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…
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.
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.
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 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.
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 ” 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.
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.
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 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 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.
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 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 “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.
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.
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.
Phillies at Blue Jays
The Phils and Blue Jays play their series finale today at 1:07pm. The Phillies will try to salvage the series with a win today after losing the past two games to Toronto. In a season full of disappointments yesterday’s loss hurt, which is saying something. Kyle Kendrick (2-6) will take the mound today who is as capable of easing our pain as sandpaper on a sun burn. He is opposed by Brett Cecil who is making his first big league start this season. Cecil was called up after Kyle Drabek was placed on the disabled list with an elbow injury. So we will see which one of these Double-A talents will prevail.
Thunder at Heat
Game three of the NBA Finals starts tonight at 8:00 pm in Miami. The Heat did their job in Oklahoma City winning a game and taking away home court advantage. The next three games are in Miami and D-Wade said the Heat needs to do everything they can to avoid returning to OKC. Wade bounced back from a poor performance in game 1 scoring 24 points in game 2. Russell Westbrook has heard a lot of criticism after game 2 despite posting 27 points 8 boards and 7 assists. Magic Johnson called it one of the worst performances he had seen from a point guard in the finals. Westbrook’s aggressive style of play is a double edge sword which is the source of both the praise and criticism he receives. LeBron James and Kevin Durant look to compound on their stellar performances in the first two games. Durant put up 36 points in game 1 and 32 in game 2 while LeBron posted 30 in game 1 and 32 in game 2. OKC needs to get off to a better start then they did in game 2 going down 18-2 in the first quarter. I think OKC gets off to a better start in game 3 keeping it close through 3 quarters and then Durant takes over in the fourth. The dude is a killer and I think he carries the Thunder to a 2-1 series lead.