Don't Forget: Come to Smith's on January 23rd for The700Level meet up and Flyers watch party

Don't Forget: Come to Smith's on January 23rd for The700Level meet up and Flyers watch party

We're less than two weeks away from our big bash at Smith's Restaurant and Bar in Rittenhouse for The700Level meetup and Flyers game watch party. Most of the Level crew will be in attendance, so be sure to come on out on January 23rd to enjoy a few cold beers and a chance to tell us in real life how much you love soccer and the Sixers. The Flyers game will be on many of their 11 televisions, so you can watch that the entire time if you're averse to having conversations with other humans in real life. It's okay. We know. You read sports blogs.

RSVP for the event here.

As for the comment of the week and winner of a $25 gift card to Smith's we're going to go with Turbo Timmy mostly because he talks about our old friend Rev on The Evster's post about the best/worst feelings in sports. We miss that guy.

My good friend and 700 Level contributor @rev215 used to play on our indoor soccer team. He didnt care about scoring, nutmegging dudes or any other slick maneuvers. He told me all he wanted to do was to lead the league in cleverly weighted passes/throughballs that resulted in the the guy he was passing to giving him a nod, or a quick thumbs up or a little mini clap above his head as to say, “yo, good idea”. @rev215 didnt even care if the pass got there or not. It could have rolled out of bounds, been intercepted/cleared by a fat chick or been scooped up by the goalie but as long as the concept/vision for the pass was there and rev got his props in the form of a thumbs up, thats all needed.

Great idea.

See you kids next next Thursday.

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."