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).

Report: Nerlens Noel upset with Sixers' situation at center

Report: Nerlens Noel upset with Sixers' situation at center

After being in the middle of trade rumors over the last few months, Nerlens Noel appears to frustrated with his situation with the Sixers, according to the Inquirer's Keith Pompey.

The Sixers have three starting-caliber centers — Noel, Jahlil Okafor and Joel Embiid, who's now healthy — heading into this season.

"I think it's just silly," Noel told Pompey. "With the departure of [former general manager and president] Sam Hinkie, I would have figured that management would be able to set something done this summer.

"Don't get me wrong. We all get along great on the court and off the court. But at the end of the day, it's like having three starting quarterbacks. It doesn't make any sense.

"And it's just not going to work to anybody's advantage having that on the same team. That's how I'm looking at it. I'm not opposed to anything, but things need to be situated."

The Sixers flirted with having two big men on the court at the same time last season, with Noel and Okafor but with no real success. 

He has a point, and the team knows it.

During the summer, reports swirled saying the Sixers were looking to trade either Noel or Okafor for backcourt help.

Noel, who's in the final year of his rookie contract, doesn't appear to believe the current situation will work.

"I think something needs to happen," he said.

Bryan Colangelo: 'Never a period of discomfort' with Sixers' bigs

Bryan Colangelo: 'Never a period of discomfort' with Sixers' bigs

CAMDEN, N.J. — The Sixers on Friday unveiled their brand new, state-of-the-art practice facility in Camden, New Jersey (see story).

Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo, while speaking to media members at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, touched on a variety of topics. That included the team's surplus of big men, an issue that has been years in the making.  

One of the major questions surrounding the Sixers this offseason is how the team plans to utilize all three of its talented young big men in Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor and Joel Embiid. With Embiid finally healthy and on track to play this season, the Sixers have some tough decisions when it comes to balancing playing time as well as maximizing each player's potential.  

There have been rumors throughout the summer that Colangelo has been actively trying to shop either Noel or Okafor because of his discomfort with having three big men on the roster. His comments on Friday cleared up the situation. 

"We're excited for the season. We’re excited to have three, talented young players that can play that position," Colangelo said. "I said something this summer that was somewhat tongue and cheek that was taken so seriously and everybody hung on that one word that I would be uncomfortable going into the season or absolutely uncomfortable, it was literally overstated so many different times. It was never a period of discomfort, in fact, it's actually comfortable knowing we have that much talent there.

"The discomfort comes in trying to manage and maintain the happiness of three talented young players and that’s something that I think will work itself out."

This offseason has been one of transition for the Sixers. The days of "The Process" are long gone, and the Sixers seem poised to finally become a competitive franchise again after years of tanking.

During their summer overhaul, the Sixers brought in nine new players in hopes of forming a roster that features actual NBA-caliber players that could compete on a nightly basis. 

The team now not only features a surplus of bigs, but for the first time in a long time, a healthy balance of talent at each position. 

"The availability of those players is going to be an experiment all season long, not just with the bigs but with this entire team," Colangelo said. "We’ve got a good mix of talent and there's going to be a lot of competition at every position."

Colagelo expressed that under the former regime ran by Sam Hinkie, the Sixers lacked any sort of competitive drive and identity, something that he emphasized greatly when first put in charge. 

"We really have brought some things to this team that I think was sorely lacking," Colangelo said. "One was veteran leadership, whether it's Gerald Henderson, Jerryd Bayless or bringing Elton Brand back. Playmaking ability between Jerryd Bayless, Sergio Rodriquez, Dario Saric coming into the mix, Ben Simmons — these are playmakers as much as they are good basketball players and scorers.

"So we’ve got a good mix of talent, but what we actually have will play itself out on the court in the coming months."