Maybe It's Okay The Sixers Are Winning

Maybe It's Okay The Sixers Are Winning

If you're any kind of sports fan in the greater Philadelphia area, you've heard by now about Greg Oden, Kevin Durant, and the tremendous depth in this years NBA draft class.  You've also likely been rooting for the Sixers to lose, lose, and lose some more in hopes of securing the top chance at winning the NBA draft lottery.  Apparently, David Aldridge thinks we must love Cheetos.

What's the point of trading Allen Iverson and letting Chris Webber go, goes the argument, if you don't reap the rewards with Greg Oden or Kevin Durant or Joakim Noah?

Which is the kind of stupid you don't hear often outside of Britney Spears' house.

While I'm still not certain I want the Sixers to win a ton of games down the stretch, Aldridge makes some good points.  This current team is super young and developing a little swagger by knowing they aren't going to be a loser every night.  It could pay dividends in the future.

So the Sixers are doing the right thing by playing with effort, even if it doesn't get results; with heart, even if it doesn't lead to victory. And it will be terrible, terrible, if Mo Cheeks, who's not allowing his players to take the easy out, is little more than a sacrificial lamb, holding the chair for the next head coach.

You ask me if Cheeks is a good coach, and I say let's find out together, when he's coaching an NBA team.

The fact of the matter is that even if the Sixers win a couple more games this year they will still have a really good chance at one of the first two overall picks in the draft.  Memphis is a lock for the worst record, especially if they move Pau Gasol.  Boston isn't in much better shape having rolled off an impressive string of 15 straight losses.

Still, I wouldn't mind seeing a couple more L's start to build up next to the Sixers record.

The Sixers take on the Charlotte Bobcats tonight at the Wachovia Center.  To cheer, or not to cheer, that is the question.

>>For Sixers, losing isn't everything [Inquirer]

Embiid and Okafor want to play together, but not just yet, says Brown

Embiid and Okafor want to play together, but not just yet, says Brown

CAMDEN, N.J. — If all goes as planned, a time will come when the Sixers can roll out a dominating frontcourt duo with Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor sharing the court in lengthy stretches.

That moment has to wait, though, as both Embiid and Okafor are on minute restrictions. As he returns from a knee injury, Okafor currently is coming off the bench and backing up Embiid.

“This conversation with Jahlil and Joel is more intelligent and applicable at a later date,” Brett Brown said at practice Friday. “When Jahlil’s minutes start going up and Joel can, then it’s a real conversation. I do think you may see them sooner than even I thought together. But as far as making it a real constant part of a strategy or rotation, it’s beyond too early days.”

In an ideal world, Brown could pair the two bigs now and use all of their allotted minutes (Embiid 20, Okafor 14) at once. That would leave an extensive workload on second-year bench player Richaun Holmes.

“This is a hot topic,” Brown said. “I will say it one more time: If I play Jahlil and Jo together, I hope Richaun can play 35 minutes.”

It’s an unrealistic expectation for Holmes, who averaged 13.8 minutes in 51 games last season. Brown caps the majority of the Sixers at six-minute segments to keep them competing at a high energy level.

“Right now, he’s a backup,” Brown said of Holmes. “I think he’s going to be an NBA player for a very long time. I just feel like in the role, he’s a second-year player that didn’t really have much of a role last year. He’s shown everybody that he’s for real. He really can play a role. At this early stage, that is the key word.”

Embiid and Okafor have been envisioning competing together since Okafor was drafted two years ago. They became friends long before they were NBA players and have an easy chemistry on the court as a result.

“I think it’s going to be exciting,” Embiid said. “We played a little bit together today in practice. We’re figuring out how to play with each other. It’s a process and we’ve got trust it.”

Yes, the players know they have to wait, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy for them to resist an opportunity to play with one another.  

“I think once we figure it out, we can really dominate together,” Okafor said. “We were able to flirt with it again today. We accidentally keep ending up on the same team even though Coach keeps telling us to make sure we alternate. But we’re having fun. We’re trying to put some pressure on it because we want to play together.”

Is that accidentally with air quotes?

“Yeah, exactly,” Okafor said with a laugh.

'Trust the process' has a different, more personal meaning to Joel Embiid

'Trust the process' has a different, more personal meaning to Joel Embiid

CAMDEN, N.J. — Joel Embiid is all about trusting the process.

He manages to insert the well-known phrase into just about every interview, hashtags it on social media and soaks in the chants during games. 

While “trust the process” is commonly associated with former Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie’s patience-required approach to building the team — which resulted in three years of dismal losing and suffering setback after setback — Embiid has his personal take on the mantra.

“I think I have my own process,” Embiid said Friday at practice.

Embiid is playing for the first time this season after waiting two years to recover from foot injuries. His long-anticipated debut was a focal point of “the process,” and his return to the court marked a new chapter in the organization.

“I went through two surgeries, lost my brother, thought about some stuff I shouldn’t have thought about, so that’s my own process,” he said. “And then the process of going through the rehab and finally getting back on the court and getting the chance to finally play in the league, that’s my process.”

Embiid is now synonymous with the word. He credits Sixers fans for the moniker, which he added to his Instagram profile. 

“I don’t think it came from me,” he said. “Fans just started and then I just went along with it.”

Wednesday marked the next step in the process, both for the Sixers and Embiid. His regular-season debut (20 points, seven rebounds, two blocks) was a long time coming and garnered buzz all over the NBA world.

“I was the third pick and then I missed two years,” Embiid said. “The excitement in the city, everybody’s happy to finally see me play. Even though it was weird because a lot of people kind of wrote me off a long time ago saying that I’d never play as a Sixer, I’d never play in the league. So it’s all fun. Everybody’s going to have an opinion.”

He’s just got to trust in his own.