6 observations from Sixers-Hawks

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6 observations from Sixers-Hawks

The Sixers started January with back-to-back wins, but they weren’t able to finish the month the same way.

Atlanta smacked the Sixers around, 125-99, Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center despite a big night from Thad Young (see Instant Replay).

Here are a few observations from the game:

1. Young and restless
Fresh off his All-Star snub, Young played like he wanted to prove something to Atlanta’s newly-named All-Star Paul Millsap and the rest of the NBA. Young had 23 points in the first half on his way to 29 on 11 for 19 shooting.

Had the game not been such a blowout, Young likely would have logged more minutes and had more chances to score.

Nevertheless, Young’s production dwarfed the rest of his teammates. During the first quarter, Young had six of the Sixers’ seven field goals. For the first half, Young shot 8 for 14 while the rest of the team went a combined 9 for 26.

Through three quarters Young had 29 points on 11 for 18 shooting while the other four starters combined to shoot 5 for 22 for 16 points.

Ouch.

2. He keeps going and going and going and going …
Former Sixers sharpshooter Kyle Korver made three three-pointers for the Hawks to extend his NBA-record streak to 114 straight games with a three-pointer. Korver also made both of the free throws he attempted and has hit 25 in a row.

Korver has not missed a foul shot since Dec. 10 and is 40 for 43 (93 percent) this season.

3. Old Man River keeps rollin’
Heading into Friday night’s game, ex-Sixer Elton Brand had not scored more than 10 points in a game this season and logged more than 20 minutes just five times. But in 23 minutes against his old team, the “beat up old Chevy” scored a season-high 18 points with eight rebounds.

4. Button your lip
For as much complaining as coach Brett Brown does about the Sixers’ complaining on the court, one would think the message would seep through. Instead, the mouthy Sixers paid the price with two more technical fouls Friday night.

Spencer Hawes picked up his seventh technical of the season, which is the third-most in the NBA. Evan Turner got technical No. 4 for the season and his second this week.

5. Loooooooooou!
Before the game, former Sixer Lou Williams said he likely would not be 100 percent recovered from ACL surgery until next season. As a result, Williams said he is using this season, “to learn some new things.”

While Williams learns those new things, he hasn’t lost his penchant for firing up shots.

In 21 minutes, Williams scored 12 points on 10 shots, including 5 for 5 from the foul line.

6. Dedmon walking?
In what could be his last game with the Sixers as his 10-day contract is set to expire Saturday, center Dewayne Dedmon scored a basket, grabbed four rebounds and blocked three shots in 16 minutes.

Though the contract is set to expire, it seems as if the Sixers will keep Dedmon around (see story).

Sixers free-agent fits: Point guards

Sixers free-agent fits: Point guards

Over the course of this week, we will look at the Sixers' free-agent possibilites at each position. First up is point guard.

Sixers point guards for 2016-17
T.J. McConnell (non-guaranteed, $874,636)

Kendall Marshall (non-guaranteed, $2,048,257)

Current PG situation
The Sixers' biggest hole is at the point guard spot. Brett Brown has deemed this position the most important on the court, yet it has been the most changing. 

Last season, the Sixers did not establish a consistent starting point guard until they re-acquired Ish Smith in December. Smith wasn't brought in as the long-term point guard of the future, though. He is an unrestricted free agent again this summer and should receive interest from other teams after a solid season stepping into the starting role. 

There are several young point guards on the market, but the Sixers would benefit the most from bringing in someone with veteran experience to be a leader on the court. While incoming rookie Ben Simmons can play point-forward, the team plans to start him off at the four spot and let him learn the NBA first before assigning him ball-handling duties. With that in mind, a good free-agent fit would be able to play off the ball when Simmons does run the floor. 

Of the current players, McConnell has developed into a backup option after emerging as the sleeper of last season's team. The Sixers would be getting a bargain with his contract value (see below). The sparingly-utilized Marshall has a non-guaranteed deal at just over $2 million for next season and the team could get more return spending that money elsewhere. 

