Monthly Archives: June 2016

Who Will Represent The Phillies In The All-Star Game?

The 87th MLB All-Star Game is July 12 at Petco Park in San Diego and the Phillies will be sending a representative to the game. Who that representative is remains to be seen.

Let’s face it. There aren’t many options to pick from on this team.

A once promising start has quickly fizzled. The team now sits at 32-45, 12.5 games back in the NL East division.

The pitching staff, once the strength of the team, has been dreadful since mid-May. Aaron Nola has been so-so in what will be his first full MLB season, as he currently owns a 5-7 record with a 4.45 ERA. He’s been disastrous of late, not having gone more than four innings in his last four starts.

Vince Velazquez, who started off the season on a roll, eventually found trouble keeping his pitch count down and subsequently going deep into games, and then landed on the disabled list, putting to rest any chance of him making an All-Star appearance.

Closer Jeanmar Gomez had perhaps the best shot of any Phillie after the start he had to 2016. Gomez was perfect in his first nine save opportunities and saved 12 of the Phils’ first 17 wins to start the year. At one point, Gomez lead the majors with 16 saves and was on-pace to set the MLB single-season saves record. But as the Phillies started to come off their unexpected strong start, Gomez has slowed too, having just two saves in the month of June.

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Free Agent Primer – Point Guards

NBA Free Agency starts on July 1st, and will the salary cap shooting up to $94 million, it will be lit. Colangelo has over $50 million in cap space, and you best believe BC will be spending it. The Sixers need shooters, veterans, and point guards. There are a good number of free agents who can help the squad out in these areas.

Let’s get this out of the way: KD, Conley, Beal and DeRozan aren’t coming to a 10 win team, no matter how much money we throw at them. Try not to be too delusional, Philly. I also think second tier guys like Deron Williams and Ryan Anderson will go somewhere else. And Rajon Rondo is an awful fit for this team, both on the court and off.

Bobby Marks of the Vertical said it best:

“With cap space, a treasure chest of draft picks and some young building blocks, 76ers management needs to get in the business of hitting singles and doubles. Pushing chips to the middle of the table and going hunting for big names is not what Philadelphia should do. If that happens, the 76ers could be back to Square One in the rebuilding process.”

I think Colangelo should and will spend most of his attention looking for “glue guys”, specifically guys who can fill in at point guard and on the wing. Brett Brown may have a heart attack if he brings in any more big guys.

The wing market is much more appealing than the point guard market, but there are still a few options the Sixers could weigh in on at this position. When looking at point guards, Colangelo should be looking at a player who can run the offense in the half court while also being able to knock down a jumper.

Brett Brown would prefer a vet run point guard duties while Ben spends most possessions off ball as he catches up to the speed of the game. But eventually, either Ben Simmons or one of our likely top-10 picks next year should be the point guard of this team, so BC shouldn’t look at free agency to find his long-term starting point, even if one existed. Basically, we’re looking to find the Sixers version of Chase Daniel.

Here are my top 5 point guards that make sense, in order:

1. Matthew Dellavedova

Age Points per 36 Assists per 36 3P%
Matthew Dellavedova 25 11.6 6.5 41
epaselect epa04766667 Jeff Teague (L) and Kent Bazemore (R) of the Atlanta Hawks fight for a loose ball with Cleveland Cavaliers Matthew Dellavedova of Australia (C) during the second half of their NBA Eastern Conference Finals game 3 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, 24 May 2015. EPA/DAVID MAXWELL CORBIS OUT

(www.sbs.com.au)

Delly is a great fit. He’s Austrailian, he brings #GRIT and has a #WinningMentality. He can shoot, pass, and piss off the other team’s point guard. Plus, he’ll be our designated hit-the-other-team’s-star-player-in-the-nuts guy. If Ben becomes our point or we find a dude in next year’s draft, Delly would fit in nicely as our back-up. The dude’s a human rampage.

Unfortunately, he’s a restricted free agent, which means he’ll likely remain a Cav unless they’re cool with incoming rookie Kay Felder getting significant minutes.

2. Jeremy Lin

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Sixers Draft Grades From Major Outlets

Everyone has an opinion. Here we give you a compiled list of the Sixers draft grades from some of the major sports outlets around the nation. Enjoy.


Yahoo!

