Sixers this year could be Anderson and Wroten. Yes, there actually could be some bright spots. Anderson had a solid preseason and proved that he might be the only player on this team that can knock down an open jumper. As for Wroten, I wrote about him before, I love this dude’s energy and his attacking style.

Well, the final roster will have all of those guys except for one.  Don’t worry that roster will likely change a thousand times before years end. My final thoughts on the Sixers roster, I defer to Coach Brett Brown. Brown:

  Who knows?” “You have six NBA players and then you have a bunch of guys who are fighting for spots and want to be seen and need opportunity.” via Philly.com

Sixers Balls: Player Rankings..

Funny Grandma playing basketball

ESPN finished their player rankings of 500 NBA players.  Guess who is not in the Top Ten or even in the Top Twenty?  Any Sixers of course, but that would be Mr. Kobe Bryant. Where does he fall?  Well, he fell down to number 25 in ESPN’s hearts. Yes, I get that Kobe has a ton of wear and tear on him. Yes, I know that he is coming off a major injury.  I get it.  Though to have Chris Bosh, John Wall, and Al Hordford (love that dude, but come on) ahead of him is absurd. Honestly, I never even liked Kobe, but I respect the hell out of him.  Hey, maybe they’re right? Maybe age and his injuries have finally caught up to him.   I will wait to see him on the court before I knock him off the peddle stool.

Since I am talking about the player rankings, lets see where our “Lovely’ Sixers roster fits in.  Lets Begin…

Thad Young Sixers

First up is Thad Young at #89. He was ranked at #91 last year. I would love to see Thad stay through this whole rebuilding process. He is one of those guys that young players can learn from, but most importantly learn how to be a professional. At the same time, I hope another team can rescue him from this hot-mess. Thad deserves it.

Evan Turner Sixers

Next the incumbent Evan Turner at #148. He was ranked at #119 last year. I mean, where do I begin with him?  His numbers will likely go up, because of his surrounding cast but does that even mean that he improved? Most likely not, though I am a “rare’ fan of Turner and we are almost extinct. If Evan is ever going to blossom this will be his last chance.  If not, all of us Turner fans will be extinct.

Spencer hawes

Another fan favorite for ripping Mr. Spencer Hawes at #179. He was ranked at #118 last season. Well, damn. That’s a nice little drop off. Fans love to make fun of Spencer. Yes, I will include myself in this one. Though in a league that has few decent big-men, Spencer still has value. He can knock down an open jumper and has nice passing skills for a big-man.  Personally, I could see him gone by the deadline.

Michael Carter-williams

Michael Carter-Williams comes in at #198 in his rookie year. He is one thing to look forward to this season. The kid has excellent vision and can get to the rim. The down side? Turnovers and his jumper. It’s all about development.

Nerlens Noel Philadelphia Sixers

Another rookie  would be Nerlens Noel at #221. The number 6 overall pick (might have been #1 if he didn’t get hurt), will likely miss the entire season, while rehabbing his knee.  It’s not a bad thing either. Let him get 100%.  Or Hinkie said to him, you’re sitting out this year, because this doesn’t mean shit anyway. I like to think he said it that way. 

Lavoy Allen Philadelphia Sixers

Lavoy ” I have narcolepsy ” Allen comes in at #272. He was ranked #232 last season. Really not much to say about this dude, other than he is an OK backup and that he apparently over sleeps a lot.

Jason Richardson Philadelphia Sixers

The veteran Jason Richardson at #290. He was ranked #121 last season.  Even at his age and the fact that Hinkie asked him to kick-back this season, he shouldn’t be this low.

Tony Wroten- Philadelphia Sixers

PhilaPhans

Another player to watch is Tony Wroten coming in at #341.  He was ranked at #379 during his rookie season. He will almost certainly move up the charts, by his increased playing time and his energy and size. If he actually develops a jumper, he could make a big jump.

Arnett Moultrie Philadelphia Sixers

Arnett Moultrie is next at #346. He was ranked at #400 last season. Moultrie was about to receive his chance this year, but he is out until at least January with an ankle injury.

James Anderson Philadelphia Sixers

James Anderson comes in at #429. He was ranked at #424 last season. The 4th year shooting guard has been having solid preseason for the Sixers. He looks to have won the starting 2-guard for the Sixers. Has a decent jumper.

Kwame Brown Philadelphia Sixers

Not sure how this dude is ranked above anyone but Kwame Brown is ranked at #450. He was ranked at #332 last season. I mean, the only way to top-off “Tanking” mode is to have Kwame start at center this year.

