Archive for the ‘ Philadelphia 76ers Blog ’ Category

Miami Heat forward Justise Winslow has been fined $15,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct for intentionally stepping on and attempting to damage the facemask of Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, which took place after Embiid’s facemask had fallen onto the playing court, occurred with 7:51 remaining in the second quarter of the 76ers’ 128-108 win over the Heat on Thursday, April 19 at AmericanAirlines Arena.

No Joel Embiid in Sixers vs Heat Game 1

The Playoffs begin Saturday. The Sixers enter the postseason on a 16-game winning streak. But the health status of Joel Embiid continues to be a confounding issue. Here’s the Palm Beach Post reporting:

The Sixers will start the playoffs Saturday night without starting center Joel Embiid.

“[Embiid] will not play in Game 1,” Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said on the Dan Patrick Show on Friday morning. “He will not play in Game 1 and from that point going forward, we’ll figure some stuff out. Unless something remarkable happens, Dan, I don’t plan on him playing in Game 1.”

The Sixers officially ruled out Embiid for Game 1 on Friday afternoon.

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And here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel:

Embiid has missed the past eight games after sustaining the injury and a concussion in a March 28 game against the New York Knicks.

Journeyman big man Amir Johnson has been starting in place of Embiid, with the 76ers undefeated in the interim, with Philadelphia ending the regular season on a 16-game winning streak.

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The best thing teams who have clinched playoff spots can do in the final week of the regular season is stay healthy. Second best is to win or lose in order to best help themselves in regard to possible first round playoff opponents. But that first thing is most important. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting on a key Sixer:

Dario Saric had a game-ending injury on the first play of Tuesday night’s game against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena.

The 76ers power forward suffered a cut upper lip and a chipped left central incisor (big tooth) when he collided with Hawks power forward John Collins 13 seconds into the game. After falling to the court, Saric got up and immediately jogged to the locker room.

This was Saric’s third game back after missing the previous three with cellulitis in his right elbow.

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Sixers win 10th game in a row

The Sixers overcome a second hit to the starting lineup Sunday to pull off a 119-102 victory over the Hornets, extending their winning streak to 10 games and improving to 46-30.

The Sixers have not won 10 straight since the beginning of the 2000-01 season.

“The spirit of the group has been excellent,” Brett Brown said. “We are playing good basketball, and I am sure because of all of that, it is all interconnected. Our 10 wins have those types of qualities.”

Daric Saric joined Joel Embiid on the injury list after being sidelined by a sore right elbow (see story). He actually suffered the injury Wednesday, the same game in which Embiid was hurt (orbital fracture, concussion), but played Friday.

NBC Sports Philly

After suffering an injury at the 11:50 mark of 2nd quarter of last night’s game against New York, Joel Embiid was initially evaluated in the locker room and later taken to Jefferson Hospital for further evaluation and testing. Immediately following the injury, Embiid was assessed for a concussion, was asymptomatic at that time, and passed the NBA’s locker room concussion assessment tool.

However, he later began experiencing symptoms, has since been diagnosed with a concussion, and has been placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol. Embiid also underwent a CT scan, which revealed an orbital fracture of his left eye.

Surgery will be performed in the coming days to address the orbital fracture, and further updates will be provided as appropriate.

Look. Basketballs get thrown around. To teammates. At the basket. And sometimes they get thrown directly at an opposing player who has been annoying you a bit. Here’s ESPN.com reporting on the closing minutes of the Sixers vs Cavs game:

The final moments of the Philadelphia 76ers’ 108-97 win over the Cavaliers on Thursday took an unexpected turn when Cavs guard Jordan Clarkson threw a ball at Sixers forward Dario Saric’s back and was summarily ejected.

With Philadelphia up by eight points and having an opportunity to run out the clock with the game already in hand, Saric dunked with 12.2 seconds remaining.

Upon collecting the ball after it went through the hoop, Clarkson tossed it at Saric’s back and was called for a technical foul, before being ejected.

“Uh, basketball, that’s it,” Clarkson said of the incident. “Part of the game. If anybody say different, that they wouldn’t have did that, that they’d have did something different or anything else, they lying. Especially if it was at that [point] of the game. They know what’s up. That’s it.”

