Tobias Harris Opens Up on ESPN's First Take

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

On Friday Tobias Harris joined Stephen A Smith and Max Kellerman on ESPN’s First Take. Along with discussing the global pandemic and social justice issues, Harris also had a lot to say about the Sixers as the NBA is closing in on its return. 

Harris was very open about the Sixers’ season before the suspension. Admitting that they “haven’t met our expectations so far this year.” 

He would also hint at some chemistry issues with the team. Saying that “we haven’t had the best chemistry throughout the year” and “it took us a while to kind of get everyone together.” 

Although Harris was very open on some of the Sixers mishaps this year, he is still very optimistic about what they can do when play resumes in July. Harris still feels that the Sixers “have a chance to win a championship.” 

Max Kellerman would mention that he has picked the Sixers as a sleeper team in the Eastern Conference. Harris would go on to say that he is not phased that his team is being looked at as a sleeper. Stating that the team has one goal and that’s “to play and win a championship.” 

Harris would then dive into how the team has been able to fix their chemistry issues during the season’s suspension. He would state the team has kept in touch through this quarantine through zoom calls and group texts. 

In the end, Harris would discuss how the team is ready to take the court in Orlando. Stating the team is looking at it as a “new opportunity.” He would also go on to say that the team will have a “refreshed feeling” when they get to take the court in Disney. 

After having a rollercoaster of a regular season, it looks like the Sixers are starting to put the pieces together. Now with more than three months to rest and get healthy, the Sixers have a chance to show the league how great they can be.

IMG_3860


Charles Barkley Makes Bold Statements on Sixers

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

Earlier this week Charles Barkley sat down with Michael Barkann of NBC Sports Philadelphia to talk about the NBA’s return and the Sixers. As we know Barkley’s opinion on the Sixers has changed often throughout the season, and ahead of the season’s restart, it looks like it has changed again. 

After being one of the biggest critics to his former team, it looks like sir Charles is back on the Sixers’ wagon. He would later go on to say in the interview that “[he] would not want to play the 76ers in the playoffs.” 

Barkley would then go on to make a bold statement regarding the Sixers’ two main stars. When referring to Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons he would say that the Sixers will have the best two players on the court against any team in the Eastern Conference except for the Milwaukee Bucks. 

That is a statement that he will most certainly get pushback for. In saying this Barkley is stating he feels the Sixers’ franchise players rank above All-Stars like Boston’s Jayson Tatum, Toronto’s Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam, and former teammate Jimmy Butler just to name a few. 

Along with that bold statement, Barkley would say he has picked the Sixers as a sleeper team when play resumes. “I think they’ve got a legitimate chance. I’d be surprised if they don’t do well” he would tell Barkann. 

Strong words from a man who was outspokenly disappointed in this team in the middle of the season. One thing that cannot be denied is that the Sixers are a sleeper team in the Eastern Conference. 

A now fully healthy roster with months to recover and refocus should not be counted out. It will be interesting to see if Barkley can keep his optimism when the Sixers take the court in August.

IMG_3860


Report: Sixers Schedule Released

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

Earlier tonight the NBA released the schedule for all 22 teams when play resumes at the end of July. The Sixers will play their first game on August 1st against the Indiana Pacers.

Here is how the rest of their schedule will play out:

IMG_E4384

The Sixers had one of the easiest schedules before the season was suspended, and that still holds now. Another positive for them is that they will have to play one back to back in these eight games when they will play the Suns and Raptors.

How the games have been laid out favors the Sixers nicely. Their two main opponents in this stretch are the Pacers and the Raptors, and those games will be played on opposite ends of the schedule. 

Currently, the Sixers sit at sixth place in the Eastern Conference with the potential to move up. If the Sixers can take advantage of their weaker schedule they can find themselves in the top four of the conference. 

One game you might want to circle is the final game of the schedule against the Houston Rockets. As we know the Rockets now run the smallest lineup in the league, and they will be facing off against a Sixers’ lineup that is potentially the biggest in the league. That game should be a good clash of old school versus new school. 

All in all, this could be a good stretch for the Sixers. Six of the eight games are winnable games for the Sixers, and the other two could fall their way as well. Gaining momentum before the playoffs are crucial, and the Sixers have a chance to go into the playoffs strong.

IMG_3860


Report: Sixers Sign Ryan Broekhoff to Deal

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The Sixers have made their first move since the transaction window has opened. First reported by Adrian Wojnarowski, the Sixers have signed Ryan Broekhoff to a deal. 

Broekhoff most recently played earlier this season for the Dallas Mavericks. He appeared in 17 games for the Mavericks where he would average 4.2 PPG in 10.6 minutes a night. 

There is one key stat that sticks out about this signing and that is three-point shooting. In 59 career games in the NBA Broekhoff has shot 40.3% from deep. 