1. Ben Simmons| SF/PF | LSU
Freshman | 19 | 6-10, 239
The lowdown:
Explosive, athletic, left-handed forward with tremendous versatility and instincts. Outstanding in the open floor and around the rim. Absolutely stuffed the stat sheet a year ago with his ability to rebound and create for others. Didn’t always play with a sense of urgency as his team struggled, particularly on the defensive end. Questions remain about his ability to score in the half court with his limitations as a jump shooter, but is a highly unique talent with his ability to handle and pass the ball.
Y Sports grade: B+

24. Philadelphia 76ers (from Miami)
Timothe Luwawu | SG/SF | Mega Leks, Adriatic League
21 | 6-7, 205
The lowdown: Long and athletic French wing who played in Serbia and showed improvement offensively. Made shots and showed far more creativity off the dribble than he did just a year ago. Remains streaky as a shooter and has a lot of things to clean up as a decision-maker and slasher. Has excellent potential defensively, but lacks polish.
Y Sports grade: B

26. Philadelphia 76ers (from Oklahoma City)
Furkan Korkmaz | SG | Anadolu Efes, Turkish League
18 | 6-7, 185
The lowdown: Skinny shooting guard with nice size and a sweet stroke. Has experience as a role player at the highest levels of European basketball despite his relative youth. Terrific spot-up threat who can run very hot from the perimeter. Very intelligent player who knows how to fill a role. Not a fast-twitch athlete, which limits him as a shot creator and defender. Needs to get stronger.
Y Sports grade: C+


USA Today

Simmons. Grade: A

Analysis: Ben Simmons has as much upside as anyone in the draft, and he could wind up a perennial All-Star, but there were legitimate questions about his leadership at LSU. The last time the 76ers had the No. 1 pick they took Allen Iverson. That worked out pretty well. Trust the process, as they say.

Luwawu. Grade: B+

Analysis: A long, athletic wing who can jump out of the gym? Sure, the Sixers will gladly take that, even if his perimeter shooting isn’t where it needs to be yet. He might not have an immediate impact for a team that just spent their first overall pick on Ben Simmons at the same position, but his value is certainly there.

Korkmaz. Grade: A-

Analysis: Korkmaz is an excellent scorer with outstanding offensive instincts, but his defense is still a work in progress. A good ball-handler with slashing ability, the 76ers can afford to be patient with him given that they’re not close to contention.


Fox Sports

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DelcoDelphia’s 2016 NBA Mock Draft

Draft Day is finally here y’all, and we are hours away from selecting a potential franchise player in Ben Simmons to pair with our other potential franchise player, Joel Hans Embiid. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah Amen.

The first 2 picks are the most important in determining the future of the league, but they will also be the least dramatic. After these two picks, expect a total shit show, with dopey ass Jay Bilas filling in as the “expert” (Gimme Fran Fraschilla ALL DAY), Nets fans who are there just to be there (they have no picks) and a bunch of trades.

Literally every pick from #3 to #8 has been shopped, and it’s not hard to see why. This class is viewed as relatively weak after the top 2 players. AKA, every player after the big 2 would need to exceed expectations to be an All-Star. I’m very happy we landed at 1.

There is a clusterfuck of players who could go as high as 10 and as low as 30, meaning many teams at the top will be looking to move down and get a guy they want and an extra pick or player. Also, the Celtics have 4 first round picks, and the Sixers, Suns, and Nuggets each have 3. These teams will be wheelin and dealin’. It’s going to be exciting.

So that’s basically one long way of saying, my mock will be wrong. Most mocks will be wrong. Mock drafts are 90% wrong anyway, but with so much action and movement, us mockers will look extra dumb as hell this year. Still, I had to do one. And as dumb as it is, I tried to throw in some possible trades to at least make it fun and give a sense of what teams might be looking to do.

As the great Kel of “Keenan and Kel” used to say… AWWWW HERE IT GOES!

P.S. I know that dude had his problems, but he was great. Way better than Keenan. Keenan’s been the 5th funniest dude at SNL for 15 years now.

1. Sixers

Ben Simmons – PG/PF, LSU

Simmons had a private workout in Philly and will be the top pick. He quelled character concerns in his interview, and Brett Brown said that his shot is fixable. Ben’s the kind of prospect Hinkie’s process was geared towards. A guy who can help you compete for titles. Fuckin’ Right.