Every once in a while we hear of billboards put up in the city of a team promoting that a certain player stay with the team, or maybe join the team. But in this case, there are Sixers fans putting up billboards in Cleveland urging a player, LeBron James, to leave Cleveland and sign with Philly. How does LeBron feel about it? Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

LeBron James still hasn’t seen the three billboards that went up in Ohio this week, aimed at recruiting him to come to the Philadelphia 76ers as a free agent this summer, but he heard about them and says the gesture was flattering.

“You can say it’s a distraction — it’s not. Not a distraction,” James said Tuesday. “It is actually very flattering that I’m sitting here at 33 and in my 15th year and teams or guys — I don’t want to say teams because that becomes tampering. But people in their respective city want me to play for them. That’s cool I think. That’s dope.”

The signs are located along I-480 in Cleveland, about 7 miles from the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Quicken Loans Arena.

The first sign features “#23″ in maroon with a crown, on a court with four blue numbers — numbers that just happen to match the Sixers jerseys of Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Dario Saric and Robert Covington.

Sixers sign Marco Belinelli

The Philadelphia 76ers signed guard-forward Marco Belinelli.

Belinelli appeared in 52 games (one start) with Atlanta this season, averaging 11.4 points and 2.0 assists in 23.3 minutes per game, while shooting .372 from three-point range on a career-high 4.8 attempts per contest. His .927 free-throw percentage ranks fourth-best in the NBA. He has scored in double figures 31 times this season and has five 20-point performances.

In his 11th NBA season, Belinelli has played in 696 career games (217 starts) with Atlanta, Charlotte, Sacramento, San Antonio, Chicago, New Orleans, Toronto and Golden State. All told, he holds averages of 9.8 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 23.2 minutes per game. A career .377 three-point shooter, Belinelli has connected on 945 threes over his 10-plus NBA seasons.

In 2013-14 with San Antonio, the Italy native enjoyed his most successful season from beyond the arc, finishing fifth in the NBA, shooting a .430 clip from long distance. At State Farm All-Star Saturday Night that year, Belinelli won the 2014 Foot Locker Three-Point Contest.

That season was capped off with a playoff run that would end with the Spurs defeating Miami in the 2014 NBA Finals. Belinelli appeared in 23 playoff games for San Antonio, posting 5.4 points per game, while shooting .421 from three-point range. In his career, Belinelli has appeared in 48 total playoff games (13 starts) with San Antonio, Chicago and New Orleans.

Originally selected by Golden State with the 18th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, the 6-foot-5 guard-forward played professionally in Italy before entering the NBA.

Belinelli will wear No. 18 for the 76ers. He will be the first native Italian to play for Philadelphia.

Nets beat Sixers in Brooklyn, 116-108

 

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The Nets enjoyed an impressive home victory Wednesday night in Brooklyn, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 116-108.

In the win, the enjoyed continued fine play from Spencer Dinwiddie in his breaking season. The point guard, still currently starting as D’Angelo Russell, recently back from injury, is utilized off the bench, shot 6-13 and hit 13-15 free throws for 27 points and four assists.

Russell played just 17 minutes off the bench, but was huge: 8-15 FG for 22 points, five rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block.

And in another nice surprise for the Nets, talented rookie big-man Jarrett Allen, who got the start at center, was excellent, shooting 5-6 FG for 16 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and two blocks in 26 minutes.

In the loss for the Sixers, Joel Embiid shot 8-19 FG but did hit 12-14 free throws for 29 points and 14 rebounds, Ben Simmons shot 11-16 FG for 24 points and seven assists, and JJ Redick shot 4-10 plus 9-10 free throws for 20 points.

Nets Team Notes

The Nets improved to 19-33 this season and 10-14 at Barclays Center with tonight’s victory, while the 76ers fell to 24-24 overall and 12-14 on the road with the loss.

Tonight’s win snapped Brooklyn’s season-high-tying four-game losing streak.

It also gave the Nets consecutive home victories (Brooklyn defeated Miami 101-95 on 1/19 at Barclays Center).

Next up for Brooklyn: The Nets will host the Lakers on Friday, February 2, at 7:30 p.m. EST.

Next up for Philadelphia: The 76ers will return home to host Miami on Friday, February 2, at 8 p.m. EST.

