6 observations from Sixers-Hawks

uspresswire-james-anderson-sixers-13114.jpg

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).

Adjusting to new home, Ben Simmons plays role model at Sixers Camp

Adjusting to new home, Ben Simmons plays role model at Sixers Camp

WAYNE, Pa. — Three steps. 

That’s all it takes before Ben Simmons is recognized walking through the streets of Philadelphia. 

This year’s No. 1 pick has been in the spotlight long before the Sixers drafted him in June, and now he's experiencing what it's like to be known as an NBA player in his new city. 

“I’ve been enjoying walking around South Street, getting some Ishkabibble's,” Simmons said Tuesday after a special appearance at the Sixers' Camp at Valley Forge Military Academy. 

At 6-foot-10, Simmons towers above most on the court, let alone on the sidewalk. Fans have been eager to welcome him to Philadelphia for a new chapter of the organization after three years of struggle. 

“Positive things,” Simmons said of the comments he receives. “I think a lot of people are excited, so I’ve been looking forward to it.”

Simmons understands the impact a professional athlete can have on young fans, and was excited to be at camp Tuesday.

Growing up in Australia, he never had the opportunity to hear from NBA players when he attended basketball camps. Now that he's in that position, the 20-year-old was glad to provide that memory to the 240 campers. 

“That would mean a lot if I was able to experience that,” Simmons said. 

Simmons demonstrated skill drills, such as passing fundamentals, interacted in a Q&A session and signed autographs for each camper. He also took individual photos for those who traveled internationally, including from Nigeria, Italy and Greece. 

“I’m just like them, but older,” Simmons said. “I’m just trying to be a good role model to them.”

Simmons plans to spend most of the offseason in Philadelphia as he gets settled into the city. He still has to move into his new home, but at least he knows where to get a cheesesteak in the meantime. 

NBA Notes: Dion Waiters signs 1-year deal with Heat

NBA Notes: Dion Waiters signs 1-year deal with Heat

Two people with knowledge of the situation tell The Associated Press that the Miami Heat have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with free agent guard Dion Waiters.

The two sides came to agreement on Monday. Waiters will make $2.9 million. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the deal.

Waiters averaged 9.8 points for the Oklahoma City Thunder last year, but had several big games in the playoffs. He played particularly well against Dallas and San Antonio in the playoffs before his role was reduced in the seven-game loss to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals.

Waiters will give the Heat another scorer off the bench (see full story).

Blazers: C.J. McCullom inked to four-year extension
PORTLAND, Ore. -- A person familiar with the deal confirms that guard CJ McCollum has agreed to a four-year, $106 million contract extension with the Portland Trail Blazers.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Monday because the deal hadn't been formally announced by the team. It was first reported by Yahoo Sports.

McCollum, who was named the NBA's Most Improved Player, averaged 20.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists for the Blazers during the regular season. He raised his scoring average by more than 14 points over the previous season.

As the 10th overall pick for the Blazers in the 2013 draft, McCollum bided his time on the bench for his first two seasons. He became a starter in the backcourt with Damian Lillard last season after four of the team's starters departed in the offseason (see full story).

Michael Jordan donates $2 million to ease racial tensions
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Michael Jordan is trying to help ease tension between African-Americans and law enforcement.

The NBA great and Charlotte Hornets owner said Monday he's giving $1 million to the Institute for Community-Police Relations and $1 million to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The aim is to help build trust following several shootings around the country.

Jordan says in a statement to The Associated Press on Monday that "as a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers," (see full story).

Sixers officially sign guard Brandon Paul

Sixers officially sign guard Brandon Paul

The Sixers continued to add to their roster Monday, announcing the signing of guard Brandon Paul. 

Paul participated on the Sixers' summer league squad in Las Vegas, where he averaged 10.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 19.5 minutes. He also played for the Hornets in Utah. 

The 25-year-old went undrafted out Illinois in 2013 and has been playing overseas and in the D-League since then. Last season, he led FIATC Joventut (Spain) in scoring with 13.2 points per game. Paul also has been a member of the Canton Charge (D-League) and Nizhny Novgorod (Russia). 

Next season he could play for the Sixers' Development League affiliate, the Delaware 87ers. 

Paul is one of several offseason additions for the Sixers. The team has signed Ben Simmons, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless, Gerald Henderson, Sergio Rodriguez, James Webb III and Shawn Long. The Sixers also have reportedly agreed to a deal with Cat Barber.