What the Sixers?! Week one champions of all the power rankings

What the Sixers?! Week one champions of all the power rankings

To quote Andrew Unterberger from his recap of the Sixers big win over the Bulls this weekend: "We’re in uncharted waters here, people. Once is a fluke, twice is a coincidence, three times is a trend."

Three wins. Zero loses.

And three different NBA power rankings put your Philadelphia 76ers at the top of the league. The most powerful NBA squadron in all the land.

First the NBA mothership:

1. Philadelphia (3-0)
Pace: 103.2 (1), OffRtg: 106.6 (7), DefRtg: 102.1 (17), NetRtg: +4.5 (9)
As crazy as this seems, maybe it's just the model for when you change your ratio of mid-range attempts to 3-point attempts from 1.7 (last season) to 0.8 (this year). Brett Brown is letting his team push the ball and shoot early in the clock. But ultimately, they're taking the right kinds of shots, getting to the basket a lot more than they did under Doug Collins too. And they're shooting pretty well at the basket.
This week: vs. GSW, vs. WAS, vs. CLE, @ CLE

Then Yahoo! Sports:

1. Philadelphia 76ers (3-0; last week's ranking: 30): After entering the season with what was considered the league's weakest roster, the Sixers and rookie Michael Carter-Williams beat reigning champion Miami, Washington (on the road) and Chicago. Reality could hit soon, but, for now, the Sixers can enjoy the top spot.

And SBNation:

1. Philadelphia 76ers (3-0, Last week: 30)

I know they aren't the best team in the league. They're probably not actually any good. But I don't care. After an offseason full of tanking talk, the Sixers had three comeback victories over the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards. So for one week, they get this lofty honor.

Which makes me wonder. Has a team ever gone from worst in the League one week to the very top spot the next?

If the Sixers beat the Warriors tonight to go 4-0 to start the season, I may have to purchase a Spencer Hawes jersey.

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."