Nets Player Notes

Spencer Dinwiddie scored 27 points (6-of-13 FG, 2-of-4 3FG, 13-of-15 FT) with two rebounds and four assists in 34 minutes tonight. Dinwiddie’s 27 points marked the second-highest scoring game of his career (behind a career-high 31 points on 1/8 vs. Toronto). He set career highs for free throws made (13) and attempted (15) tonight, both of which represented season highs for any Net. Dinwiddie registered his team-leading 13th 20-point game of the season tonight (and his 10th at Barclays Center).

D’Angelo Russell posted 22 points (8-of-15 FG, 2-of-5 3FG, 4-of-5 FT) with five rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block in 17 minutes off the bench vs. Washington. Russell eclipsed the 20-point mark for the seventh time this season and the first time since 11/11 at Utah (26 points). He became the 10th different Net to score 20+ points in a game off the bench this season, which marks both a single-season franchise record and a league high this season.

Jarrett Allen scored a career-high-tying 16 points with a career-high 12 rebounds, a career-high three assists and two blocks in 26 minutes in his second-career start for Brooklyn. He shot 5-of-6 from the field and 6-of-6 from the free-throw line, with his 6 FTM also marking a career high. Allen recorded his second career double-double tonight (previously done on 1/23 at OKC this season). Allen has now extended his career-best streak of games reaching double figures to five. Prior to this stretch, he hadn’t scored in double figures in more than two straight games.

In the month of January, Allen shot .722 (57-of-79) from the field, which marked the highest FG % for a Net in any month since 1983-84 (min. 70 field goal attempts).

Joel Embiid Quotes

Joel Embiid, on 76ers’ defense: “The past couple of games we’ve been getting down a lot in pick and rolls, in OKC. That’s how they win – basically a two-man game, and everybody’s got to help each other and all the things we’ve been doing so far. I guess we’ve gotta go back to the drawing board.”

Embiid on if the team can blame their performance on coming off of a road trip: “No, that’s a game we’ve got to win. They’re a pretty good team, but I feel like we’re better than them. They got a win tonight, but that’s the kind of win we’ve got to get if we want to be a playoff team. Defense every day. If we’re gonna lose these types of games, we don’t deserve to go to the playoffs.”

Embiid on the team’s struggles against supposed-subpar opponents: “I don’t know. Maybe we’re too cocky, going into the game thinking that it’s going to be easy. Got to give them a lot of credit, they play hard, they make a lot of threes, they shoot a lot of threes and we didn’t guard them well today. But we gotta do a better job next time.”

The Sixers have gotten used to the fact that their star center, Joel Embiid, isn’t being utilized in back-to-back games. It’s a tough thing, for a team to have a great center to count on - but inconsistently. It throws things off. But Embiid, sharing some wishful thinking, hopes that in the fairly near future he’ll be playing every game. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting:

Joel Embiid hopes to begin playing back-to-backs

“I just need not to take days off,” Embiid said after Thursday’s shoot-around for that night’s game against Boston Celtics at TD Garden. “It’s not on me. It’s on the medical staff. But hopefully, back-to-backs by the end of this month, I will be allowed to play.”

The Sixers’ only remaining back-to-back situation this month will come Jan. 28 at the Oklahoma City Thunder and Jan. 29 at the Milwaukee Bucks. He has missed at least one game of the five back-to-back situations they’ve already had this season.

In all, Embiid has missed nine games total because of rest, back tightness and knee rehabilitation. The 23-year-old underwent left knee surgery in March. Embiid, who’s still getting in shape, said he was at 81 percent of where he wants to be.

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JJ Redick out with leg injury

 

 

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The Philadelphia 76ers will be without shooting guard JJ Redick for at least the next 10-14 days.

Mid 4th quarter of yesterday’s game against the Raptors, which the Sixers won 117-111, Redick suffered an injury to his left leg. X-rays after the game were negative. An MRI performed today revealed that Redick has bone edema and a small cortical crack in the fibular head of his left leg.

The team says he will be re-evaluated in approximately 10 days to two weeks.

