10 observations from Sixers-Heat

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10 observations from Sixers-Heat

BOX SCORE

Bottle this one and send it to Springfield, Mass.

With the 114-110 victory over the Miami Heat in the season opener, the Sixers may have turned in the performance of the season (see Instant Replay). To beat the two-time defending champs, the Sixers had to withstand allowing 80 points in the second and third quarters, while blowing a 22-point lead and overcoming a nine-point deficit.

Phew.

The Sixers also received something of a historical performance from rookie Michael Carter-Williams in his NBA debut. MCW had nine steals, which is an NBA record for a player in his debut. He just missed notching the first triple-double in an NBA debut, going for 22 points, 12 assists, nine steals and seven rebounds.

Here are a few observations from Wednesday’s opener:

1. The Sixers made their first 11 shots of the game and then missed 11 straight shots from the 1:10 mark of the first quarter until there was 6:10 left in the first half. The Sixers scored the first 19 points of the game and then allowed a 14-1 run to open the second quarter.

2. Carter-Williams had quite an NBA debut. His first basket came on a steal and a breakaway dunk. He followed that with an assist to Spencer Hawes on a running one-hander before burying the first three-pointer attempt of his career.

For a player who shot just 30.7 percent from three-point range in college, Carter-Williams was not bashful about taking his shot in his debut. In 36 minutes, MCW went 6 for 10 from the field, including 4 for 6 from three-point range.

The 22 points is the most in a debut by a Sixer since Allen Iverson scored 30 on Nov. 1, 1996 and the nine steals ties the club all-time record.

Maurice Cheeks is the last Sixer to have a double-double in his debut, going for 10 points and 13 assists on Oct. 13, 1978.

Oh yeah, Carter-Williams had just one turnover.

3. Though Evan Turner still struggles with his outside shot, he was able to get to the basket for layups and a couple of dunks. Turner went 0 for 4 from beyond the arc, but converted on 10 for 19 from the field for a team-high 26 points.

4. Turner had some trouble from in close, though. With 7:52 left, Turner missed a layup that would have brought the Sixers within one point. On the next possession, Turner got a steal and fed Thad Young a little too much, resulting in a turnover. Rashard Lewis hit a short jumper on the next trip down the floor to push the lead to five points.

5. Tony Wroten came off the bench to score 14 points on 6-for-9 shooting. More importantly, Wroten brought a lot of energy on defense when Carter-Williams was catching a breather on the bench.

6. Before training camp began, Brown said the Sixers would have plenty of minutes for any player who wanted them. He wasn’t lying. Brown played nine of the 11 players who dressed for the game and they all got at least 12 minutes.

7. Hawes quietly scored 24 points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds in 29 minutes.

8. Speaking of quiet performances, LeBron James scored 25 points and dished out 13 assists. Ho-hum.

9. Though the Sixers have a 51-49 all-time record against the Heat, they snapped a 15-game regular-season losing streak with the win. Counting the postseason, the Sixers went into the game having lost 19 of 20 to the Heat.

10. In addition to scoring 80 points in the second and third quarters, the Heat hit 16 three-pointers and went 10 for 13 from long range during the third quarter.

Sixers' Joel Embiid, Dario Saric beat out by Malcolm Brogdon for Rookie of the Year

Sixers' Joel Embiid, Dario Saric beat out by Malcolm Brogdon for Rookie of the Year

Updated: 10 p.m.

Joel Embiid and Dario Saric had standout rookie years, but in the end, Malcolm Brogdon was named the 2016-17 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year.

The Bucks guard beat out the pair of Sixers at the NBA Awards held Monday night in New York. Brogdon was a 1/4 favorite to win, according to Bovada (see story).

“This is a testament to guys that are underestimated,” Brogdon, the 36th pick in the 2016 draft, said while accepting the award. “Guys that are second-round picks, guys that are undrafted every year that get looked over regardless of the work they put in, regardless of what they do.”

The voting could have gone in various directions without a clear checklist of criteria. 

The trio played different positions, voiding out an equal statistical comparison. Would the three-point shooting of a guard outweigh the rebounding of a big man?

Embiid was the clear favorite until he was sidelined. Would 31 games of dominance be enough?

Even though this is an individual award, the Bucks (42-40) had a better team record than the Sixers (28-54). Would the fact Brogdon was a contributor on a playoff team overshadow the games in which Embiid and Saric put the Sixers on their backs?

Different variables were in play, creating a case for and against each player (see story).

See how the rookies stacked up:

Joel Embiid
• Games played: 31 (31 starts)

• Minutes: 25.4

• Points: 20.2

• Shooting: 46.6 percent FG, 36.7 percent 3PG, 78.3 percent FT

• Rebounds: 7.8

• Assists: 2.1

• Blocks: 2.45

• Double-doubles: 9

Dario Saric
• Games played: 81 (36 starts)

• Minutes: 26.3

• Points: 12.8

• Shooting: 41.1 percent FG, 31.1 percent 3PG, 78.2 percent FT

• Rebounds: 6.3

• Assists: 2.2

• Double-doubles: 10

Malcolm Brogdon
• Games played: 75 (28 starts)

• Minutes: 26.4

• Points: 10.2

• Shooting: 45.7 percent FG, 40.4 percent 3PG, 86.5 percent FT

• Rebounds: 2.8

• Assists: 4.2

• Steals: 1.1

•  Double-doubles: 2

• Triple-doubles: 1

Brogdon and Saric were unanimously voted to the All-Rookie first team on Monday. Embiid was also on the first team, receiving seven second-team votes (see story).

The Sixers could claim this award next season with 2017 No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz or 2016 No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons.

Final look at Sixers' Rookie of the Year odds with awards announced tonight

Final look at Sixers' Rookie of the Year odds with awards announced tonight

NBA awards will finally be announced tonight during a special ceremony at 9 ET on TNT.

The Sixers have two of the three finalists for Rookie of the Year in Dario Saric and Joel Embiid.

But it's Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon who enters tonight as the favorite.

Brogdon is 1/4 to win Rookie of the Year, meaning it would require a $400 bet to win $100. 

Saric is next at 3/1, while Embiid is 9/1, per Bovada. 

Both Saric and Embiid made the All-Rookie First Team (see story).

Embiid obviously would have won the award had he stayed healthy this season. He averaged 20.2 points. 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks but played just 31 games.

Saric took off during the second half with Embiid sidelined and Ersan Ilyasova traded. Over his last 30 games, Saric averaged 17.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists.

For the season, Saric averaged 12.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists. 

Brogdon averaged 10.2 points and 4.8 assists and shot 40.4 percent from three for a playoff team. His second-half surge coincided with Milwaukee's improved play, which is why he's the favorite. It should be noted, though, that Embiid won Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month in November, December and January, and Saric won in February and March. The only other player to claim the award was the Knicks' Willy Hernangomez in April.

Here are the odds for the rest of tonight's awards:

MVP odds
Russell Westbrook (Thunder): 1/50
James Harden (Rockets): 6/1
Kawhi Leonard (Spurs): 33/1

Coach of the Year
Mike D'Antoni (Rockets): 1/11
Gregg Popovich (Spurs): 7/1
Erik Spoelstra (Heat): 7/1

Sixth Man
Eric Gordon (Rockets): 1/7
Andre Iguodala (Warriors): 6/1
Lou Williams (Lakers/Rockets): 6/1