Philadelphia 76ers

Sixers-Bobcats: 5 things you need to know

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Sixers-Bobcats: 5 things you need to know

The Sixers (12-25) get back at it for the first time since losing to the New York Knicks at the Wells Fargo Center last Saturday.

In that one, the Sixers were playing the second game of a back-to-back while the Knicks had a day off after beating the Miami Heat at home.

This time it’s the Sixers who are rested while the Charlotte Bobcats arrive in Philadelphia after beating the Knicks at home on Tuesday night.

So with that in mind, here are a few things to look out for in Wednesday night’s game:

1. Beware of the back-to-back
It’s no shocker that the Sixers are just 3-8 in the second game of back-to-backs. However, the Sixers also are not very good against teams playing in the second game of a back-to-back.

With Charlotte coming in after snapping the Knicks’ five-game winning streak on Tuesday night, it’s worth noting that the Sixers are 2-8 in games against teams playing the second game of a back-to-back. One of those wins was the opening night stunner against the Miami Heat. The other was the 126-125 double-overtime victory over the Magic in November.

2. MCW’s production

If there is such a thing as hitting the so-called rookie wall, Michael Carter-Williams is doing a pretty good job at heading it off.

Though he is shooting just 41.4 percent from the floor this month, Carter-Williams is 25 for 51 from the field with 65 points in his last three games. Though the point guard’s assists are down a touch since handing out 12 of them on Dec. 21, the rookie is still averaging 5.4 assists per game in his last nine.

Only one other rookie (Trey Burke of Utah) is averaging more than 3.5 assists per game this season.

3. So big
When Spencer Hawes got into foul trouble last Saturday against the Knicks, the Sixers were in big trouble. Lavoy Allen was on the bench with an injury and center Daniel Orton had been waived the day before. That opened it up for veteran big man Amar’e Stoudemire to score 21 points on 8-for-10 shooting.

But for Wednesday night’s game, the Sixers seem to have had a growth spurt. The team added center Dewayne Dedmon from the D-League on Tuesday. The 7-foot Dedmon appeared in four games for the Golden State Warriors this year and was averaging 15 points, 13.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in 15 games for the D-League's Santa Cruz Warriors.

The Sixers will, however, be without big men Lavoy Allen and Arnett Moultrie (see story).

4. He shoots ... and misses
Evan Turner is in a slump. After scoring 23 points in the Jan. 2 victory in Portland, Turner is shooting 17 for 47 from the field in his last four games, including a 2-for-13 performance in a loss at Cleveland. He also has gotten away from attacking the paint, which was the impetus to Turner’s high-scoring, fast start to the season.

Instead, Turner has settled for more long two-pointers and threes. On shots longer than 15-feet, Turner is shooting 76 for 210 (36.2 percent).

5. Injuries
Lavoy Allen (calf) is out.

Nerlens Noel (knee) and Jason Richardson (knee) are out indefinitely.

For Charlotte, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (broken hand) returned from a 19-game absence to log 30 minutes on Tuesday against the Knicks.

Second-year forward Jeff Taylor is out for the remainder of the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Donald Trump starts war with sports, and athletes have united

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Associated Press

Donald Trump starts war with sports, and athletes have united

OAKLAND -- As President Donald Trump lurches closer to certified insanity, he is unwittingly doing the country a great service that, should we survive his dangerously whimsical term, will bring us closer to realizing our potential.

He’s unifying the previously disconnected and energizing the formerly apathetic. He’s even shaming some of those previously beyond shame.

It is because of Trump’s rage, unleashed in a span of less than 24 hours, that the NBA champion Warriors were more united Saturday morning than they were Friday afternoon.

After a speech in Alabama urging NFL owners on Friday to fire any “son of a bitch” who dared to protest peacefully to shine a light on injustices, Trump woke up Saturday and turned his Twitter ire upon Stephen Curry and the Warriors, conceivably the most wholesome representatives of American sports.

“That’s not what leaders do,” Curry said after practice Saturday.

“We know we’re in a fight,” Warriors center David West said. “And we’re going to continue to fight for our right to be human beings.”

But by advocating the job loss of peaceful protesters and then informing the Warriors they are not welcome at the White House -- because Curry said he’s not in favor of going -- we can only hope Trump has flung open a door of activism that never closes.

