Philadunkia 4on4: Playoffs/Lottery Edition

76erscrystalballIt’s time for another edition of Philadunkia’s 4on4…

As a reminder, this Philadunkia question and answer series is “loosely based” on ESPN.com’s highly successful, NBA related series of posts titled “5on5″.  Our version of this genre of posts will ask 4 Philadunkia scribes to answer 4 topical, hot button questions about our Philadelphia 76ers.

Now you’re probably asking, “Why not simply stick with the “5on5″ format that ESPN.com uses?” 

Well as any great hoops coach will tell you — playing 4on4 is the best way to truly learn the game of basketball.

After the jump, Philadunkia scribes C.  Smith, Michael Kaskey-Blomain, Jeff McMenamin and Tyler Cook will examine four questions surrounding our 76ers this time with a focus on the NBA Playoffs and the 2015 Draft Lottery.


 

1.  Which former 76er (who made the playoffs this spring) would you most like to see make a deep playoff run to the NBA Finals?

Smith: I would love to see Thad Young in the Finals, but he plays for the Nets and I could not handle watching that garbage team in the NBA Finals.  Therefore my answer is Mo Speights.  Can you imagine if “Mo Buckets” and #dubnation won the championship?  How much fun Mo would be on Instagram and Twitter this summer?  I wonder if I can get a championship ring added to the “Mo Buckets” t-shirt I own?

Kaskey-Blomain: Of all the former Sixers currently still battling it out in the playoffs, I think I would most like to see Kyle Korver make a deep run to the Finals.  The Sixers had Korver at the start of his career, and although he was not nearly as developed as an all-around player as he has become, I always liked Korver as a player and appreciated the effort he put in.  Not to mention that his shot is one of the best to watch in the entire League; I mean the dude has a 20-step process that he goes through every time he prepares to launch one up.  He is one of the league’s best shooters; the type of player that would come in handy for the Sixers when Embiid is posted in the paint looking to kick it out to the perimeter.  His team is fun to watch, and his development as a deadly threat from behind the arc is a big reason for that. Plus, he seems like a pretty good guy overall.  I only wish I still had the rally towel that the Sixers passed out during Korver’s time with the team that said: ‘K Squared = 3.’  The Iguodala/ Speights combination out in Golden State came in a close second. 

McMenamin:  Thaddeus Young.  Look, I commend Andre Iguodala for his time spent in Philadelphia for eight seasons and taking the team past the first round of the playoffs in 2012, but he was a guy who simply rubbed me the wrong way during his tenure as a Sixer and immediately following his departure.  He was angry at fans, he was angry at coaches and he had a cocky swagger to himself on the basketball court that really never should’ve been there.  I blame the Eddie Jordan Sixers of 2009-10 as much on Iguodala as I do on the coach himself.  As a leader, you’re supposed to be the one getting the troops in order and finding a plan of action that works. Iguodala was never that leader.  

I take Young because he put his hard hat on every day, played in his role and even in the hardest of times never criticized his teammates and coaches.  I was almost at the good riddance point with Iguodala when he was shipped out for Andrew Bynum in the 2012 offseason, but Young being shipped out for a middle-of-the-pack first-rounder to this day still seems too low.  I’m glad it seems Young has found a new home in Brooklyn and I’d love to see him competing in the NBA Finals one day. 

Cook:  I was really enjoying watching Michael Carter-Williams put on a show against Chicago in the first round of the NBA playoffs. MCW seemed to be playing with a sense of confidence that just wasn’t seen all the time with his tenure in Philly.  That being said Andre Iguodala was a stand out Sixer for eight years and is getting older by the minute.  Purely for a career resume building block, I would like to see Iguodala make a push for the ultimate hardware an NBA player can receive and win a championship with the Warriors.  I think it shows character how Iguodala has impacted a warriors team, that is very young coming off the bench. His veteran presence has positively impacted the team by the bay.  I look forward to watching Iguodala and the 2014-15 NBA MVP, Steph Curry make a deep push in the NBA playoffs.