Reach free agent
Mike Conley (unrestricted)

Even in spite of his injuries, Conley is the best point guard available in free agency. He averaged 15.3 points, 6.1 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.5 turnovers for the Grizzlies last season. Conley has a high basketball IQ and is playoff-tested. He will garner big money on the market, and the Sixers are not necessarily looking to break the bank this summer to fill the role. Conley could stay with the Grizzlies, who put together a Justin Timberlake-led video to express their interest in keeping him. He will turn 29 in October. 

Possible fits
Matthew Dellavedova (restricted, $1,434,095 qualifying offer)
Could there be another Australian on the Sixers next season? Brown, who coached there, is a fan of Dellavedova's game. Dellavedova, 25, averaged 7.5 points, 4.4 assists and 2.1 rebounds for the championship-winning Cavaliers. Dellavedova could have double value to the Sixers: he could run the floor and give Simmons a sense of familiarity being from Australia. 

Jeremy Lin (unrestricted)
Lin was a backup for the Hornets last season and could earn a paycheck this summer as a starter. He would like to find a long-term team, which may not fit into the Sixers' plans for the future. Lin, though, does have six years of experience and averaged 11.7 points, 3.0 assists and 3.2 rebounds mostly off the bench for the Hornets. 

Greivis Vasquez (unrestricted)
Vasquez's sixth season was cut short after only 23 games because of foot surgery last December. Coming off of injury, could he be available at a discount? When healthy, he is a high-energy ball handler. Vasquez averaged 5.7 points, 4.0 assists and 2.0 rebounds per game last season. 

Ben Simmons favorite to win Rookie of Year, Joel Embiid not far behind

Ben Simmons favorite to win Rookie of Year, Joel Embiid not far behind

Last week, the Sixers used the No. 1 overall pick to take Ben Simmons out of LSU. 

This week, Simmons is the favorite to be the NBA's Rookie of the Year in 2017, according to Bovada

Simmons, 6-10, 242 pounds, beat out Buddy Hield (11/2), Brandon Ingram (13/2), Kris Dunn (15/2) and Jamal Murray and Denzel Valentine (both 12/1) among the top six. 

Right after them? Joel Embiid. Embiid was the Sixers' third overall pick in 2014, but foot injuries haven't allowed him to play in either of his first two NBA seasons. Now 22, Embiid's odds to become Rookie of the Year are 14/1. 

The last Sixer to win Rookie of the Year was Michael Carter-Williams in 2013-14. He was the last since Allen Iverson in 1996-97. 

Here are this year's full Rookie of the Year odds from Bovada:  

Ben Simmons (PHI)

13/4

Buddy Hield (NO)

11/2

Brandon Ingram (LAL)  

13/2

Kris Dunn (MIN)    

15/2

Jamal Murray (DEN) 

12/1

Denzel Valentine (CHI) 

12/1

Joel Embiid (PHI) 

14/1

Wade Baldwin (MEM)

16/1

Marquese Chriss (PHO) 

16/1

Thon Maker (MIL)     

16/1

Taurean Prince (ATL)      

16/1

Dragan Bender (PHO)    

20/1

Jaylen Brown (BOS)

20/1

Brice Johnson (LAC)   

20/1

Caris LeVert (BKN)   

20/1

Malachi Richardson 

20/1

Jakob Poeltl (TOR)    

25/1

Domantas Sabonis (OKC) 

28/1

 

Cousin of Sixers' Ben Simmons killed in hit-and-run accident Saturday

Cousin of Sixers' Ben Simmons killed in hit-and-run accident Saturday

The cousin of Sixers No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons was killed in a hit-and-run accident early Saturday morning.

Zachary Simmons, 21, was struck by a black SUV around 3:30 a.m., CBS New York initially reported. Ben Simmons confirmed the death of his cousin on Twitter.

Zachary Simmons' mother, Monique Steel, said she was told by police that the driver was going at least 70 miles an hour. She also told CBS2 in New York that her son was out Friday for a friend's birthday and was celebrating the night before with his first cousin, Ben, following the NBA draft.

Investigators are analyzing pieces of the SUV and checking surveillance video in attempt to find the driver.

Ben Simmons, a native of Australia, has roots in New York where his father Dave was born.