Great Expectations

Posted by: C. Smith
09/18/15 12:34 pm EST

jahlil-okaforeditedThis past summer Jahlil Okafor experienced a pretty shocking fall from his perch in the top spot in the 2015 NBA Draft class.  Now, it’s not as if he fell out of the Lottery or anything of that magnitude.  But somehow after entering college as the top player in his recruiting class, showing up at Duke in the best shape of his life, and winning a national championship, he actually lost ground in the eyes of many scouts and “experts”.  Okafor didn’t just fall behind No.1 overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns, but he slipped below also to D’Angelo Russell, whom the Lakers selected with the second pick at Draft15.

For Philadunkia nation, who on Draft Night 2015 watched as Okafor—yet another big man who’s been labeled as having nearly unlimited potential — fell into Sam Hinkie’s lap, this is old news.   Still, I wanted to remind everyone of these events because I believe that Okafor’s mysterious decline in draft status this past June may turn out to be the best thing that happens to the Sixers during this rebuilding process.

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Reaching for the Stars

Posted by: Michael Kaskey-Blomain
09/15/15 12:58 pm EST

NBA: Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ersAfter a solid rookie campaign in which he was the only player in the League to finish with over 100 blocks and over 100 steals, Nerlens Noel has some high aspirations for his second season.  Among them, is to become an All-Star.  The Sixers have been without an All-Star since Jrue Holiday made the team back in 2013, and Noel wants to end that streak.

“Year two, I want to be an All-Star, clear as that,” he recently told SLAM magazine; a sentiment he has often echoed in the past.  “I know a lot of players say that,” Noel told me back in April, “but for me I feel as though that it the next step.”

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Summer 2016 Will Be Huge for 76ers

Posted by: Michael Kaskey-Blomain
09/08/15 10:46 am EST

76ersaltlogoThe summer of 2015 is now over and it certainly won’t go down as the most memorable off-season for Philadunkia nation. Outside of the solid, and exciting selection of Jahlil Okafor in June’s draft and a intriguing trade for shooting guard Nik Stauskas, the summer was without a whole lot of positive news.  The team did little in free agency, it was announced that prized 2014 Draft pick Joel Embiid would miss a second consecutive season, shrouding the rest of his career in incertainty; and maybe worst of all for fans, the team lost Malik Rose to Atlanta’s front office.

While the team is expected to improve this season, thanks largely to the addition of Okafor and the development of Nerlens Noel, the hopes of the fanbase still lies in the future.  While the summer of 2015 was slightly underwhelming, the summer of 2016 could be a very big time for the Sixers.

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Shedding Light on Stauskas

Posted by: C. Smith
08/26/15 1:18 pm EST

StauskaseditedSam Hinkie and the 76ers were non-factors on the free agency market this summer and instead chose to add to their roster in other ways.

With the No. 3 overall pick at the 2015 NBA Draft Hinkie added Jahlil Okafor, a 6-10, polished post player with an NCAA championship ring.  Okafor showed some flashes of greatness during summer league action in Las Vegas and it appears that the Sixers have another solid player to help rebuild this franchise.

The other news worthy addition was shooting guard Nik Stauskas who came to the Sixers via a trade with the Sacramento Kings. Stauskas had a disappointing rookie season in Sacto that featured limited minutes and a coaching change.  He also did not suit up for the 7-6 at the 2015 NBA Summer League.  Thus Stauskas and exactly what he can do for the Sixers remains somewhat of a mystery for Philadunkia nation.

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Embiid Was the Right Choice

Posted by: Michael Kaskey-Blomain
08/18/15 5:11 pm EST

embiiddraftespneditEven though Joel Embiid had a second “successful” surgery on his right foot today (still no official comment from the 76ers organization, just Embiid’s Instagram account) and his basketball future is extremely uncertain, I  maintain that Embiid was still the correct selection for the 76ers at the 2014 NBA Draft.

