Sixerdelphia Roundtable: Five Questions for the Upcoming 76ers Season

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With only 21 days until the Philadelphia 76ers' regular season begins, Sixerdelphia managing editor Matt Gregan and staff writers Kevin McCormick, Scott Cashin and Bill Gorman take a stab at answering five questions regarding the upcoming season.

 

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Korkmaz's World Cup Performance May Inspire Breakthrough in 76ers' Rotation

By Bill Gorman, Sports Talk Philly Staff Writer

When the groups for the 2019 FIBA World Cup were announced, many assumed that the USA, placed in a group with Japan, the Czech Republic and Turkey, would dominate with little problem and move on to the round of 16.

No one mentioned this to Turkey when they played the USA team on September 3. Turkey used a stifling zone defense to shut down the Americans in the 2nd half, only to fall victim to poor free-throw shooting at the end of regulation to fall 93-92. Earlier, the Turkish team had handled the Japanese with a 86-67 win in their opener. Unfortunately for the Turks, they were eliminated from championship contention after dropping their group-stage finale to the Czech Republic 91-76.

Philadelphia 76ers guard/forward Furkan Korkmaz was a key piece in the near-upset against the US, scoring 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting (3-of-6 from 3-point range, which will be his calling card in Philadelphia). For the three group stage games, the 22-year old put up a slash line of 14.0/3.7/1.7 on 48.5% shooting (42.9% from three) while playing 26.6 minutes per night.

As one of the main bench pieces for Turkey, Korkmaz showed some of the playmaking and shooting skills he flashed that enticed the 76ers to draft him in the first round of the 2016 NBA draft. His ability to stretch the floor as someone who is both good at shooting off screens as well as being a catch-and-shoot threat could prove to be critical for a team that will need as many good shooters as it can get. If Korkmaz can build on his World Cup performance, it could be a springboard to push him past James Ennis III, Matisse Thybulle and Zhaire Smith in the competition for minutes on the wing off the bench.


76ers' Lack of Representation in 2019 FIBA World Cup Could Prove to be a Negative

Furkan Korkmaz, the Philadelphia 76ers' lone representative in the FIBA World Cup, seen here standing to the right of Turkish Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoglu.

By Bill Gorman, Sports Talk Philly Staff Writer

The 2019 FIBA World Cup will begin on August 31, and as I am sure you’ve heard, a ton of NBA players will be missing from the proceedings. In fact, the entire Philadelphia 76ers roster with the exception of the recently re-signed Furkan Korkmaz (likely to start for the Turkish National Team at shooting guard) will be staying away from China in September.

Let’s dip into the reasons why the 76ers will not be better represented in this year's World Cup, the first qualifying tournament for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. We will start with the American players.

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76ers Roundtable: Most Intriguing Games in 76ers' 2019-20 Schedule

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We asked three of our writers, including Sixerdelphia managing editor Matt Gregan, to name the three most intriguing or interesting games on the Philadelphia 76ers schedule for the upcoming 2019-20 season.

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76ers' Defense Should Improve to Become Top Defense in NBA

By Bill Gorman, Sports Talk Philly Writer

“Defense wins championships.”

From the time I was six years old watching football with my father, this mantra was drilled into my head. Well, that and “Ron Jaworski will be the best quarterback you’ll ever see,” so not everything he said was perfect.

The Philadelphia 76ers’ defense was not bad in 2018-19. The problem was it was not as good as it was in 2017-18, and that led to some late-game meltdowns in losses to teams like the Atlanta Hawks (three times) and the Chicago Bulls that may well have cost the team a chance to be the No. 2 seed in the playoffs. Which means that Kawhi Leonard’s shot would have had to go down in front of a Philadelphia crowd that stepped up big in Games 3 and 6 instead of his much-friendlier Toronto crowd. 

So Elton Brand undertook yet another team makeover, the third since he took over the general manger's job in September of 2018. He traded Jimmy Butler to the Miami Heat, receiving Josh Richardson in return. He signed Al Horford to a four-year contract. He brought back Tobias Harris on a five-year contract and re-signed Mike Scott and James Ennis III. Brand also used the NBA Draft as a conduit to add defensive maven (see below) Matisse Thybulle with the 20th pick in the first round. In addition, he allowed JJ Redick, TJ McConnell, Boban Marjanovic, Greg Monroe and Amir Johnson, all of whom could be described as weaker defenders, to leave via free agency.

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