2.  If inserted onto one of the remaining 2015 playoff team’s roster, which current 76er could be a difference maker in that team’s fortunes?

Smith: In the abscence of Kevin Love and with the streaky JR Smith roaming the perimeter, I believe Robert Covington could be a tremendous help to the Cleveland LeBrons.  I know JR likes to post pics to his Instagram account of he and The King posing on their white Benzos, but if LeBron is honest I bet he would say he’d rather have “The Cov” and his Nissan Altima on the Cavs for the playoffs.

Kaskey-Blomain:  I think Nerlens Noel could have a big impact on a couple current contenders, most notably the Clippers.  The Clippers are extremely thin at this point of the playoff push, and have been going only 6 or 7 deep.  The frontcourt rotation is limited to DeAndre Jordan/Glen Davis; Spencer Hawes has been a complete non-factor (Ha-ha to all the people that said the Sixers were foolish to trade him).  The addition of Nerlens into that Clippers’ rotation would immediately add to their depth, allow Doc Rivers to spread out some additional rest for his starters that he has been relying on so heavily, and would greatly help to fortify their frontcourt.  Not to mention that Noel would be a huge help defensively, serving as an additional paint protector, and someone that Doc could trust on that end. 

Also, considering the injury situation in Cleveland, it seems like Robert Covington could be a great help to The King and his Cavs. Everyone knows that LeBron loves to have shooters around him, plus Covington has some size, and could serve as a stretch-four in certain situations, especially in the absence of Kevin Love.  He would just provide them with another viable offensive option.

McMenamin:  This is a tougher question than I thought it would be. When I look at the Sixers roster, there’s only three players I can see that could make an impact for a contender – Nerlens Noel, Robert Covington and Tony Wroten (I’m not including Joel Embiid until he plays in an NBA game).  Of the team’s remaining in the playoffs, all of them seem set on a legit paint protector so Noel is out, which leaves Covington and Wroten.  I think Memphis could really use Covington’s outside stroke the rest of the way.  Mike Conley and Courtney Lee both are averaging a shade over one triple per game in the playoffs. Covington averaged 2.4 per game for the Sixers this season.  I think RC3 could really open up the paint for Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph to go to work even more.  Tony Wroten I feel like could plug into a few team’s left.  The Clippers and Bulls could use a legit bench scorer to come in, draw fouls and save the energy of guys like Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford, Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler late in games.  It’s a tough choice, but I think Covington is probably more of a difference maker for that Grizzlies team if they plug him in, in the 2015 NBA playoffs.    

Cook:  I think a player that could make a sensational addition to a playoff team is Sixers guard Tony Wroten.  He could come off the bench on any of the teams left playing and score the ball.  Teams in the playoffs love picking up players mid season that would directly impact the amount of bench points a team scores while giving the big name guys a breather.  Wroten is an aggressive player with decent handles that can take care of the ball as well as scoring. I could see Wroten on the Bulls coming off then bench playing well with guys like Hinrich, Brooks, and Snell.

3.  If you had to wish for ONE additional pick — the Lakers pick (projected #5); Miami’s pick (projected #10) or the Thunder’s pick (projected #14) — to magically drop in the 76ers’ lap at the 2015 Lottery, which one would you wish for?

Smith: My answer will not be a popular one, but I am going with it.  I want the Thunder’s 2015 pick to “magically” fall in the 76ers lap. Here’s why…In 2015-16 I think both the Lakers and the Heat will be improved, but still bad enough that the 76ers will likely end up receiving both of those picks in June 2016 and both selections will be inside the Top 12.  The lakers are 1-3 protected in 2016 and the Heat 1-10, so in theory Hinkie could end up with bonus picks at No. 4 and No. 11 in 2016.  I am okay with the idea of waiting one more year to receive those 1st rounders.

