Is This the Reason Arnett Moultrie Isn't Playing?

Is This the Reason Arnett Moultrie Isn't Playing?

Coming out of the All-Star Break, the chief complaint hurled at Sixers coach Doug Collins — among the many — has been his refusal to play 2012 draft pick Arnett Moultrie.

AU addressed the topic at length last week, after Moultrie sat with the first of two DNP-CDs in three games — and before Collins' blowup Tuesday night.

While there's little arguing that Doug was right about his team's lack of effort, his comments on the performance of Nik Vucevic against that of Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen proved frustrating for multiple reasons.

Collins has a long and documented history of giving rookies very little run. He kept Vucevic on the bench for much of last season's second half and is now doing the same to Moultrie, who has played just 13 minutes in four games since the break.

So what gives? CSNPhilly's John Finger slipped a possible explanation into his story from Wednesday afternoon:

Maybe Andrew Bynum will play.

Maybe Evan Turner will develop some type of consistency and figure out what type of style best accentuates his skill set.

Maybe Spencer Hawes will reemerge as the red-hot, two-way player he was at the start of last season.

Maybe Lavoy Allen will find a motor and maybe rookie Arnett Moultrie will get into shape.

The rest of his article details how the Sixers don't score in the paint, don't get out in transition, don't go the foul line and do shoot the most mid-range jumpers in the NBA. We've addressed those points twice (here and here) within the last year.

But the bit about Moultrie still being out of shape — after six months — that's new.

It would even prove an adequate explanation if Collins hadn't already lost, with many Sixers fans, the benefit of the doubt on this specific issue.

Either way, somebody go get Arnett the anti-gravity treadmill Bynum's been using ... and then add a whole lot of gravity.

Tim Quarterman: Ben Simmons at PG will 'work out well' for Sixers

Tim Quarterman: Ben Simmons at PG will 'work out well' for Sixers

There are only a handful of people who have played basketball extensively with Ben Simmons, given he has been sidelined thus far into his rookie season with a foot injury. Those who spent Simmons’ freshman year at LSU with him have firsthand insight into the NBA player he has the potential to become.

“He's definitely a team player,” Tim Quarterman said. “He's a pass-first person. He wants to see his teammates do well. I think when he comes back to play, that's what he'll bring to Philly. He's not one of those people who just tries to go out there to get a 100 points. He's a good teammate.”

Quarterman was the Tigers’ point guard during Simmons’ only season in college. Quarterman left school after his junior year and earned a spot on the Trail Blazers' roster. He and Simmons have different stories: Simmons was the first overall pick; Quarterman went undrafted. Simmons has has been out since training camp; Quarterman, while playing sparingly, has experienced live NBA action. Still, the two have shared in the journey of life in the league. 

“It's a cool process going through our rookie season together,” Quarterman said before the Trail Blazers faced the Sixers Friday. “Even though he's not playing right now, he's working to get on the court. I'm sure he'll do great when he gets back out there. I got a chance to talk to him last night. Everything's been good so far.”

The Sixers got a small glimpse of Simmons during training camp before he suffered a Jones fracture on the final day. He recently began participating in 5-on-0 drills. Simmons also has been putting up shots after practice and doing light courtwork during pregame warmups. 

Brett Brown has said he intends to start the 6-foot-10 Simmons at the one spot when he returns. As part of his multi-faceted rehab, Brown has been giving Simmons written tests in which he has to navigate various in-game situations as the point guard. Simmons played point-forward at LSU, where he averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists. 

“He'll be able to space the floor,” Quarterman said of Simmons at the point. “He can see over the defense and make passes that some little guards can't. He can defend. He can move his feet well. I think it'll work out well.”

It remains to be seen when the former teammates will both be suited up in the same NBA game. There is no timetable set for Simmons’ return. The Sixers face the Trail Blazers for their second and final meeting of the regular season on March 9 in Portland. 

“It's cool for both of us to be making the best of our opportunity,” Quarterman said.