76ers

Rookie of the Year odds lengthen for Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz after summer league

Rookie of the Year odds lengthen for Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz after summer league

Markelle Fultz's summer league experience was cut short because of injury. Ben Simmons didn't play. Still, with 2017's summer league action in the books, the two Sixers No. 1 picks have seen their odds of winning Rookie of the Year lengthen, according to Bovada. 

The Mavericks' Dennis Smith Jr. jumped Simmons on the list. In June, Smith was given 16/1 odds. After a solid first impression that earned him a spot on the summer league first team, his odds have been shortened to 3/1. In six games in Vegas, Smith averaged 17.3 points, 4.2 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game.

As he was last month, Lakers second overall pick Lonzo Ball is still the favorite to win the award at 5/2 odds. As the NBA Summer League's MVP, Ball posted averages of 16.3 points, 9.3 assists, 7.7 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 1.0 blocks per game. His four games with at least 10 assists were three more than any other player has ever recorded. The Lakers won the league despite Ball sitting out the championship win over the Trail Blazers with a calf strain.

Simmons has the third-best odds now, going from 3/1 to 7/2. The Celtics' Jayson Tatum is one spot behind him at 5/1, swapping his 9/1 odds with Fultz in the fifth-best position. Tatum's numbers impressed in both Utah and Vegas.

Another noteworthy move in the odds involves Atlanta's John Collins. Collins had 20/1 odds after the draft and played well in Vegas — 15.4 points and 9.2 boards per game. He got the first-team nod as well, but dropped a bit, now owning 33/1 odds for a share of the ninth-best likelihood of taking home the award.

Here's the full list of the 12 front-runners for Rookie of the Year:

Lonzo Ball: 5/2
Dennis Smith Jr.: 3/1
Ben Simmons: 7/2
Jayson Tatum: 5/1
Markelle Fultz: 9/1
De'Aaron Fox: 9/1
Josh Jackson: 16/1
Malik Monk: 16/1
Jonathan Isaac: 33/1
Justin Jackson: 33/1
Lauri Markkanen: 33/1
John Collins: 33/1

Is Joel Embiid's trash talking starting to get old?

Is Joel Embiid's trash talking starting to get old?

Each week, our resident basketball analysts will discuss some of the hottest topics involving the Sixers.

Running the Give and Go are NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com producer/reporter Paul Hudrick and NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com producer/reporter Matt Haughton.

In this edition, we examine whether Joel Embiid’s trash talking is starting to get old.

Hudrick
Let’s just let Joel be Joel.

The guy came over from Cameroon, knowing very little about the game and getting teased by his teammates in high school. After overcoming that and landing at Kansas, injuries took away the end of his only season there and then his first two NBA seasons. He was the brunt of jokes as the Sixers continued to lose and he had to watch from afar. He’s earned the right to feel himself a little bit.

What I see is a kid having fun. I have to give Philly fans credit. Flamboyant characters don’t usually do well here. In a city that (still) obsesses over the play of a quiet, hard-nosed guy like Chase Utley and has fallen head over heels for the humbleness of Carson Wentz, Embiid doesn't fit the mold. But he's been embraced and beloved.

Here’s the other thing: he’s backing it up. If he was out there talking trash but shooting 30 percent from the field and not running down the reigning MVP for a blocked shot in a triple-OT game, that would be a different story. He’s put this team on his back and has them poised for a playoff berth.

Let the man live.

Haughton
Absolutely not.

First, look at it from a team perspective. The Sixers thrive off of Embiid’s emotion. Look no further than Friday night’s triple-overtime thriller against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Sixers were sleepwalking through that game for much of the night until Embiid mixed it up with Carmelo Anthony following an and-one with a few minutes left in the fourth quarter. Embiid got the crowd juiced up and his teammates fed off that energy during the critical 11-0 run to close out regulation.

When Embiid’s trash talk spills over to social media, he does try to keep things light and playful. That’s his personality and that’s his realm, so none of what he’s doing really comes from a position of genuine malice.

On the bigger scale, this is what the NBA has been about long before Embiid came along. From Larry Bird’s bravado to Michael Jordan’s ruthlessness to Shaquille O’Neal’s blatant disrespect of opponents, the league has a long list of trash talkers.

As LeBron James said when the Cavaliers came through the Wells Fargo Center right after Thanksgiving, players today are just too sensitive.

'Dots don't connect' for Sixers on inbound confusion

'Dots don't connect' for Sixers on inbound confusion

Of all the scenarios that transpired over the Sixers’ triple-overtime loss to the Thunder on Friday, there is one moment that stands out.

Fast-forward to the end of the second overtime. The Sixers had the opportunity to take the final shot after Dario Saric grabbed a defensive rebound. Joel Embiid motioned for a timeout before Saric put the ball on the floor. 

The Sixers huddled and prepared for a half-court play they had practiced before, confident they could execute it with 1.2 seconds on the game clock.

However, as they went to set up, the officials told them the inbound was actually full court. Saric had dribbled the ball before the timeout was called, they were told. That change wiped out the play they had initially planned. 

“They asked us what side of the floor did we want to advance it to, and so we told them,” Brett Brown said. “We drew up a play to try to score. Then we walked out and they said no you can’t advance it, it goes full court. When you look at the tape, you can see Joel and myself calling a timeout with 1.2 seconds. They said Dario dribbled, yet there were still 1.2 seconds. The dots don’t connect.”

The last-second shift in inbound position left the Sixers scrambling. Embiid said the team was “caught off guard.” Ben Simmons considered the call to be “huge.” 

“We weren’t told that we couldn’t progress the ball up the floor until we actually had to run the play,” Simmons said. “That kind of messed us up. We got into a late play, which didn’t convert.” 

The Sixers didn’t connect on their final possession. There’s no guarantee the shot would have gone in, but they would have been prepared to get a good look. 

“[It changed] everything,” Robert Covington said. 

Instead of pulling off a last-second game-winner, the Sixers went into triple overtime. They were edged out by two points, 119-117 (see game recap)

"That kind of like messed up in our minds, but that’s not an excuse," Embiid said. "We shouldn’t have an excuse for losing that game."