The Sixers are 20-20 this season, placing them 9th in the Eastern conference, behind the 8th place Detroit Pistons (22-20). For the season, Redick is second on the team in scoring, averaging 17.3 points and 3.3 assists per game, shooting 44.8% from the field and 40.5% from three-point range.

The Philadelphia 76ers have signed guard Demetrius Jackson to a two-way contract.

In a related move, the team has waived forward James Michael McAdoo

Per NBA rules, teams are permitted to sign two players to two-way contracts in addition to the 15-man NBA regular-season roster. As a two-way player for the 76ers, Jackson will provide services to the team’s G League affiliate – the Delaware 87ers – but, pursuant to the contract signing date, he can spend up to 23 days with the 76ers, not including any time spent with the 76ers following the conclusion of the Sevens’ regular season.

Jackson has spent time this season with the Houston Rockets and their G League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. He appeared in 12 games with Houston, averaging 5.3 minutes per game. In the G League, Jackson played in 16 games, posting averages of 15.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.2 steals in 30.9 minutes per contest.

Originally selected with the 45th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Celtics, Jackson has played in the NBA with both Boston and Houston, appearing in a total of 17 games. The second-year pro has played in 48 total G League games with the Maine Red Claws and Vipers, averaging 15.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.3 steals in 32.6 minutes per game.

In his three collegiate seasons at Notre Dame, Jackson played in 103 games (88 starts) and averaged 11.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 31.5 minutes per game. In his junior season, he led the Irish in points, assists and steals, helping the team to a 24-12 record and its second consecutive Elite Eight appearance. He was named to the 2016 NCAA Tournament All-Region Team for the East and selected 2016 Second Team All-ACC following his final season at Notre Dame.

Jackson will wear No. 11 for the 76ers.

Look. When it comes to the Sixers, we have no choice but to trust the process. That’s just how it is. As part of the process, each important Sixers rookie gets hurt, and then eventually they’re not hurt, and then I guess we’ll see what happens. How’s that for a summary? Just trust it. As for the latest, here’s NBC Sports Philly:

According to the team, Fultz is cleared to begin “the final stage of his return-to-play program.” This final stage for Fultz will consist of “gradual re-integration into team practices and training, complemented with additional conditioning work to support fitness readiness for gameplay.”

What exactly does that mean? Tuesday, Fultz played half-court 4-on-4 with his teammates at practice. He also played some 1-on-1 with Jacob Pullen and James Michael McAdoo and did individual skill work after practice, including pull-up jumpers from about 15 to 18 feet (see more here).

“I think he looked OK,” Brett Brown said. “I think everybody shouldn’t get too far ahead of ourselves in relation to what does that mean, but it is the most he’s done with me in a while. What I saw today was just encouraging to see him playing with his teammates, and playing live basketball.”

It’s not as if Fultz is on the brink of game action, but it’s the closest he’s been since he was shut down in late October.

Full article

 

 

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The 76ers rebuilding process that took place over the last few seasons has finally materialized. With a 13-11 record, the Sixers are a solid team. Not great — that’s just the 9th best record in the Eastern conference — but solid, and the future should only be brighter. Especially when rookie guard Markelle Fultz eventually regains full health and can perhaps become a serious contributor.

For now, Fultz remains out. According to the Sixers, he is “no longer experiencing soreness in his right shoulder and the scapular muscle imbalance is resolved.”

He’s still undergoing physical therapy. Still healing. The team says they’ll issue another update on his shoulder and overall health in three weeks.

Hopefully, in three weeks we hear that he’s actually ready to play. And that the process won’t be extended.

There’s clearly no rush for Fultz to come back until he’s truly ready.

The Sixers have lost two games in a row. They play the Cavs in Cleveland tonight.

Sixers trade Jahlil Okafor to Nets

The Brooklyn Nets have acquired center Jahlil Okafor, guard Nik Stauskas and a 2019 second round draft pick from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for forward/center Trevor Booker.

In a subsequent move, the Nets have requested waivers on guard Sean Kilpatrick.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, “Booker, 30, in his eighth year in the NBA, is a veteran power forward with an attractive expiring contract. The two-year deal he signed with Brooklyn in 2016 for just over $18 million is up at the end of the 2017-18 campaign.”