At six for six, he fits the mold of this team and could potentially have a role on this team when play returns. With Mike Scott’s shooting being very inconsistent this season, having a guy like Broekhoff as insurance in that stretch power forward role can be good to have. 

This is a good move for the Sixers to make with one of their two open spots. Although he does not have the experience that some other available free-agents have, he provides a skill and role that Sixers have needed this year. 

The Sixers have now put them in a good position in terms of their bench construction. Now adding another sharpshooter to their bench, the Sixers now have a good batch of potential floor spacers to put around Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. 

In today’s game with shooting at such a premium, you can never have enough of it on your team. That makes this signing a solid one as the Sixers look to bolster their three-point shooting for the playoffs.

IMG_3860


Report: Sixers Travel Date Released

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

News has come out on the NBA’s travel plans and when teams will be arriving in Orlando. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that teams will be making the trip in groups from July 7th to July 9th. 

The Sixers will be in the last group of teams to make the trip and will be arriving at Disney World on July 9th. Some of the teams that they will be arriving with include the Bucks, Lakers, Raptors, and Rockets. 

One positive for the Sixers is that their two biggest opponents will be in the same travel group as them. Although the travel days are only days apart, now the Raptors and Pacers will not have any extra time to settle in then the Sixers. The same could also be said for the Bucks, who right now is the Sixers’ biggest threat in the Eastern Conference. 

This could be looked at as a double-edged sword for the Sixers. Although they will be one of the final teams arriving in Orlando, this means they have a couple of extra days in their home facility before they have to make the trip. On the same note, the Sixers are also going to have less time to get situated in the new environment before play resumes. 

Things are starting to get real for the NBA. Two weeks from today the Sixers will pack up and head to Disney World, and we are a little over a month away from games resuming. We have reached the light at the end of the tunnel, soon the sprint to the NBA championship will begin.

IMG_3860


Sixers Draft Grant Riller in Latest Mock Draft

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

With the NBA on a rushed timeline, it is not too soon to start talking about the NBA draft. Although the Sixers’ potential first-round pick is not set in stone, they have been mocked to draft a different player from previous mocks. 

In the latest mock draft, the OKC pick does convey to the Sixers and they go on to draft Grant Riller out of Charleston. Riller is a point guard who is coming off a season where he averaged 21.9 PPG, 5.1 RPG, and 3.9 APG. 

Although most upperclassmen are looked down on in draft classes now, the Sixers showed that taking guys who spent more time in college can benefit greatly. Riller played all four years in college and was able to up his scoring numbers each season. 

Riller is more of a combo-guard than a point guard but this is a non-issue for the Sixers. His ball-handling skills and scoring ability could allow him to share the floor with Ben Simmons in spurts. 

Along with being a strong ball-handler who can get to the rim, he is also able to knock down shots from deep. In his four years at Charleston, Riller shot 35.6% from three on four attempts a game. 

This could be a solid pick for the Sixers if this is how things were to play out. Riller could be a cheap option to slide into the backup point guard role and play that role well. Along with being able to run an offense, he can also create shots for himself off the dribble. 

Riller’s player comparison is Fred Van Vleet of the Toronto Raptors and it is very accurate. At six foot three and 190 pounds, Riller’s build is very similar to Van Vleet, and their play styles are almost identical. 

If Riller lives up to this comparison it would be a steal for the Sixers. Having a guy who can be a primary ball-handler in small spurts and come on the floor to space and be a secondary ball-handler is something the Sixers need. 

If the Sixers do plan to make Shake Milton a starter for the future they are going to need a player like Riller to facilitate the second unit. Drafting a guard would also allow them to allocate their limited cap space to address other issues of need.

IMG_3860


Report: Knicks to Interview Sixer's Assistant Coach

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

As most NBA teams are gearing for play to resume, some are starting to gear up for the 2021 season. One of these teams planning for the future is the New York Knicks, as they look to fill their head coaching void. 

The news came out today that they have their sights set on a coach in the Sixers’ staff. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported today that the team plans to interview assistant coach Ime Udoka to fill their head coaching void. 

The Knicks are now the second team that has expressed interest in Brett Brown’s top assistant. The Chicago Bulls also came out and said he is one of their top choices if they plan to change head coaches. 

Udoka is looked at as one of the top assistant coaches in the league, and it’s no secret that the Sixers are going to have their hands full if they want to keep him on their sidelines moving forward. 

Between his time as a player and years spent on the sidelines, Udokah has built up quite the resume. Making it no surprise that a team is looking to allow him to run a young team looking to rebuild. 

As more teams continue to express interest in Udoka, it puts the Sixers in an interesting position. There is a good chance that this season could be Brett Brown’s last in Philadelphia, and Udoka would have to be the clear favorite to be his successor. Which could leave the organization in a position where they move on from Brown out of fear of potentially missing out on Udoka.  

