Sixers' 3-point shooting has been fantastic

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Sixers' 3-point shooting has been fantastic

The Philadelphia 76ers won a basketball game that they probably shouldn't have last night, beating the Jazz in Utah, 104-97. Joel Embiid was a DNP -- Been Too Long Since the Last One, and Ben Simmons shot 7-22 with as many turnovers as assists. But they won, the way they've won all season. They passed the ball (23 assists, actually below their 26.2 average), and they shot the three (12-27 from deep). And now they're 6-4, tied for the East's third best record. Love is strange. 

The shooting -- third-best from range in the league, if you can believe it, with the fifth-most makes on average -- is the starkest part of the Sixers' success this season. (Besides the whole, y'know, having two future superstars thing.) A franchise that has historically lacked for floor-stretching -- comically so at times, particularly in the later years of the Doug Collins era and the pre-adolescence of The Process -- is now one of the great bombs-away threats of the entire Association.

Here's five quick stats that should drive home the lunacy of all this.

-The Sixers haven't had a rotation regular shoot over 40% from three since Hollis Thompson (40.1%) in 2014-15. Through 11 games this year, they have five: JJ Redick (43.4%), Jerryd Bayless (42.2%), Robert Covington (50%), T.J. McConnell (50%) and Dario Saric (40.9%). 

-The Sixers already have six games where they've made 12 or more triples. In 2013-14, the first season of The Process, they had four such games all season. 

-Only one 76er has ever hit 200 threes in a season: Kyle Korever (226) in 2004-05. Both J.J. Redick and Robert Covington are on pace to beat that mark this year. 

-Only five players in the NBA have hit 35 threes so far this season. Of those, Robert Covington's 50% rate is easily the highest. (Klay Thompson is second at 45.9%.)

-The 76ers have shot over 35% from deep for a season just six times, with the best season coming in 1994-1995 -- otherwise known as the Dana Barros season -- at 37.9%. They're currently shooting 39.9%. 

Wild. Just wait till JoJo starts hitting 'em.

The Process is ready for primetime

The Process is ready for primetime

Basically, you saw everything you'd want to see from Ben Simmons, Dario Saric and Joel Embiid during the Rising Stars Challenge on All-Star Friday night, as they kept doing what they've basically done all February: winning. 

Ben Simmons was electric all over the court, ending with 11 points (5-5 FG, mostly dunks), six boards, a game-high 13 assists and a team-high four steals. A still-locked-in Dario Saric was the beneficiary of a handful of those dimes, ending with 18 points (7-11 FG, 4-7 3PT), three boards and five assists. 

Joel Embiid had an underwhelming stat line in his thankfully clipped playing time (just eight minutes after sitting out Wednesday's game — we'll see him more on Sunday), ending with just five points and two boards, and not exactly displaying the defensive dominance we're accustomed to from our big man. But the five points came on back-to-back possessions in the third, where JoJo nailed a top-of-the-break three and then scored on a dunk following a Fultzian spin move to the basket, showing the range of his skills in an appropriately breathtaking (and Internet-slaying) manner. 

And of course, the Sixers — I mean, Team World — won handily, outscoring Team USA in every quarter and ultimately triumphing 155-124. Even though Sacramento's Bogdan Bogdanovic took home MVP honors on the night for his white-hot shooting night (26 points on 9-16 FG, including a handful of Steph Curry-esque extended pull-up triples), I thought Simmons was the best all-around player on the floor, another thumb in the eye of the All-Star committee that snubbed him (four times!) for the proper game on Sunday night. 

Perhaps more importantly, the Sixers' presence just dominated the game altogether. Hell, they made up 3/5 of Team World's starting lineup — no other team had more than two representatives, across both squads, though the Lakers would have were Lonzo Ball available — and in the broadcast booth, the TNT guys couldn't stop talking about Embiid all night, comparing him to Hakeem and debating whether they'd ever seen a big man of his versatility before. 

And to think, this year they'll actually be represented on Saturday and Sunday, too. Hopefully Ben and Dario get a nice, relaxing All-Star break from here — they've certainly earned it — and now, it's Embiid's spotlight. The Process is ready for primetime, baby, and longtime Trusters should make sure to enjoy this moment as much as JoJo himself undoubtedly will. 

Chris Long defends LeBron James after attack from Fox News host

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Chris Long defends LeBron James after attack from Fox News host

Chris Long is beloved by Philadelphians for much more than rocking a full-lenghth faux fur during the Eagles' Super Bowl championship parade. Most in Philly respect Long because he is one to speak his mind on whatever topic he sees fit. He's also a man of action, not just talk.

So when Fox News host Laura Ingraham attacked LeBron James and Kevin Durant for expressing their views on Donald Trump, Long stood up for his fellow athletes.

"Keep the political commentary to yourself, or as someone once said, 'shut up and dribble,'" Ingraham said.

As someone who hears "stick to sports" on a regular basis, this commentary hit close to home for the Eagles defensive end.

Long took exception and wanted to point out some of the people Ingraham's own network has on for their own political commentary. He launched into a Twitter thread pointing out some of the political experts.