If the team had passed on some high-level perimeter production in the form of Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker, then that would not be the case.  However, as the highly-hyped 2014 Draft played out, only three players looked to have the making of a surefire superstar, and out those three, Embiid was touted by everyone he came across as a generational talent; a guy that could single-handedly transform a franchise.

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Time to Break the Silence

Posted by: C. Smith
08/13/15 9:43 am EST

samI sat on this post for 24 hours to wait and see if my anger / extreme disappointment with the 76ers franchise and their continued silence on the Joel Embiid surgery front would subside. Needless to say it has not, so it’s time for a rant.

On Tuesday fellow Philadunkia scribe Michael Kaskey-Blomain authored a well crafted post on the questions created by the delays in Joel Embiid’s foot surgery and the 76ers’ silence on said delays.  MKB’s post did a solid job of summing up my frustration with this on going drama.

Yesterday,  John Gonzalez of posted an article that provided some clarity (but nothing concrete) on the reasons for the delays in Embiid’s pending surgery.  The article cited “sources” as providing Gonzalez with inside details on why Embiid’s surgery has not happened yet.

Of course the 76ers still have yet to issue an official comment on Gonzaleez’s post, or the delay in general which by the way has now reached to 30 days.

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The Sounds of Silence

Posted by: Michael Kaskey-Blomain
08/10/15 8:27 am EST

embiidslameditedWe are ten days into August and it has now been almost a month since the Sixers announced that Joel Embiid, their prized pick of the much hyped 2014 Draft would be having a second surgery on his injured right foot and would most likely be missing a second consecutive season as a result.

The news was a big blow to fans of the franchise eager to see him play, and of course to Embiid himself, who has been itching to play since he was selected by the Sixers last June.

At the time of the Hinkie’s official statement (released 7/11/15), the Sixers let it be known that they anticipated the surgery would take place within 7-10 days from the announcement.

Obviously that surgery has not happened.

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Two Significant Issues

Posted by: C. Smith
08/07/15 12:01 pm EST

76ersaltlogoWith NBA Summer League action is a distant memory and free agency movement all but over, we have now truly entered the Association’s off-season.  The 76ers had a disappointing run this summer on the court and General Manager Sam Hinkie was very quiet on the free agency front which means the with training camp just two months away, the 7-6 still have a host of issues staring the franchise in the face.

Today I will focus on two pressing issues that I believe will have the greatest impact on the 76ers at the start of the 2015-16 season.

Hint:  Both involve the 76ers’ backcourt.


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No Embiid; No Problem

Posted by: Michael Kaskey-Blomain
07/16/15 1:45 pm EST

jahlil-okaforeditedJoel Embiid’s basketball future remains a question mark.

You hope that, at some point, the kid can contribute, but unfortunately at this point we don’t know when that may be. In the mean time, the Sixers further fortified their frontcourt by selecting Jahlil Okafor with the third overall pick in the 2015 Draft. Okafor, whose selection was viewed by many as Embiid insurance, is ready to hit the ground running, and will be the beneficiary of increased opportunity due to Embiid’s extended absence.

Okafor said that his role is not impacted by Embiid’s status.

“It doesn’t,” he replied flatly when asked how Embiid’s being sidelined affected his role heading into the season.

“My role is to dominate,” Okafor continued. “I’m one of the centerpieces of the team, so my role is the same.”

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Summer Sixers GM6: Another Loss

Posted by: C. Smith
07/15/15 10:41 am EST

summersixersscottieandjaheditedWith last night’s 84-81 overtime loss to the Knicks summer squad, the Summer Sixers fell to 0-3 in Las Vegas and 1-5 in the month of July.

The highly anticipated match-up between Jahlil Okafor and Kristaps Porzingis — the #3 and #4 picks in Draft15 — never developed last night as Okafor played solid (18 points on 8-18 shooting), but not spectacular ball and Porzingis was limited to just 9 points.  However, Florida product Scottie Wilbekin put on a show against the Summer Knicks that was something to witness.  His watery jumper produced a 26 point outburst that so far is the highlight of the month for the Summer Sixers.

After the jump, a few observations from last night.




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