Sixers-Nuggets preview, featuring the worst defensive play of the 76ers' season

Sixers-Nuggets preview, featuring the worst defensive play of the 76ers' season

Have we mentioned the Philadelphia 76ers are now officially as bad as we expected them to be this season? If not, well then: The Sixers are now officially as bad as we expected them to be this season. We're 2-9 in our last 11 games, with the only two wins coming at home against the even woefuller Bucks and Magic--two wins that took a combined three overtimes and several Spencer Hawes miracles to secure. Last night's loss to the Bobcats wasn't the worst, but it was pretty bad--105-88 in a game that was never really in question at any point in the second half.

But at the very least, it's usually an entertaining awful--high-scoring affairs in which it's always just higher-scoring for the other side, which is always an easier tanking pill to swallow to a team that just can't put the ball in the basket. Still, it does mean that every now and then--and really, each and every now and then--you watch a defensive sequence with this team that just makes you want to fast forward the calendar to June.

The nadir probably came last night in the fourth quarter Charlotte. It didn't really matter, because the game was already well over, but still, it was the kind of defensive breakdown that was so bad that you couldn't help but see the objective hilarity in it:

That's right: One, two, three, FOUR Sixers surround Al Jefferson, who dumps off to Gerald Henderson for the easiest half-court bucket of the Charlotte Bobcats' or anybody else's season.

Now, Jefferson was having a good game against the Sixers, but 1962 Wilt Chamberlain he is not, and if the Sixers' post defense is really so bad that we need to send THREE help defenders at Big Al, we have problems much bigger than losing to the friggin' Bobcats by 17 on the road.

Sixers get to make up for it tonight against the Nuggets, 7:00 from the Wells Fargo Center. What should have been a matchup of young star point guards will instead be our old friend Andre Miller vs. our new soulmate Tony Wroten, as both Ty Lawson and Michael Carter-Williams are out tonight with injury. The 12-9 Nuggets are way better than we are, but they did just lose to the Cavs and Celtics in back-to-back games, so maybe lousy East teams are their kryptonite. Hollis Thompson 4eva.

Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday in Detroit

Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday in Detroit

NEW ORLEANS -- Nerlens Noel made another step toward his return from arthroscopic left knee surgery by joining the Sixers in New Orleans for their game against the Pelicans.

Noel arrived on Wednesday with Robert Covington, who is slated to start after missing the last three games with a left knee sprain. Noel is not cleared to play, but Brown doesn’t think it will be long until he suits up. 

“I don’t think far away,” Brown said of Noel’s regular season debut after shootaround.

When asked about the possibility of Noel playing this weekend when the Sixers face the Pistons on Sunday in Detroit, Brown replied, “Maybe.” 

Noel has missed the entire regular season recovering from elective surgery for an inflamed plica in October. He completed the first phase of his rehab in Birmingham, Ala. and has been continuing his work with the Sixers. This trip to New Orleans is the first time he has been with the Sixers on the road. 

“[He is] integrating with the team, studying a lot of tape, scripting with his teammates with the understanding that we have a chance to see him soon,” Brown said. “All that trying to ramp it up where he can go to an NBA court more comfortably.”

Noel spoke out about his displeasure with the Sixers crowded frontcourt at the start of the preseason. He recently stuck with his stance, saying, “I don’t think the roster’s changed.”

Brown is working to keep the team moving forward as a unit while still being aware of and recognizing Noel’s perspective. 

“It does,” Brown said when asked if Noel’s open frustration concerns him as it pertains to team cohesiveness. “But I feel like it’s so much a part of what we try do around here that it’s not like you’re going to blink and you’ve forgotten something that equals camaraderie, that equals team, that equals trying to keep this together, and you’ve left it for a week … 

“It’s a day-to-day focus for me and it’s a very candid conversation with me and the player. The team hears it, the individual hears it, we all understand it … We need to co-exist and we need to understand the reality of it all, too. There’s a human side you understand. It’s also pride, it’s competitiveness, it’s do your job, it’s nothing is given, you’ve got to take stuff, draw your own line in the sand, competitors rule the day.”

Last season Noel averaged 11.1 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game. The Sixers will look forward to having him back on the court in that once-crowded frontcourt that is now shorthanded. Jahlil Okafor remained in Philadelphia with gastroenteritis. Ben Simmons still is rehabbing from a right Jones fracture. 

"Soon you’re going to see Ben Simmons coming to a team bench where he doesn’t come out with boots and have to push him in some type of wheely apparatus," Brown said. "We’ve dealt with so many injuries trying to find that balance of dealing with their health and so on, and then trying to integrate them back into a team is part of growing a program."

Flyers fans send amazing postcards to their beat writers

Flyers fans send amazing postcards to their beat writers

I like to give Flyers fans a bit of a hard time on occasion, but that's only because I love them.

One beautiful Flyers fan today reminded me of why I love them.

They took the time to send a postcard to CSNPhilly.com's Flyers Insider -- and hater of the woo -- Tim Panaccio with one single word written on it.

"Woo."

Panotch says "Someone wasted a stamp and post card on this," but I say we just generated at least 50 cents in ad revenue from those of you that are reading this right now.

Money and time well spent.

Now, if you're not up on your wooing, Panotch penned a piece on how some fans wooing at games started annoying some of the players. Panotch hates the woo. BUT... and this is an important but... the Flyers are 6-0 since this all started. 

Woo.