76ers

Joel Embiid credits partying in L.A. for torrid stretch

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USA Today Images

Joel Embiid credits partying in L.A. for torrid stretch

CAMDEN, N.J. -- Joel Embiid sometimes looks like he’s having a party on the basketball court. It’s no surprise, then, he credits some actual partying with turning around his season.

Yes, that’s right. After Sixers practice Friday afternoon, Embiid said hitting the town in Los Angeles on the team's recent road trip helped him out of a funk.

“All my close friends live in L.A., so before that, I wasn’t really doing anything, I was frustrated because I wasn’t in basketball shape and I wasn’t having fun on the court,” Embiid said. “So I won’t lie, I decided to go out, have fun a little bit. And that just kind of gave me the energy back, and the next game against the Clippers, I had more than 30 points [32], and then the following game I had more than 40 [46], so I think it’s just about having fun and making sure I can control what I can.”

For what it’s worth, Embiid is averaging 25.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks since the Sixers arrived in Los Angeles. The Sixers are 5-1 in those six games.

As the Sixers keep winning, the expectations keep growing. Is this a legit playoff team? Contenders in the near future? Embiid deals with the pressure that sort of attention can bring the same way he does just about everything else.

“Just be myself," Embiid said. "Have fun on the court. You know, just be myself, and I know it’s going to come, I know the guys are going to find me whenever they have to find me, I know coach is going to call plays for me. I think I kind of figured out if I’m not having fun on the court, I’m not going to play well, so I really need to have fun, and that’s the main thing for me. From there, I’m going to be dominant.”

A big part of having fun on the court for Embiid is trash talk. He insists he doesn’t initiate it, but he’s more than happy to give it back. He’ll be without Ben Simmons Saturday night against Orlando, but he’s eager for some banter with the Magic.

“Me talking trash, it doesn’t usually happen because I want to, it’s because the other guys start talking trash. So if any of the guys want to, I’m up for it. It elevates my game, it makes me play better because I know if you talk trash to me I’m going to talk back, and I’m going to back it up, and that’s going to make me play better. I can’t wait, I really hope they do [trash talk]. It’s going to be exciting.”

Sixers vs. Knicks: 3 storylines to watch and how to stream the game

Sixers vs. Knicks: 3 storylines to watch and how to stream the game

The Sixers (8-5) return to the Wells Fargo Center Wednesday to take on the Knicks (4-10) after a disappointing road trip.

Here are the essentials for tonight’s game:

When: 7 p.m. ET with Sixers Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

And here are three storylines to watch:

Home cooking

Yes, the Sixers starting 8-5 is disappointing, and with the amount of talent they have, they should be better.

But they’ve had a brutal schedule to start the season. Not necessarily in the teams they’ve played, but with the amount they’ve had to travel. If it feels like you’ve barely seen the Sixers at the Wells Fargo Center, it’s because that’s the case. Just four of their first 13 games have been at home.

Wednesday’s game is the start of 14 of their next 20 at home. Thought it’s been only four games, the Sixers currently have the best defensive rating in the NBA at home. They still have other things to figure out, but this stretch should help. 

Richardson out

With Josh Richardson suddenly out (hip), this will be yet another contest where the Sixers will not have their starting five together. The starting unit has started and finished only four games. Richardson had been playing well recently so the timing is especially unfortunate.

It will likely be Furkan Korkmaz getting the starting nod Wednesday. You should expect to see plenty of rookie Matisse Thybulle as well. Thybulle's minutes have been down recently, but this seems like the ideal opportunity to give the first-round pick extended run.

Bold strategy

It was an odd strategy when the Knicks decided to sign ALL the power forwards this offseason. Fourteen games in, the strategy isn’t any less head-scratching. Philly native Marcus Morris has played well, but New York is 4-10 and looking like they’ll be watching ping pong ball this summer.

They do have young pieces that are intriguing. Though Knicks fans clamored for Zion Williamson, his Duke teammate, R.J. Barrett, has been excellent in his rookie campaign. The No. 3 overall pick is third on the team in scoring (15.8 points per game) and is shooting a surprising 37 percent from three.

But it seems head coach David Fizdale is more interested in playing the team’s vets than giving time to high flyer Mitchell Robinson and second-year players Kevin Knox and Allonzo Trier. To each their own.

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Sixers release hype video officially revealing 2019-20 City Edition uniforms

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NBA

Sixers release hype video officially revealing 2019-20 City Edition uniforms

While a sneak peek last night from Sixers president Chris Heck teased the City Edition uniforms, they were officially revealed Wednesday morning with this epic hype video.

It seemed next to impossible to top last year’s design, as the theme was centered around local icon Rocky Balboa. Yes, Rocky is real and an icon but don’t get me started on that right now.

One season later and the Sixers went the historic route again, this time drawing inspiration from the iconic rich history of Philadelphia's culture. You can certainly appreciate the classic design, though they do seem fairly similar to the City Edition uniforms from the 2017-18 season.


Image credit: Twitter, NBA, NBC Sports Philadelphia 

Once it was hinted that the uniform had a copper stripe as an ode to the Liberty Bell, I was thinking of a National Treasure-esque hype video … but this one is equal to (who am I kidding, this is definitely way better) what I could’ve imagined. The artist, Alix Philogene, narrated the video to describe the everyday people of Philadelphia and the grind this city has in a tribute called "What is Philly."

Check it out:

 

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