76ers

Leave the NBA playoffs alone

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Leave the NBA playoffs alone

You can't kill NBA commissioner Adam Silver for trying.

Last week, Silver announced to the media during All-Star weekend in Los Angeles that he's considering a change to the playoffs, where rather than the top eight seeds in each conference competing to determine a conference champ, playoff teams will be seeded 1 through 16.

More recently, ESPN reported that the league is kicking around a "play-in tournament" to determine the final two seeds in each conference.

Let's take these ideas one at a time:

Re-seeding the postseason may sound fun, and even kind of fair, but it completely dissolves conference rivalries that the league has celebrated for decades. Looking for the Warriors and Rockets in the Western Conference Finals? Sorry. Under the new format, there would be no more West Finals. Right now, those are the two best teams in the NBA. So you might see them in the Finals in that format — if they both get that far.

I could understand this argument in years when the disparity in balance of power is egregious. That's not the case this season. If the NBA season ended today, one team would reap the benefits of a 1-16 playoff format: the 9-seed in the West, the Clippers, who are a half-game better than Eastern Conference 8-seed Miami.

(Psst, right now the 5-12 matchup in a 1-16 format would be Sixers-Cavaliers. But let's stay on topic.)

As for the play-in tournament, this completely contradicts the re-seeding idea. The NBA wants the best teams in the playoffs, right? Is a Pistons-Hornets play-in game must-see TV? Or what's left of the Clippers vs. the Jazz?

And how long do you want the postseason to be? Last season, the playoffs lasted nearly nine weeks. It was only that "brief" because the Finals didn't go the full seven games. Adding another round could extend the NBA season into July (unless it corresponds with a shortening of the schedule). We have seen what happens in Olympic years when players don't get enough offseason rest and it ain't pretty.

I'm guessing this is a backhanded way for Silver to keep more teams from tanking for better draft picks. "Hey, you may be 11th in the conference, but you're one 3-game win streak away from a shot at the postseason!!"

I'm all for change, but in the case of the NBA playoffs, commish, I think we're good for now.

Sixers postpone Blue-White scrimmage

Sixers postpone Blue-White scrimmage

Sixers fans will have to wait a little longer to see Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons' retooled shots, Joel Embiid's "bully ball" in the post, and all the storylines they were hoping to watch at Tuesday's Blue-White scrimmage. 

The Sixers have postponed Tuesday's scrimmage at the Palestra due to "weather-related issues that have impacted the arena." 

There were issues due to humidity and moisture on the floor.

With heavy rain in the Philadelphia area, the team said it decided to postpone the event due to "an abundance of caution for player safety."

The scrimmage will be rescheduled for a later date.

The team is set to open its preseason slate on Friday at Wells Fargo Center against Melbourne United.

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Sixers notes, quotes and tidbits: Joel Embiid rests; Landry Shamet learns from JJ Redick

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Sixers notes, quotes and tidbits: Joel Embiid rests; Landry Shamet learns from JJ Redick

CAMDEN, N.J. — Joel Embiid sat out the Sixers’ practice on Monday. In past years, that would be a cause for grave concern and frantic speculation.

This season, there’s no reason to read too much into it. Monday was simply a “load management” day for Embiid ahead of the team’s Blue-White scrimmage Tuesday night at the Palestra (7 p.m., NBCSP).

“We had two great days and [Tuesday] he’ll come in, and it’s sort of a game day for us,” head coach Brett Brown said. “We’ll come in, have a shootaround, then go to the Palestra and play in front of a fantastic crowd. We just felt like it would be good to let him have [Monday] to rest and we’ll jump back into it [Tuesday.]”

It wasn’t an entirely idle day for Embiid, however, who worked on his game after practice.

The Sixers will throw in a rest day for Embiid here and there, but he’s unrestricted for the first time in his career (see story).

Learning from the best 
After each day of training camp, rookie Landry Shamet and JJ Redick have been taking corner threes, shot-faking and pulling up, launching floaters — fine-tuning the skills shooters need to thrive in the NBA.

Shamet said he’s already picked up a lot from Redick, who is entering his 13th season in the NBA. Redick has made 1,464 three-point shots in his career, 30th most in NBA history. He’s a career 41.5 percent three-point shooter.

“He’s one of the best shooters, when you look back on it, in NBA history,” Shamet said. “I just try to take little bits and pieces of how he gets open, because he’s not the biggest guy, especially in the NBA. He’s really good with his feet, with his hands, knowing how to create space. So even when I’m guarding him, I’m picking things up on what he does to me and how he gets open.” 

Quotables
“Just not worrying about what people say. Not worrying about what the media says, fans. At the end of the day, this is his job. He loves playing ball. We all love what we do, so we can’t worry about what [the media] says or what the fans say or what people are saying on the internet — it doesn’t matter. He’s a great player and he wants to work hard. He knows greatness doesn’t take a week or a month or a year, it takes a long period of time.”

-Ben Simmons on the confidence he’s seen from Markelle Fultz 

“We obviously want him to get inside; he’s as good as anybody in the NBA. But to feel like that’s the only thing he can do is really naïve and I don’t think great coaching. So me coaching, it’s getting that balance of post up, post up, post up, dunk, dunk, dunk vs. he’s trailing in and nobody’s guarding him, shoot some threes and space him in corners as we put Markelle in a pick-and-roll. That interests me. As I said, so much of Joel’s interesting situation is he’s good at a lot. He really is skillful and has the ability to score in a lot of different ways.”

-Brett Brown on why he still wants Joel Embiid to shoot a good number of three-pointers 

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