Trump’s radical combo ignited mighty blasts of blowback from players and coaches and commissioners of the NBA and NFL.

Among the many NBA figures issuing statements in one form or another, with varying degrees of condemnation: LeBron James, Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, the players association and commissioner Adam Silver.

“The amount of support I saw around the league this morning was amazing,” Curry said.

Among the many NFL figures who were moved to comment: Seahawks players Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett, Broncos lineman Max Garcia, 49ers owner Jed York, New York Giants owners John Mara and Steve Tisch, Packers boss Mark Murphy, the players association and commissioner Roger Goodell.

Trump has, in short, started a war with American sports.

His strike began with the comments made Friday night that were directed at Colin Kaepernick and others who have declined to stand for the anthem. Trump’s aggression intensified Saturday when he went after Curry in the morning and Goodell in the afternoon.

How did we get here?

The Warriors on Friday announced their plan to meet as a team Saturday morning to decide whether they would accept from the White House the traditional invitation extended to championship teams. Though it was fairly certain they would not, they left open the slightest possibility. General manager Bob Myers had been in contact with White House.

Curry at the time said he, personally, did not wish to go, and then he carefully and patiently expounded on his reasons.

Trump responded, at 5:45 a.m. Saturday, to tell the world that the Warriors would not be invited and, moreover, that Curry’s resistance is the reason.

And all hell broke loose.

The Warriors came back Saturday afternoon with a statement that made clear there no longer would be a team meeting on the subject, that they were disappointed there was no open dialogue and that they will instead utilize their February visit to “celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion -- the values we embrace as an organization.”

“Not surprised,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of Trump’s decision not to invite the Warriors to the White House. “He was going to break up with us before we could break up with him.”

Trump has fired upon every athlete in America. He is waking up this country in ways we’ve never seen or felt and, my goodness, he’s doing so at a level we’ve needed for centuries.

“Trump has become the greatest mirror for America,” West said. “My cousin . . . she brought that to me. Because there are a lot of things have been in the dark, hidden, and he’s just bold enough to put it out on ‘Front Street.’"

NBA Notes: Warriors spurn White House; Knicks agree to trade Carmelo Anthony to Thunder

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USA Today Images

NBA Notes: Warriors spurn White House; Knicks agree to trade Carmelo Anthony to Thunder

SOMERSET, N.J. -- President Donald Trump denounced protests by NFL players and rescinded a White House invitation for NBA champion Stephen Curry in a two-day rant that targeted top professional athletes and brought swift condemnation from league executives and star players alike on Saturday.

Wading into thorny issues of race and politics, Trump's comments in a Friday night speech and a series of Saturday tweets drew sharp responses from some of the nation's top athletes, with LeBron James calling the president a "bum."

Trump started by announcing that Curry, the immensely popular two-time MVP for the Golden State Warriors, would not be welcome at the White House for the commemorative visit traditionally made by championship teams after Curry indicated he didn't want to come. Later, Trump reiterated what he said at a rally in Alabama the previous night -- that NFL players who kneel for the national anthem should be fired.

The Warriors said it was made clear to them that they were not welcome at the White House.

Curry had said he did not want to go anyway, but the Warriors had not made a collective decision before Saturday -- and had planned to discuss it in the morning before the president's tweet, to which coach Steve Kerr said : "Not surprised. He was going to break up with us before we could break up with him."

Others had far stronger reactions (see full story).

Knicks agree to trade Carmelo Anthony to Thunder
NEW YORK - Carmelo Anthony won't be at Knicks training camp after all. He'll be in Oklahoma City, joining Russell Westbrook and Paul George in a loaded lineup.

The Knicks agreed to trade Anthony to the Thunder on Saturday, saving themselves a potentially awkward reunion next week with the player they'd been trying to deal since last season.

New York will get Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a draft pick, a person with knowledge of the deal said. The person spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade had not been announced.

The Knicks had said just a day earlier that they expected Anthony to be there when they reported for camp Monday. But it was clear they didn't want him anymore and he no longer wanted to be in New York, where he arrived with so much hype that was never fulfilled in February 2011.

He rarely had a championship core around him in New York but jumps right into one in Oklahoma City along with Westbrook, the NBA MVP, and fellow All-Star George, who was acquired from Indiana this summer.

Anthony will see his old teammates soon: The Knicks open the regular season at Oklahoma City on Oct. 19 (see full story).