2. Lakers

Brandon Ingram – SG/SF, Duke

There are some who think the Lakers could move D’Angelo Russell for a top 5 pick to get Buddy Hield. But as far as the #2 pick goes, it’s Ingram. He has the makings of a great two way player and can be the face of the Lakers’ franchise for years.

3. Nuggets (via Boston)

The Nuggets trade Faried, 7, and 15 for the 3rd pick and RJ Hunter.

Dragan Bender – PF, Maccabi Tel Aviv

Who knows what happens here. The Sixers have been going hard after this pick, especially as interest in Dunn has heated up in Boston. But I don’t think they select Dunn if they stay, so why wouldn’t the Sixers trade for 4 or 6 instead? Both teams have shown some interest in Okafor. If the Celtics stay, which is unlikely, I think it could be Bender/Chriss/Brown or Dunn in that order. They’d be fine with moving down, especially if they can get a big man.

So I’ll go for it and say they trade this pick to Denver, who would love to have Bender and have assets to move up. Some NBA guys believe Bender might actually be the second best player, behind Simmons. And he fits in well with stud rookie Nikola Jokic.

4. Sixers (via Phoenix) (Ohhhhh shit!)

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Boom or Bust – Recent History of the First Overall Pick

As far back as last year Ben Simmons was the consensus number one pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. Far too many times these draft “experts” tag a guy as a can’t miss prospect then 5 years later he’s a role player. For the sake of the Sixers we all hope Ben Simmons turns into the superstar that many think he is capable of being.

According to ESPN Analytics, Simmons has a 35% chance to be a bust, a 25% chance to be an All-Star, a 20% chance to be a starter and a 20% chance to be a bench player. Of the top players in the draft Simmons has the second highest bust percentage after Jaylen Brown but he also has the highest All-Star percentage where he is tied with Brandon Ingram. I’m not crazy about analytics but those numbers worry me a bit.

For our sample we’ll use the 10 drafts from 2004-2013. Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins don’t seem to be busts but it’s too early to define their careers.

2013 – Anthony Bennett – Bust

This was an all around horrible draft with no clear cut number one. With that being said, Bennett is the worst player taken in top 15 of this class. The two standouts so far have been CJ McCollum and Giannis who were taken at 10 and 15 respectively. Bennett is one of the biggest draft busts of my lifetime along with Oden, Bargnani and Kwame Brown.

2012 – Anthony Davis – Star

He was one of the can’t miss prospects and he has not disappointed. The Brow is turning into one of the best players in the league. He is a top tier defender and his offensive game has improved by leaps and bounds since he entered the NBA. An MVP award is in his near future which is the ultimate goal when you’re drafting first overall.

2011 – Kyrie Irving – Star

Kyrie is coming of a title where he was spectacular in The Finals scoring 27 a game and ending the series on his clutch step-back 3. Kyrie’s offensive game is second to none, he can get to the rim, shoot and his handles are incredible. His defense leaves much to be desired but he is still a star in this league. While Kyrie is great, Kawhi Leonard is the best player to come out of this draft so far.

2010 – John Wall – Push

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Beware of Jamal Murray

There’s been a lot of chatter surrounding Kentucky guard Jamal Murray recently, notably by his own coach. On paper, it’s not hard to see why. He averaged 20 points and 5 rebounds a game as a freshman at one of the biggest schools in the country. He’s projected to go as high as number 3 in mock drafts.

The Sixers and Celtics have been rumored to be possible trade partners since the lottery, with many reports indicating a deal being discussed involving one of the Sixers’ bigs and the 3rd overall pick. The Sixers would theoretically select a guard with this pick—either Kris Dunn or Jamal Murray. Most fans are on board with this idea, as the Sixers clearly need shooting, which is Murray’s best skill.

However, there is much more to it than “he’s a shooter, we need shooting, let’s do it.” I think Murray will be one of the most over-drafted players in this year’s draft. The more I consider his skill set and profile, the more red flags I see.

First, I disagree with the ideology that since he’s a freshman, his stock should be higher. I understand and buy into the significance of age when looking at NBA prospects- this is a good read if you’re interested. But I don’t think this applies to all players. I think the skills a player has are much more important to note than their age.

