Bobcats vs. Sixers: Save Yourself, Evan Turner

Bobcats vs. Sixers: Save Yourself, Evan Turner

Let me make this clear in no uncertain terms: I support no trade
scenario that Tony DiLeo could possibly devise that would include the
shipping out of Evan Turner. Forget Basketball Reasons, though I do
think ET is a good basketball player and one worth sticking wtih—more
imporantly, I have lived and died with every song thing Evan Turner has
done for the last two-and-half seasons now, and I am 100% unwilling to
give up on him, regardless of the impact it may have on our basketball
team. If, as that fink Marc Stein reports,
the Sixers are shopping the Extraterrestrial, and if they end up
dealing him, I will never trust this franchise (or myself, or anything)
ever again.

Of course, emotional considerations aside, it would
be nice if Evan gave the Sixers some legit on-court reasons not to want
to part with him. Since scoring 20+ in three games straight for the
first time in his career, Evan has been absolutely abysmal shooting the
ball, even by Slumping Evan Turner standards, averaging five a game on
25% FG. Hard to say whether these trade rumors will light a fire under
him and cause him to play with some focus, or send him into an even
further emotional tailspin—as always, anything is possible with the
Villain—but he'll certainly get his chance against the 11-38 Bobcats
(and #2 pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist) tonight, as the Sixers will again
be shorthanded on offense without Thaddeus Young or Jason Richardson,
the latter now officially out for the season.

8:00 tip from the WFC. Don't let them take our love away, Evan.

Sixers being cautious with Jahlil Okafor early in training camp

Sixers being cautious with Jahlil Okafor early in training camp

GALLOWAY, N.J. — The Sixers lost Jahlil Okafor for the final 23 games last season because of a small meniscus tear in his right knee. Now they are being cautious as he prepares for his second year.

As part of the Sixers’ prescheduled load management for Okafor, he participated in a portion of practice and then worked out individually with head strength and conditioning coach Todd Wright.

“They just told me to relax once I did what they wanted me to do today,” Okafor said. “I was off to the sidelines. I feel fine. I’ll be good tomorrow.”

Okafor learned during his first NBA season that he should speak more openly with the staff about his body.

“Communication is key,” he said. “I think last year I didn’t really communicate how I was feeling, so I wasn’t able to get the help I needed.”

The team held three practice sessions in the first two days of training camp. Okafor said he knew the Sixers would be cautious with his workload. He is poised to improve upon his rookie year in which he averaged 17.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in 53 games last season.

“I’m 100 percent healthy,” he said. “I’m all good.”

Joel Embiid adjusting to new challenges in 1st NBA training camp

Joel Embiid adjusting to new challenges in 1st NBA training camp

GALLOWAY, N.J. -- With Joel Embiid's excitement to be on the court following two years of injuries comes the reality of his lengthy setback.

Embiid is participating in his first NBA training camp this week. While he has impressed with his natural abilities and improved skills, Embiid is facing challenges as he gets accustomed to the league.

"Everything is kind of off right now as far as catching the ball or shooting," Embiid said after practice Wednesday. "I've still got to get in the flow of the game."

Embiid has yet to play since being drafted in 2014. For the past two years he has worked out individually and in controlled settings. Practices, even in training camp, are different. 

"You see all the time when you realize he hasn't played basketball for a long time," Sixers head coach Brett Brown said. "He's trying to gather his feet and find his balance, he's trying to figure out stuff in real time speed on defensive assignments and rotations."

On Wednesday, Embiid went through practice without any minute restrictions and was feeling healthier from the cold and virus he had been battling (see story). Teammates have praised his physical presence and eagerness to compete. He makes an impact with his 7-foot-2 presence alone, but there is more he wants to improve. 

Embiid is adjusting to the speed of the game. He has been facing challenges with getting the ball in the post and spoke to the coaches about his frustrations. The staff explained they are focusing on pick-and-roll defense and getting out to run during training camp, but he will get that desired location in game situations. 

“You continue to see the size of Joel Embiid,” Brown said. “He's a big man and he's got a mindset to back up his physical gifts. He really wants the ball. He wants to get deep catches. He wants to dunk on people.”

Embiid always has been realistic about his transition to his rookie season. He has pointed out many times that he is a fast learner, and is anxious to soak up new knowledge and apply it to the court.

"It's really frustrating," he said. "But like I've said, you've got to trust the process, which I've been doing."