However,  with a healthy KD; an improved Westbrook and a new head coach, I believe that OKC will be significantly improved in 2015-16 and make the playoffs easily.  Thus I am concerned that the protected pick we eventually receive from the Thunder at the 2016 Draft will be somewhere in the late 20-range.  Call me crazy, but I’d rather have the Thunder’s pick in the mid-teens in 2015 then a late 20’s pick in 2016.

Kaskey-Blomain:  I would like for the Lakers pick to fall to the Sixers this summer.  That answer seems obvious, as it is the highest potential pick. but I think it would be beneficial for the Sixers to add a couple high picks at the same time that can grow together. Two high picks in the 2015 Draft could help the team to address the point guard position and potentially add a high-caliber perimeter player.  With Embiid returning this summer and Noel and Covington coming into their own, it would be a good time for a couple other potential core pieces to unite and begin to develop together.  At this point though, I would take any of those three picks as long as the team has a couple first rounders this summer. 

McMenamin: Lakers pick, without question.  Draft D’Angelo Russell and Justise Winslow and suddenly your starting five next season has no holes.  Just thinking about how athletic that lineup would be gets me excited, but it’s as likely as happening as Andrew Bynum playing a game in the NBA again.  After the much talked about 2014 draft, the players at the top of the 2015 draft have the makings of something special and I’d love the shot at two of the top six picks in the draft. 

Cook:  I would love to see the Lakers pick (#5) fall to the Sixers.  The 2015 NBA Draft has some of the most premiere talent I have seen in a draft so far.  I would love to see the Sixers grab Emmanuel Mudiay, the international man of mystery.  This would fill the PG position the team has been lacking since MCW left.  After their first pick use the Lakers pick to draft either a Justice Winslow or Stanley Johnson.

4.  Who would you send to represent the 76ers at the 2015 NBA Lottery event? 

Smith:  My 76ers colored heart wants to see “The Answer” represent the 76ers at the 2015 Draft Lottery.  Iverson seems desperate to reconnect with this franchise on any level and representing the  7-6 at the 2015 Draft Lottery could be a nice starting place for Allen to assume a World B. free type of role with this franchise.  However, despite my warm feelings for Allen, my pick is not Iverson. Instead of Iverson, I would send Charles Barkley for sheer entertainment factor and the the unlimited upside on the unintentional comedy scale that he represents.

Kaskey-Blomain:  Allen Iverson. Who is more beloved by Sixers fans currently than Allen Iverson, the man that sells seats just by attending a game.  Fans would be behind Iverson attending, as he was the catalyst behind the team’s most recent successes.  He was the franchise’s last first overall pick, so maybe his attendance at the lottery will net the next top pick.  Plus, it would be entertaining to see what he would decide to wear to such an event. 

McMenamin: Doug Collins (joking of course). In all seriousness, I’d want Mo’ne Davis to take the stage as the Sixers representative at the 2015 draft lottery. She’s a class act and can hopefully bring a little luck to the lottery gods as the envelopes open in a couple weeks. For the simple fact that they could air her crossover on fellow Philadelphia native, Kevin Hart, I’d love the entertainment value of seeing Mo’ne on stage. 

Cook: I think Meek Mill the Philadelphia rapper would be a great representative for the Sixers on draft day. Now days the hip-hop world has become intertwined with the NBA. Stars like Drake support the Toronto Raptors and Wale who is connected to the Washington Wizards. I think Meek Mill would be a great hip-hop face for the home team Sixers.

 

 

Jeff McMenamin is a scribe for Philadunkia.  You can follow him on Twitter @Sixersblog.

Michael Kaskey-Blomain is a scribe for Philadunkia.  You can follow him on Twitter @therealmikeKB.

Tyler Cook is a scribe for Philadunkia.  You can follow him on Twitter @TylerCook93 .

C. Smith is the Editor of Philadunkia.com.  You can follow us on Twitter @philadunkia.

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