Usually, the players that see improvement after age 19 are big and/or athletic but haven’t grown into their size. As they fill out, they become more dexterous and in-tune with their skills. This includes shooting. These players- young guys with size but not much skill– are often underdrafted. Two easy examples are Kawhi Leonard and Giannis Antetonkounmpo. Likewise, players with skills but lacking size and athleticism are often over-drafted. Some easy examples are Trey Burke, Jimmer Fredette, and Doug McDermott. These guys were great shooters in college, but lacked athleticism and size. Unsurprisingly, they didn’t get any faster or better at shooting in the NBA.

Murray is not likely to improve significantly as he gets older because he’s already highly skilled. His most obvious (and only?) skill is shooting, which is the most easily developed skill once players get NBA coaching and training.

The only skill I see Murray improving as he gets older is his passing ability. This should develop as he adjusts to the speed of the NBA (and it just as easily could get worse). Other than that, I don’t see much more potential growth. He’s already a great shooter, so any improvement there would only marginally boost his impact on the game. The chances he becomes more athletic as he gets older are slim-to-none. So his flaws in college will likely continue in the NBA. I think his flaws will be exposed, because that’s what the NBA does. These flaws are:

Defense

I argued why defense is underrated a few weeks back. Likewise, players who don’t add value on defense are often overrated. Murray is not a good defender, and that’s not for lack of trying. He gives good effort on the defensive end, but his average athleticism and smaller build hinder his defensive ability. Murray had a defensive rating of 102.6, which was the second worst on his team among players who played more than 10 minutes a game (the only guy lower? Ulis again). He will have to be hidden on defense. So Murray’s value lies on the offensive end. But he has significant flaws there, too.

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Prospect Profile – Jake Thompson

Jake Thompson

Phillies Prospect Rank: 3

Top 100 Prospects Rank: 51

Team: Lehigh Valley Ironpigs (AAA)

Position: SP

Throws: R

Bats: R

Drafted: 2012, 2nd (91st overall) by DET

Age: 22

Date of Birth: 1/31/1994

Height: 6’4’’

Weight: 235

MLB Comparison: John Smoltz

Estimated Pro: 2016

Continuing with our prospect profile series, we’ll now dissect Lehigh Valley Ironpigs righty Jake Thompson.

We recently took a look at former Ironpigs’ hurler Zach Eflin, who just last week earned a promotion to the show (and was subsequently massacred in 3.2 innings by the Toronto Blue Jays in his MLB debut), and Jake Thompson could be the next to go from the ‘Pigs to the bigs.

Thompson was one of the prizes in a horde of talent that came over from the Texas Rangers organization for Phillie hero Cole Hamels last July, and has been as advertised in his short time in the Phillies system.

A second round pick of the Detroit Tigers in 2012, Thompson was chosen 14 picks after Phillies second rounder Dylan Cozens, and just two picks ahead of Nick Williams, who came over to the Phils with Thompson last summer. The Tigers had shipped Thompson to the Rangers at the 2014 trade deadline in 2014 in exchange for closer Joakim Soria.

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Re-Drafting Last 10 Sixers First Round Selections

Sometimes the draft is about who has the best scouting department, other times teams just get lucky. Here we will take a look back at who the Sixers took with their first pick in each of the last 10 drafts and compare it to who would’ve been the right selection if they could’ve predicted the future. Hindsight is always 20/20 so this is easy to do now, but it’s interesting to look at what could have been.

2015 Draft

Who we took: Jahlil Okafor (3rd Overall)

Who we should’ve taken: Kristaps Porzingis (went 4th Overall)

At the time Okafor was the correct pick. There were rumors that the Sixers really liked Porzingis and we can all see why. Porzingis is a beast. He’s a legitimate 7 footer, can space the floor on offense with his jump-shot, attacks the rim with reckless abandon and can be a force on defense with his length and shot blocking. Okafor is a great low post scorer but that’s about it. It’s clear that he won’t be able to coincide with Embiid and Noel. Porzingis would have a better chance to do so because he can play on the perimeter more-so than Jah. Imagine a starting 3-4-5 of Simmons, Porzingis and Embiid. That would be absolutely filthy.

2014 Draft

Who we took: Joel Embiid (1st Overall)

We we should’ve taken: Joel Embiid

The Sixers got it right here. Leading up to draft day it looked as if this selection would be Andrew Wiggins which everyone would’ve been ecstatic about. Embiid was in line to go first overall to the Cavaliers but then he got hurt and slipped to us. While he obviously has not seen the court yet, the potential is through the roof. He’s another legitimate 7 footer with an all around game that is hard to find in a guy of his size. People say he could be the next Olajuwon and if that’s the case, Philly is in for a treat for years to come. We just gotta hope JoJo can stay healthy.