IMG_3860


Sixers Playoff Rotation Breakdown

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

There were many positives for the Sixers with the league suspending its season, but there was one negative. The post-trade deadline Sixers did not have much time to gel together and figure out roles and rotations. 

Now with the league’s sprint to the finish right around the corner, the Sixers have little time to figure out what players are going to see the court in the postseason. Although the team has eight games to figure as much out as they can, here is how the breakdown looks heading into the return of play. 

Locks 

This is the most obvious part of the rotation heading in. Although there might be some changes, the team’s original starting five are going to carry the load of the minutes when the lights get brighter. 

We may see Al Horford become the sixth man when games return, but even off the bench, he will still see a good amount of time in the rotation as a backup center to Joel Embiid and potentially slide into his original role to close out games. 

Almost Locks

Two players fall into this category, Shake Milton and Alec Burks. They arguably could be thrown in as locks, but don’t have solidified spots like the players mentioned above. 

This could change if Brett Brown does decide to make some changes to the starting lineup. The move that has been discussed a lot in the break is Shake Milton becoming a starter and Al Horford sliding into a sixth man/super-sub role. 

These two will most likely eat up most of the minutes when Ben Simmons is off the floor. Earlier in the year, Brown brought up the idea of using Josh Richardson as a backup point guard in the playoffs, but with the acquisition of Burks and the emergence of Milton, things may change. 

The Sixers are going to need scoring and shot creation off the bench, something that both of these guards bring to the table. The team is also going to need as many ball handlers as they can get for when the game slows down and Ben Simmons is potentially moved off the ball at times. 

On The Bubble 

This is where things get tricky. After the five starters and two guards there are at most two spots open in the rotation, but three players that could essentially fill in those spots. The three players competing for these spots are Glenn Robinson III, Furkan Korkmaz, and Matisse Thybulle. 

Brett Brown has been known to have “quiet tournaments” in the past for spots in the rotation, and there is a good chance that we see that here. All three players have a valid case as to why they should be on the floor come playoffs. 

Shooting is arguably going to be the main factor in what players take these spots. The Sixers are going to need floor spacing and consistent shooting if they are going to make a serious run at the title. This means if one of these players go on a hot streak in these final eight games, it just might lock them into the playoff rotation. 

Realistically it is most likely going to be Glenn Robinson III and one of Korkmaz or Thybulle. Korkmaz has proven that he can be a rotation piece this year but is a serviceable defender at best. Thybulle has shown that he can be a lockdown defender but has shown a lot of consistency on offense to guarantee him a spot. 

There is a small chance all three could make it if coach Brown wants to use Thybulle as a situational defender at times. This pick for the final spot is going to come down to what side of the ball Brett Brown wants to focus on.

Outside Looking In

With the rotation tightening up there are always going to be players that don’t make the cut. The guys in this situation are Norvel Pelle, Kyle O’Quin, Raul Neto, and Mike Scott. 

Mike Scott could arguably be thrown into the category above but I think it will be tough to squeeze him in during the playoffs. With the starting lineup already having so much size the team could benefit more from giving the bench spots to guards and wings then throwing in another power forward to the mix.

The rest of the guys are just stuck in a situation where they play a position that is at a surplus on this team. Al Horford will be the backup to Joel Embiid so there is no need to throw O’Quin or Pelle into the mix, and Neto could be a mismatch on defense leaving him out of the rotation. 

There is still a lot of time before the league returns and playoffs start, so things could change. But right now this is a good indication as to how the makeup of a potential playoff rotation looks for the Sixers. 

IMG_3860


Section 247 Show: Imperfect- A Discussion about Roy Halladay

247 KG V6

The Doc & Watkins are joined by special guest Bob Sharpe, formerly of Rant Sports, to discuss ESPN's E60 on all-time Phillies great Roy Halladay.  How shocking was the revelation about the extent of Halladay's drug use and did it change their perception on the man they call Doc. 

Plus- -

  • A quick discussion on the current state of Phillies broadcasters
  • Do the MLB & MLBPA plan on playing baseball this year?!?
  • The NBA & NHL are returning but should they?
  • Thoughts on the playoff structures
  • Does it taint a championship
  • Is Watkins now excited for the return of hockey?!

The Section 247 Show live streams on Tuesday Night on Facebook and Twitter.  Join us! 

The Podcast version of the show drops on Wednesday's everywhere you find podcasts just search "Section 247 Show."

 

 


Processed: A Philadelphia 76ers Podcast #16 | Did Iverson Change the Game? Ben Simmons Injury & More

Brodes & D.Rey get into Allen Iverson's birthday as he turns 45. Was he more impactful to the game of basketball or to culture? Also, it's time to start talking about the Xs and Os of hoops now that the "NBA is back!" How does Ben Simmons' injury factor into the Sixers' run? Will Al Horford come off the bench? Will Mike Scott play center at any point? All that and more on this episode of Processed!

 

Process