“We are excited about the prospects of both Jahlil and Nik, as well as adding another future asset which will aid us in our continued roster development,” said Nets General Manager Sean Marks. “This trade provides us with a good opportunity to bring in two young players who were high picks in recent drafts and give them a chance to succeed in our system. We would also like to thank Trevor, Sean and their families for all of their contributions to our team and the Brooklyn community.”

“Trevor Booker has been a solid and competitive two-way contributor at every NBA stop. Trevor’s abilities should complement our style of play and his experience should add to our bench depth with playoff contention in mind,” said 76ers President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo. “Jahlil and Nik are both quality young men with talent that should keep them productive in this league a long time. We hope they find more opportunity in Brooklyn this season and thank them for their contributions over the past few years.”

Booker, a 6-foot-10 forward, is in the midst of his eighth NBA season. He has appeared in 482 games (160 starts) with Brooklyn, Utah and Washington and holds career averages of 7.1 points and 5.7 rebounds in 21.0 minutes per game. His average of 10.1 points per game in 2017-18 represents a career-best.

Since signing with Brooklyn in the 2016 offseason, Booker has played in 89 games (48 starts) and produced 10.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 24.1 minutes per contest. Before joining the Nets, he’d held career averages of 6.5 points and 5.2 rebounds through his first six NBA seasons.

Booker was originally selected by Washington with the 23rd pick of the 2010 NBA Draft, following four standout seasons at Clemson. As a senior, he was named All-ACC First Team.

Okafor joins the Nets after spending the first two-plus seasons of his NBA career with the 76ers. In 105 career games (81 starts), the 21-year-old has averaged 14.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.1 blocks in 26.2 minutes per game. Originally selected with the third overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Okafor saw action in 53 games (48 starts) in his rookie season, registering averages of 17.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.2 blocks in 30.0 minutes per game en route to All-Rookie First Team honors. Prior to beginning his NBA career, Okafor spent one year at Duke, helping lead the Blue Devils to the 2015 NCAA Championship. In his lone collegiate season, Okafor recorded averages of 17.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.4 blocks in 30.1 minutes per game in 38 contests, earning him Associated Press First Team All-America and ACC Player of the Year honors. He became the first freshman to capture the ACC Player of the Year award in the conference’s history.

Stauskas has appeared in 232 career games (63 starts) with Sacramento (2014-15) and Philadelphia (2015-17), recording averages of 7.3 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 22.3 minutes per game. The 24-year-old was originally selected with the eighth overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft by the Kings out of the University of Michigan. Stauskas spent two years at Michigan, earning Big 10 Player of the Year and Associated Press Second Team-All America honors as a sophomore after averaging 17.5 points on 47.0 percent from the field and 44.2 percent from three-point range, 2.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 35.6 minutes per game. Stauskas also helped to lead the Wolverines to NCAA Tournament title game as a freshman and an Elite Eight appearance in his second and final collegiate season.

Booker, who originally signed as a free agent with Brooklyn on July 8, 2016, appeared in 18 games (six starts) this season with the Nets, averaging 10.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 21.9 minutes per contest. In 482 career games with the Nets, Jazz and Wizards, the eight-year veteran has recorded averages of 7.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 21.0 minutes per game.

Kilpatrick originally signed the first of two 10-day contracts on Feb. 28, 2016 before signing a multi-year contract on March 19, 2016. In 109 games (24 starts) with the Nets, Kilpatrick averaged 12.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 22.7 minutes per contest.

Ben Simmons will miss game vs Magic

Star Sixers rookie Ben Simmons has a hurt elbow. Sounds minor. Hopefully, that’s the case. More will be known soon, but as for today and tomorrow here’s CSN Philly reporting:

The Sixers aren’t the same team without Ben Simmons, and on Saturday, they’ll see exactly what type of team they are this season without their 6-foot-10 point guard.

Simmons will miss Saturday night’s game against Orlando because of left elbow soreness. Simmons, the early Rookie of the Year favorite, is averaging 18.5 points, 7.7 assists and 9.1 rebounds.

The Sixers said, after reviewing footage from Wednesday night’s 101-81 win over Portland, Simmons appears to have suffered the injury at the 6:22 mark of the fourth quarter. He was in treatment during practice Friday and will be reevaluated Sunday.