Arsalan Kazemi Philadelphia Sixers

Arsalan Kazemi is next at #466. Ummm, some how he was ranked at #193 last year, even though he was playing in college.  He’s got skillzzz… I am sad to see him playing overseas. I still don’t understand why, but I guess he wanted to be closer to home. Loved his energy during the summer league.
Tim Ohlbrecht Philadelphia Sixers

Tim “I have been cut already” Ohlbrecht is ranked at #495. He was ranked at …Well, he wasn’t ranked last year and for some reason he got ranked this year.

Royce White  Philadelphia Sixers

Who wins Mr. Irreverent? That would be Mr. Royce White at #500.  He actually was ranked at # 290 last season. He does like to foul a lot. Sorry, that’s all I got for him right now.

RECAP

So the Sixers have 14 players ranked in the top 500 players. One being number 500. Two, who are not even playing in the league, and four players ranked 450 or lower. If that’s not “tanking” I don’t know what is. 

LeBron was number one obviously, followed by Durant, CP3, Harden, Westbrook, Curry, Dwight, Irving, D-Rose, and to finish the Top Ten Marc Gasol at number 10.

 

Sixers Balls: Atlantic Division

atlantic-division-nba

The start of the NBA season is just about a week away.  I am pretty sure I know what to expect from the Sixers (17-22 games won), unless they piss us all off and some how, some way, get the eigth-seed in the East.  The chances of that happening?  Well, the chances of this out-of-bounds play being called in a NBA game are better…

Actually, you never know…

Moving on…figured I’d checkout the rest of the Atlantic division foes and see where they fall in the NBA world. Are the Nets real contenders?  What are the Celtics doing? Tanking or patching a band aid on it? Should the Knicks just blow it up after this year?  Should they invest their future into Melo? The Atlantic division is full of questions. It’s funny the way I look at it, the Sixers might have the best direction of all the teams.

Boston Celtics

Let’s start with the Boston Celtics. Gone are the “big boys” Pierce, Terry, “Doc”, and Garnett.  In are the “new boys” Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries, Kelly Olynyk, and Brad Stevens.  Who’s left? That would be the star point-guard Rajon Rondo, along with some decent players in Jeff Green, Brandon Bass and Avery Bradley.  What does that add up too? Something that the Sixers fans know all to well, the “Land of Mediocrity”  

I am really not sure what the Celtics are doing. They traded most of their big stars, but didn’t blow it up all the way, by holding on to Rondo. They love what they have with Olynyk, who played extremely well in the summer league. I guess they want to build around Rondo and Olynyk. The Celtics have Brooklyn’s first rounder this year and the Clippers first rounder next year, plus their own pick. The problem? The positioning of those picks. The Nets and Clippers picks will be late in the first round. The Celtics picks could be anywhere in between 10-16.  Not many game changers in those lands, unless you get lucky.

They could trade Rondo and really tank or they could wait and see what the Nets do. The Nets are built for the next 2 years, if they don’t succeed, they could blow it. How can that help the Celtics? I forgot to mention that they have first rounders from the Nets in 2016 and 2018 as well.

Last thing, I think Brad Stevens has a very good chance of succeeding. But there are questions surrounding him.  Not questions about x’s and o’s, but about how he is going to motivate his players? In college its more like a father and son relationship. When it comes to the NBA it’s about gaining the respect from your peers. That is the challenge for Stevens.

Wins (28-33)        Starters   (Rondo, Bradley, Green, Olynyk, Sullinger)

Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks

Next up are the New York Knicks.  Gone are Marcus Camby, Jason Kidd, and Steve Novak. In are Andrea BargnaniBeno Udrih, and Metta World Peace.  Who’s left? Raymond Felton, Tyson Chandler,  Stoudemire, and Iman Shumpert.  What does that equal too? A solid team. A championship team? Nah…

To me at least, this starts and begins with Carmelo Anthony. Melo’s name has always been tossed around with the likes of Kobe, Lebron, Wade, and Durant. To be honest, he doesn’t deserve it. Yes, he could score with any of those players. The difference? Well, that would be the rest of his game. He just doesn’t have the feel for the game that those players do. Sorry, analytical people, I used the word “feel”. This will be Melo’s last season to prove that he belongs with those names. It also could be his last in the NY. Sorry, Knick fans you still have Stoudemire for at least another year ( 2 years, $45 million left).