2013 Draft

Who we took: Michael Carter Williams (11th Overall)

Who we should’ve taken: Giannis Antetokounmpo (went 15th Overall)

Don’t forget that we also ended up with Nerlens Noel in this draft. I would also take Giannis over him. MCW won Rookie of the Year but he played on one of the worst teams in history. Someone has to put up numbers. It’s been proven over the last few years that he’s just not an NBA caliber starting point guard. He has nice length and defends well but he can’t shoot and has ultimately been a reserve in Milwaukee. The Greek Freak is an intriguing prospect. He’s only 21 years old and averaged 17, 7 and 4 last year. Standing at 6’11” with a 7’3″ wingspan alongside crazy athleticism are a few of the reasons Giannis is soon to be a star in this league. He can guard multiple positions on defense and is a match-up nightmare on offense. I would’ve loved to see him play on Broad Street.

2012 Draft

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Phillies-Twins Preview

After getting swept out of their six game home stand following their latest loss on Monday to the D-Backs, the Phils head out West to take on the Minnesota Twins for a three game set of inter-league action at Target Field in Minneapolis.  Like the Phils, the Twins are in the middle of a rebuild and have struggled mightily so far this season to the tune of the worst record in the Big Leagues.  This three game set of League bottom feeders won’t do much in shaping up the postseason picture, but it is nevertheless an important series for this young Phillies who look to try and get back in the win column against the lowly Twins.

While the Phils haven’t reached the same level of bad as the Twins, the month of June has not been kind to Pete Mackanin’s squad. All of the small things that were winning the team games in April and May, giving us all a glimmer of hope for a summer of meaningful baseball, have quickly dropped off.  The days of squeaking out one run wins night in and night out are over, and it looks like we’re back to where everyone thought we’d be with this year’s edition of the Phillies.  The offense has dried up to almost nonexistence, the pitching has struggled without any real run support, and the stench of losing has once again seemed to hit the club house.  Things have gotten so bad down at the Bank lately, that even the Nuns need a few tall boys to tolerate watching this offense.

Nuns Phillies

Probable Pitching Match-ups:

6/21: Aaron Nola v. Tyler Duffey

6/22: Adam Morgan v. Kyle Gibson

6/23: Jerad Eickhoff v. Tommy Milone

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Ten Players the Sixers Should Take at 24 and 26

The Sixers have the 24th and 26th picks in this draft from trades with the Heat and Thunder. These picks could have conveyed last year at higher spots, but MIA and OKC were just bad enough to keep them. The good news is there’s not much separating picks 10 and 30 in this draft. Mock drafts endorse this notion, as there is a lot of variation between where players will go.

Below are 10 players I’d be happy with on draft night, in order. Most of these are guards, but not all. I don’t care how many big guys you have, teams with 10 wins do not draft for fit.

Also, I omitted players that I’m confident will be top 20 picks. This includes Furkan Korkmaz, Timothe Luwawu, Wade Baldwin and Denzel Valentine. If any of those mf’ers fall and Bryan doesn’t pick em, he should be fired.

Taurean Prince- SF, Baylor

Prince has been mocked to go top 20, but who knows. He’s 6’8, kinda lanky, athletic, and has a sweet looking shot. Prince posted great defensive numbers two seasons ago and very good shooting numbers last season as his role on the team expanded. If he can consistently combine those two skillsets, he would be a great 3-and-D guy. I explained the rarity and value of 6’8 3-and-D guys here.

There’s also this, which would make him and the Philly media and interesting combo:

Patrick McCaw- SG, UNLV

McCaw’s a 6’6 sophomore shooting guard with really good 3 and D potential. He shot well in college and got better as the season went on, and looked great at the combine. He’s probably the best defensive shooting guard in this draft. I’d be surprised if he falls to 24, and would be ecstatic if we got him.

Malik Beasley- SG, Florida State

Beasley has Jimmy Butler type steal potential. He has a great combination of athleticism and shooting. He also has bust potential, since he isn’t a great passer and didn’t have great defensive numbers. I’d feel better about him going forward if he got to the rim more, but I still think he’d be a great fit with the Sixers. I’d take him over Jamal Murray.

Isaia Cordinier- SG, France

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