5 observations from Sixers-Wizards


5 observations from Sixers-Wizards


After the surprising 3-0 start to the season, the Sixers have dropped two straight after Wednesday’s 116-102 loss to the Washington Wizards at the Wells Fargo Center (see Instant Replay).

The Wizards got a bit of revenge from last Friday when they coughed up a second-half lead of 14 point to lose by seven points in their home opener.

Perhaps Wednesday’s performance was more like what we can expect from the Sixers this season with plenty of points and lots of turnovers.

Here are a few interesting tidbits from the game against the Wizards:

1. MCW vs. John Wall, Part II
It was a much different battle between the point guards than last Friday. Instead of a free-flowing first half where John Wall lit up the scoreboard, the Sixers were able to contain him … somewhat.

Wall scored 24 points on five three-pointers with nine assists and one turnover. He spread out the scoring, too, as opposed to getting 23 of his 26 points in the first half last Friday. Wall scored nine points in the first half, 12 more in the third quarter and three in the fourth.

Michael Carter-Williams turned in another solid performance, hitting for 19 points on 8-for-21 shooting with seven assists and five rebounds. However, the rookie struggled with his shooting, going 3 for 9 on shots longer than 15-feet.

2. Running into trouble
It’s no secret, the Sixers want to run at every opportunity. Headed into Wednesday’s game the Sixers averaged 105 points per game and 50.5 percent of those came in the paint.

But with the up-tempo style, a team is prone to mistakes. The Sixers averaged 19 turnovers per game headed into Wednesday only to turn it over 21 more times.

For now coach Brett Brown will live the turnovers,

“I’m willing to let the young guys run and live with the mistakes,” Brown said before the game.

3. Anderson hits a few
Four-year veteran James Anderson has struggled with his outside shooting through the first four games of the season, hitting just 7 of 24, including 4 for 14 from three-point range.

In Wednesday’s game Anderson scored 14 points on 5-for-10 shooting with two three-pointers.

Anderson’s shooting is an important development for the Sixers. If he can hit shots at a respectable clip, he’ll create better spacing on offense.

4. Nene returns
After missing two straight games with a calf injury, Wizards power forward Nene returned to the lineup. Though the veteran big man created trouble for the Sixers in the paint and created more shots for center Marcin Gortat (19 points, 12 boards), Nene’s presence didn’t show in the rebounding column.

The Sixers out-rebounded the Wizards 30-16 during the first half, even though they trailed by nine points and won the battle on the glass, 62-49. Nene had five boards.

Nene made a difference elsewhere on the stat sheet, though. With Nene on the sidelines, the Sixers scored 74 points in the paint in last Friday’s victory. On Wednesday with Nene hanging around, the Sixers got 42 points in the paint.

5. Hawes stays consistent
It’s a contract year, so the numbers matter for Spencer Hawes. The Sixers’ lone 7-footer had 23 points, 13 rebounds and five assists for his third double-double of the season.

Report: Nerlens Noel expected out 3-5 weeks after left knee surgery

Report: Nerlens Noel expected out 3-5 weeks after left knee surgery

It appears the Sixers' frontcourt logjam may not be an issue early on.

Nerlens Noel, who is having surgery Monday for an inflamed plica in his left knee, will miss the first three to five weeks of the season, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Noel suffered a left groin injury in the first preseason game against the Celtics and missed the rest of the preseason. While undergoing treatment, Noel reported left knee soreness, which led to the discovery of the inflamed plica.

It's been an odd start to the season for Noel. The big man was outspoken about his displeasure with the Sixers' frontcourt situation early in camp. With the deadline for Noel's rookie contract extension approaching on Oct. 31, the team has not had conversations about it, according to a report.

The Sixers are already without No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons as he recovers from surgery to repair a Jones fracture in his right foot. The team will also be without their starting point guard Jerryd Bayless who is dealing with a ligament issue in his left wrist. Bayless won't require surgery and will be reevaluated in two weeks.

Anthem singer at Sixers-Heat game kneels during performance

Anthem singer at Sixers-Heat game kneels during performance

MIAMI — A woman performing the national anthem before an NBA preseason game in Miami on Friday night did so while kneeling at midcourt, and opening her jacket to show a shirt with the phrase "Black Lives Matter."

The singer was identified by the Heat as Denasia Lawrence. It was unclear if she remained in the arena after the performance, and messages left for her were not immediately returned.

Heat players and coaches stood side-by-side for the anthem, all with their arms linked as has been their custom during the preseason. Many had their heads down as Lawrence sang, and the team released a statement saying it had no advance knowledge that she planned to kneel.

"We felt as a basketball team that we would do something united, so that was our focus," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Throughout all of this, I think the most important thing that has come out is the very poignant, thoughtful dialogue. We've had great dialogue within our walls here and hopefully this will lead to action."

The anthem issue has been a major topic in the sports world in recent months, starting with the decision by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to not stand for its playing. Kaepernick cited racial injustice and police brutality among the reasons for his protest, and athletes from many sports -- and many levels, from youth all the way to professional -- have followed his lead in various ways.

"All I can say is what we've seen in multiple preseason games so far is our players standing for the national anthem," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in New York earlier Friday, at a news conference following the league's board of governors meetings. "It would be my hope that they would continue to stand for the national anthem. I think that is the appropriate thing to do."

The NBA has a rule calling for players and coaches to stand during the anthem.

Heat guard Wayne Ellington often speaks about the need to curb gun violence, after his father was shot and killed two years ago. He had his eyes closed for most of the anthem Friday, as per his own custom, though was aware of Lawrence's actions.

"At the end of the day, to each his own," Ellington said. "If she feels like that's the way she wants to stand for it, then more power to her."

Making a statement in the manner that Lawrence did Friday is rare, but not unheard of in recent weeks.

When the Sacramento Kings played their first home preseason game earlier this month, anthem singer Leah Tysse dropped to one knee as she finished singing the song.

Tysse is white. Lawrence is black.

"I love and honor my country as deeply as anyone yet it is my responsibility as an American to speak up against injustice as it affects my fellow Americans," Tysse wrote on Facebook. "I have sung the anthem before but this time taking a knee felt like the most patriotic thing I could do. I cannot idly stand by as black people are unlawfully profiled, harassed and killed by our law enforcement over and over and without a drop of accountability."