To me this team is built on false hope. The hope that Bargnani can fit next to Melo and not hurt them defensively. I can see that working offensively a tad. Defensively? Not so much. Hoping that Metta World Peace and Chandler still have game left, and that J.R. can duplicate his performance from last season. Since his off-season resigning, he’s had surgery (knee) and has been suspended (Drug) for five-games. So his 2013-14 season is off to a rousing start. Hoping that Stoudemire can at least play 20 minutes a game. Hoping that Melo can finally take that next step in his career. That’s a lot of hoping.

Felton is a decent point-guard. He brings physicality to that position, that you don’t see much. Shupmert looks be fully back from his knee injury and that is a good thing for Knicks fans. He could be a break-out candidate.  I always like Udrih. I fall in love with some players and it doesn’t really matter how they produce.

Wins (44-47)      Starters   (Felton, Prigioni, Melo, Bargnani, Chandler)

Brooklyn Nets

Next up is the Brooklyn Nets. Gone are Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries, Jerry Stackhouse, F Gerald Wallace, and C.J. Watson. Amazes me that Stack was still even playing. In are Kevin Garnett, Andrei Kirilenko, Shaun Livingston, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry and Jason Kidd. Who’s left? Joe Johnson, Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, Reggie Evans, and Andray Blatche. What does that add up too? Win a title this year or next season. OR BUST...

Obviously, when you first look at this team you think how the chemistry will be and Christ, they’re are old and slow. But, hey, the game slows down in the playoffs and the Nets could have the best half-court team in the league. The first thing that Nets will have to realize is that this team is Deron Williams ‘team. That Garnett and Pierce were brought in to be role players, not the “stars”.  They also will have to decide who is the first option on the team offensively? The first option should be Lopez. Let the “big-man” do his thing. The second option should be D-Will and after that, just find who has the better match-up that night.

To get back to the chemistry thing, I don’t see that being a factor at all. Garnertt and Pierce know how to build chemistry and others will follow suit. As for that athletic factor on the wing? My man, “AK-47” will take care of that. Kirilenko can still hoop. I love Reggie Evans. There is a guy that understands his game and stays within his strengthens. More players should learn from him. He was like Livingston, even though he could never stay healthy. Still has game left. Terry still can do some things.

Jason is an interesting factor. He is jumping from the player ranks, right into the coaching world. Can he adjust? Ummm, I think this dude could have been a player/coach his whole entire career. So does that answer the question? Biggest challenges are the Pacers and Lebron’s bunch. This will be fun to watch.

Wins (50-55)       Starters    (Williams, Johnson, Pierce, Garnett, Lopez)

Toronto Raptors

Lastly, the Toronto Raptors. Gone are Andrea Bargnani, Linas Kleiza,  John Lucas III, Mickael Pietrus,  and Sebastian Telfair. Does Telfair really do anything on the court? In are D.J. Augustin, Austin Daye, Tyler Hansbrough, and Steve Novak. Who’s left? Kyle Lowry, Rudy Gay, DeMar DeRozan, Amir Johnson, Terrence Ross, and Jonas Valanciunas. What’s that add up to be? An interesting team and fun to watch.

This team has talent, but will it fit together? They have young talent in Valaciunas and Terrence Ross. They also have underrated talent in Amir Johnson. He is an underrated rebounder. Gay, Lowry, Rozan are all solid players. Hansbrough brings toughness and Augustin brings scoring to the second unit. They have a little bit of everything, except for that ‘star”.

New general manager Masai Ujiri was brought in this summer and comes from the Denver Nuggets team that he built. So the guy knows how to build a team. I am actually, excited to see how this team turns out. They will likely battle for the seventh or eighth seed in the East.  I know that doesn’t seem exciting on the surface, but it’s about growth with this team. Lowry needs to rebound from a down year and I think he can. Rooting for the Philly boy. DeRozan has improved his game overall, and will still dunk on anyone’s head. Valanciunas is the key to this team.  If he can develop, that will go along way for the Raptors.

Looking forward real quick…If they have success developing their players, the next move should be getting that “star” on this team. Ujiri will have plenty of assets to make that happen for this team, if they develop. The Raptors have $74 million committed to players this season, next season just $48 million according to HoopsHype.com. Though Ujiri will need to make a decision on Lowry (last year of contract). Does he think Lowry is the starting PG of the future?

Wins  (38-43)    Starters  (Lowry, Rozan, Gay, Johnson, Valanciunas)