So, another game, another disappointment, and another likelihood that both come to pass. (Or at least one of those anyway.)
Philly is 6-2 on the season, and, our old friend Spencer Hawes is having a career year. But don't let the Hawes fool you: He's not doing it on a bad team. Hawes has a ridiculous 120 ORtg and 88 DRtg as I type this. (I have a feeling this will change. Call it, say, a hunch.) Hawes TS% is at 63%, and well, that's ridiculous too. A ridiculous season is what Hawes is having. But, again, don't let this fool you.
Philly has talent. Real talent. Not great talent necessarily beyond Holiday, or potentially Hawes, but talent. The real question remains what will happen with Evan Turner (I don't think Turner is a bust but I don't think he is a star either) and Andre Igoudala.
The other important note is that nobody on Philly is averaging more than 34 minutes (Jrue Holiday).
Philly's ORtg on the season is 108.2 (4th of 30) and their DRtg is 92.4 (1st of 30). The Pace is 92.6 (13th of 30).
Sac's ORtg is 100.1 (19th of 30) and the DRtg is 109.3 (27th of 30). The Pace is 93.7 (4th of 30).
It's not that Philly will be slow, but the ability to get into the open court while limiting Philly's baskets in transition will be the key to winning the game. There is nothing new in this analysis, but maybe one day Tyreke Evans smells the coffee. I doubt it will happen tonight though.
Depressed Fan recaps the Sixers win over a not so surprisingly paltry crowd at Wells Fargo Center.
Derek Bodner of Liberty Ballers (and Draft Express) does a recap as well.
Marc Lamont Hill explains why the Sixers excite him. My favorite part:
The Sixers are also fun to watch because of how they play the game. In the current AND1/ESPN era, where flash and raw athleticism trump discipline and fundamentals, this team is a throwback. They play both ends of the floor. They talk on defense. They set picks. They make the extra pass. They move without the ball. They don't worry about who's going to be the leading scorer. In the words of Larry Brown, they play the right way.
An interesting counter to why the NBA can be so bad in it's current climate for the fan.
After the 2009 season, I took a long hard look at my 76ers passion. I realized it was gone. Gone the way of Zink's lucky numbers, 75-cent programs and $6 tickets. The games weren't the same. Too many teams. Too few great players. Too many distractions off the court. Not enough value or interest to cover the cost of being a fan anymore.
When the millionaire players were aligning themselves against the billionaire owners over a new revenue-share agreement after last season, I decided that I'd had enough. I had grown up on West Philly playgrounds, going to Big 5 and Baker League games. I had found time for the 76ers of Wilt, Billy C, Doug, Doc, Charles and A.I. And I decided I had seen enough great basketball to last a few lifetimes. Chris Paul? Ricky Rubio? Not at these prices. And so I gave up my front-row seats after 34 years.
Nobody at the 76ers bothered to call and ask why. There was another buyer to fill the great seats. There usually is.
Now there's a new 76ers owner in town. Well, about 118 of them, to be exact. And while they talk about pride and passion, I wonder if too many people now feel like me. The teams and leagues are pricing themselves out of business. Fan loyalties are fading and customer loyalty is fickle - if you can even find it. And all I have to show for my fandom is a stack of 1,776 game-ticket stubs.
A nice piece on Nikola Vucevic.
"Defensively, that's what wins the games for us," said Young, who collected 12 points and eight rebounds. "Obviously we're a great offensive team but we need defensive intensity and we got to go out there and find different types of ways to pry the ball from their hands and get into transition. That's where it starts with defensive intensity. I think I took a big step by going out there and just taking pride in playing defense. The offense will come, I realize that. I can get 12 points just in the flow of the game. It's just a matter of going out there and playing harder and being physical.
"It's all about believing in the system. We believe that we can do something special here, so why not do what coach is asking of you."
DeMarcus Cousins and fouling by Jason Jones of the almighty buzzing Bee.
JJ Hickson could fill in Chuck Hayes role? I think not, but it's nice to dream anyway. Read on anyway just to be thorough.
Marcos Breton weighted in (on Sunday) with what really ails the Kings.
Is the NBA going to say that effort is not good enough because the current Kings owners can't help finance the arena? And would a new arena enable the Maloofs to commit more to player salaries, pulling the team out of the league's payroll basement?
For that matter, how would the current loan of nearly $70 million be paid off if the Kings vacated the former Arco Arena?
These issues – financial issues – are at the root of fan angst over why a young coach like Smart is running the Kings instead of a "name" coach. They are behind criticism of team basketball president Geoff Petrie, who gets ripped on social media sites for assembling undersized and young teams on the skimpiest budget in the NBA.
Stathead final thoughts
DeMarcus Cousins is averaging 5.1 rebounds (and 5.0 offensive rebounds), Chuck Hayes is averaging 5 boards, and JJ Hickson is averaging 4.7 boards. If the Kings ever wish to start winning games, being better than last in DRB% would be a nice start.
The game starts at 4pm PST and may or may not be broadcasted on an outlet that you are capable of reaching at a particular time. If you're lucky, you may be able to tune into another clown show by Tyreke Evans with 2 minutes to go where he twirls around with glitter and batons while throwing up ridiculous ill-advised shots. This is assuming you are lucky.
UPDATE: Jimmer Fredette starts for Marcus Thornton tonight. Maybe this is the breakout game that Jimmer needs to get going eh?