Full article

Sixers center Joel Embiid continues to provide fun to the basketball world, with excellent play on the court and fun quotes off of it. Here’s NBC Sports Philly reporting:

Joel Embiid sometimes looks like he’s having a party on the basketball court. It’s no surprise, then, he credits some actual partying with turning around his season.

Yes, that’s right. After Sixers practice Friday afternoon, Embiid said hitting the town in Los Angeles on the team’s recent road trip helped him out of a funk.

“All my close friends live in L.A., so before that, I wasn’t really doing anything, I was frustrated because I wasn’t in basketball shape and I wasn’t having fun on the court,” Embiid said. “So I won’t lie, I decided to go out, have fun a little bit. And that just kind of gave me the energy back, and the next game against the Clippers, I had more than 30 points [32], and then the following game I had more than 40 [46], so I think it’s just about having fun and making sure I can control what I can.”

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Markelle Fultz injury update

Philadelphia 76ers guard Markelle Fultz was examined and evaluated today by Dr. Ben Kibler, Medical Director of the Shoulder Center of Kentucky at the Lexington Clinic, for the soreness and scapular muscle imbalance that he has been experiencing in his right shoulder. The soreness is dissipating and the muscle balance is improving, and Fultz will continue with physiotherapy and begin progressing toward full basketball activities. Fultz will be re-evaluated in approximately two to three weeks. His return to gameplay will be determined by how the shoulder responds to progressive basketball training and practices in the interim.

President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo announced today that the Philadelphia 76ers have restructured the terms of forward Robert Covington’s contract for the current season and signed Covington to a multi-year contract extension.

According to ESPN.com, it is a four-year, $62 million extension that “will include a $15 million renegotiation bump on Covington’s $1.57 million salary this season, plus an additional four years that will keep Covington under contract through the 2021-22 season.”

“Robert Covington is a prime example of what hard work, dedication and commitment can lead to. Rob’s growth as a player on both ends of the floor makes him one of the most versatile and effective wings in the league, while his contributions of character and professionalism feature prominently in our evolving organizational culture. This extension is both well-deserved, and a really great story,” Colangelo said.

Through 14 games this season, Covington holds averages of 16.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 steals in 31.1 minutes per game. His scoring average, 50 percent mark from the field and 49.5 percent mark from three-point range (eighth in the NBA) all represent career-highs.

The fifth-year forward has converted on 50 three-pointers this season, which ranks fourth in the NBA and he is one of just nine players in the league with at least 20 steals and 10 blocks in 2017-18. After leading the league in deflections per game a season ago, and finishing fourth in the league’s Defensive Player of the Year voting, his average of 3.4 deflections per contest this season places him fourth among NBA players.

Covington is one of 14 NBA players to make at least 500 three-pointers since the start of the 2014-15 season, while his 524 three-pointers in a 76ers uniform rank fourth in franchise history, behind Hall of Famer Allen Iverson, Kyle Korver and Andre Iguodala. He has finished second on the team in steals in each of his seasons in Philadelphia and is one of 17 players league-wide with at least 350 steals in that timeframe. Just five players have both 500 threes and 350 steals in that span.

Covington signed with the Sixers on Nov. 15, 2014 after being waived by Houston. In 217 games (178 starts), he holds averages of 13.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.6 steals in 28.6 minutes per game with Philadelphia. Covington originally was unselected in the 2013 NBA Draft after four seasons at Tennessee State and signed a free-agent contract with the Rockets in July 2013.

Ben Simmons was expected to be very good. Maybe even great. For a rookie. But forget all that. He’s simply awesome, by any measure, right now. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting:

Ben Simmons even better than Sixers coach expected

Not even 76ers coach Brett Brown knew what he had in Ben Simmons.

Brown always envisioned Simmons as his point guard despite his 6-foot-10 stature after selecting him with the first overall pick of the 2016 draft. But …

“I didn’t realize that he was going to be as gifted athletically, immediately,” Brown said.

Simmons missed all of last season after breaking his right foot. Brown saw the 21-year-old’s athleticism during what amounted to a redshirt season at the team’s practice facility. But he didn’t know how it would translate in games.

“I see it clearly now,” the coach sad. “You wished and you hoped, but you didn’t know. … Now, I know.”

Full article

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