Sixers hope to feast on some home cooking


Sixers hope to feast on some home cooking

To see it in black-and-white, the 2-6 record during the Sixers eight-game, 14-day road trip doesnt look too good.

But in reality, the Sixers were lucky to get those two wins.

The last eight games for the Sixers were no joke. Not only were there three back-to-backs in nine days, but also the Sixers had to face six teams in either first or second place in their divisions as well as the Lakers.

So that 2-6 record? Yeah, it could have been worse.

I have never experienced a road trip like this, said Jrue Holiday after the loss to San Antonio on Saturday night. "We had three back-to-backs in a row and we played some of the best teams in the league and before that we started off with Brooklyn. It was tough, but as a team we grew from it.

And on the heels of the torturous run, the Sixers will get very familiar with the Wells Fargo Center. Starting with Tuesday nights game against Brooklyn, the Sixers will play 13 of their next 15 games at home. In fact, in the 16 games leading into the week-long All-Star break, the Sixers go to Toronto and Milwaukee twice with an eight-game home stand between the trips to play the Bucks.

In other words, at 15-20, the Sixers better make the most out of some home cookin.

First things first, we are all looking forward to just going home and sleeping in our own bed, Spencer Hawes said after the game in San Antonio. We are looking forward to those comfortable confines and turning things around and getting back on track.

As the Sixers look to turn things around at home, heres a few things were watching:

Bynum getting closer?
First things first, though: the Sixers need some help and they just might get it. While the team was on the road for the past two weeks, Andrew Bynum was toiling away in Philadelphia with the hope of joining the lineup sooner rather than later. Though the updates have been sparse, the All-Star center reportedly has been engaged in a six-part regimen without setbacks from his low-impact training.

However, a return date for Bynum is still anyones guess. Could it be before the All-Star break? Perhaps well get a few answers this week.

Hitting the reset button
Before the trip began, the Sixers had one of the easiest strength of schedule ratings in the NBA, according to the metrics designed by ex-ESPN analyst and current Grizzlies VP of basketball operations, John Hollinger.

Obviously that ranking changed after the last eight games.

So with the brutal part of the schedule over with, the Sixers can hit delete and go back to what they were doing at the beginning of the season. Thats where they won nine of 16 home games, including five out of six, and averaged 95 points per game as opposed to 91 on the road.

Better yet, the Sixers play eight of their next 16 games with two or more days off in-between. This year the Sixers have only had seven games with two-day breaks and have averaged nearly 100 points per game in those instances and four of those seven have been on the road.

This time around, all eight of the Sixers two-day breaks will be played at home and two of them follow games on the road.

Yes, the schedule should give the Sixers a little bit of a boost over the next month. Lets see if they can make the most of it.

E-mail John R. Finger at

Report: P.J. Carlesimo won't join Sixers' coaching staff


Report: P.J. Carlesimo won't join Sixers' coaching staff

It doesn't sound like the Sixers' replacement for Mike D'Antoni will be the most rumored name for the position.

NBA coaching veteran P.J. Carlesimo has decided to not join Brett Brown's staff as associate head coach and instead will remain a television analyst, according to tweets Sunday night by ESPN's Mark Stein.

Stein added that despite "strong mutual interest," Carlesimo made the decision for family reasons.

The 67-year-old Carlesimo has spent parts of nine seasons as a head coach in the league and five more as an assistant. He was last on a NBA bench when he took over as the Brooklyn Nets' interim head coach in 2012-13.

So the Sixers still have a vacancy on their bench after D'Antoni, who joined the Sixers in the middle of last season after Jerry Colangelo joined the organization, signed on to become head coach of the Houston Rockets last week. Who the team's next choice for the role is remains to be seen.

NBA Notes: Grizzlies hire Heat assistant David Fizdale as head coach


NBA Notes: Grizzlies hire Heat assistant David Fizdale as head coach

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Grizzlies have hired David Fizdale as their new coach and will introduce him in Memphis at a news conference Tuesday.

Memphis announced the move Sunday. The hiring was first reported Thursday by The Associated Press and others. The Grizzlies did not disclose terms, but Yahoo! Sports reported Fizdale agreed to a four-year contract.

General manager Chris Wallace said in a statement that the Grizzlies are confident Fizdale is the right person to help Memphis build on its success.

Fizdale has spent the past eight years with the Miami Heat, the past two as assistant head coach to Erik Spoelstra.

The new Grizzlies coach says he feels fortunate to have worked with some of the NBA's greatest coaches and players and believes he's ready for the challenge of being a head coach (see full story).

Antetokounmpo brothers combine for 133 points in charity game vs. Porzingis
ATHENS, Greece -- NBA stars Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks and Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks battled it out in Athens in a game of streetball Sunday, watched by a crowd of 5,000.

Played in an open court in Greece's largest public high school, the "Antetokounbros Streetball Event" ended 123-123. No overtime was played.

Porzingis scored 21 points but was overshadowed by team member Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Giannis' older brother, who scored 69. The two had played for a few games together last season, when Thanasis was signed by the Knicks on a 10-day contract. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the other team with 64 points. The other players were a mixture of veteran pros and amateurs.

On Saturday, Porzingis and the Antetonkoumpo brothers were given a private tour of the Acropolis Museum (see full story).  

Sixers to host 6 more prospects for pre-draft workouts Monday


Sixers to host 6 more prospects for pre-draft workouts Monday

After attending private, agency-run pre-draft workouts, the Sixers will host six players Monday at their practice facility for more workouts.

Joel Bolomboy, James Webb III, Tim Quarterman, Brannen Greene, Danuel House and Isaiah Taylor are all members of the third group of prospects to participate in team-run workouts in Philadelphia.

Bolomboy, a power forward, averaged 17.1 points, 12.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks his senior season at Weber State.

Quarterman entered the draft following his junior year at LSU, where he played with Ben Simmons. The point guard averaged 11.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game last year in Baton Rouge.

Webb, a forward, left Boise State following his sophomore year. He averaged 15.8 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.4 steals last season.

Greene declared for the draft after his junior year at Kansas. The guard averaged 5.4 points and 2.1 rebounds while shooting 49.2 percent from three last season for the Jayhawks.

House, a guard, transferred from the University of Houston to play his junior and senior seasons at Texas A&M. He posted 15.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists last season.

After three seasons at Texas, Taylor, a point guard, declared for the draft. He averaged 15.1 points, 2.8 rebounds and 5.0 assists this past season while helping the Longhorns reach the NCAA Tournament.

The Sixers hold the first, 24th and 26th picks in the draft, which takes place on June 23 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.