Jayson Tatum

Enjoy Joel Embiid's offseason trash talk during 1-on-1 with Jayson Tatum

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Pure Sweat Basketball

Enjoy Joel Embiid's offseason trash talk during 1-on-1 with Jayson Tatum

Will Drew Hanlen be able to fix Markelle Fultz's shot? That remains to be seen. But he's certainly good at making people believe he can.

Not only is he building confidence in Fultz, he's also not afraid to come out and tell fans to get excited about it. 

As a quick refresher, Hanlen has been working with Fultz this summer out in Los Angeles and spoke about that experience back in June.

It's not perfect yet, but I think by the end of the summer it will be perfect, he'll be back rolling and he'll show people why he was the No. 1 pick. Even though I do give him trouble on a daily basis and tell him and remind him that I still believe Jayson Tatum was the best player in that draft.

And then Monday while at summer league in Las Vegas, Brett Brown spoke about his confidence in Fultz. From Sports Illustrated:

"I have tremendous optimism and confidence that he’s going to have a hell of a year next year,” Brown told a small media contingent within the Thomas & Mack Center here at NBA Summer League on Monday. “I believe that completely, and I’m just really excited to see him with us and to bring him back into our program on a full-time basis."

Which brings us to Tuesday when Hanlen continued his impressive self promotion by sharing footage of Fultz putting in work in a 10-plus minute YouTube video curiously named "Unseen Hours." (You can see them below)

But the footage of Fultz is mostly a big tease. You don't really get a good glimpse of his mechanics. There's much more of him working on his handle.

The real gold in the video is footage of Joel Embiid and Jayson Tatum going at it 1-on-1. Embiid is a beast! But Tatum is admittedly amazing as well. What a battle those two have.

"My ball," Embiid says, cause he just won or something. To which Tatum responds in kind, "I beat you in the playoffs."

Touché.

Embiid ends up on the ground too much, per usual, but has fantastic lines like, "That was some MJ sh!t!" after a sweet finish.

"You think you can guard me!?!"

Of course JoJo believes he's the G.O.A.T. and very much enjoys telling people as much.

Enjoy the battle below. It starts around the three-minute mark.

Sixers' Ben Simmons win NBA's Rookie of the Year award

Sixers' Ben Simmons win NBA's Rookie of the Year award

The debate can finally be put to rest. Ben Simmons is a rookie, and he has the hardware to prove it.

Simmons was named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year during the league’s annual awards show on Monday night. Simmons beat out Utah’s Donovan Mitchell and Boston’s Jayson Tatum for the award.

“Wow. I’d like to thank my family to start off with. Family, friends, you know I wouldn’t be here without them,” Simmons said. “My teammates, of course, and my great coach. The city of Philadelphia for really embracing me and my family. Thank you.”

Simmons became the third Sixer to ever to receive the honor after Michael Carter-Williams (2013-14) and Allen Iverson (1996-97). He also became the first Australian to win the award in what turned out to be a landslide. Simmons received 90 of 101 first-place votes while Mitchell took the other 11. Simmons added 10 second-place votes and one third-place vote for 481 total points. That was far and beyond Mitchell's 323 total points and Tatum's 101.

Much to the chagrin of Jazz fans everywhere.

After sitting out last season with a broken foot, Simmons took the league by storm in 2017-18. The phenom averaged 15.8 points, 8.2 assists, 8.1 rebounds and 1.7 steals during the regular season. He also racked up 12 triple-doubles, second only to Oscar Robertson for a player in his rookie season.

“I am proud of the fact that two of the past five Rookies of the Year have come from our program’s development efforts, which are the bloodline of our culture,” Sixers head coach and interim general manager Brett Brown said in a statement. “Ben Simmons is so much an example of this fact. He had been a college four-man and transitioned into the NBA as a point guard; that, in itself, is an amazing story. This positional change and added responsibility only confirms how exciting his future is as a multi-dimensional player. His character and his talents will be a building block of our championship quest for many, many years. I am so proud to share in his award and so proud of his teammates for also helping him achieve this recognition.”

Simmons’ production was never in question throughout the season, but his standing as a rookie was a hot topic of debate. 

Pundits asked whether Simmons should be considered a rookie since he had the benefit of working and learning in the Sixers’ program during his lost 2016-17 season. 

Even Mitchell, who garnered the NBA players’ association Leader of the New School Award for top rookie, got in on the act. He openly said Simmons shouldn’t be considered a rookie and even went so far as wearing a hoodie with the definition of the word written across the chest (the definition actually helped Simmons’ case, stating it referenced someone “playing” in their first season).

Mitchell doubled down on that sentiment with his choice of vehicle for the NBA awards show.

To his credit, Simmons never let the noise get to him. The point guard simply went about his business to help the Sixers post a 24-win increase from a season ago and reach the playoffs for the first time in six season.

“If his argument is that I’m not a rookie, if that’s the only argument he has, I’m in pretty good shape,” Simmons said in April. “There’s a rule in the NBA for a reason. I’m not going to wear a sweatshirt tomorrow though.”

No need. Simmons can just glance at his trophy case now for validation.

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NBA Awards 2018: Previewing Ben Simmons', Joel Embiid's chances, show start time, how to watch

NBA Awards 2018: Previewing Ben Simmons', Joel Embiid's chances, show start time, how to watch

All of Ben Simmons’ virtuoso passing, all of Joel Embiid’s vicious blocks and yes, all the petty sweatshirts have led to this moment.

The NBA Awards Show is tonight. Here’s everything you need to know as a Sixers fan.

What time does the show start?

The Awards Show, which will take place at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California, will begin at 9 p.m. on TNT. The votes of the media members who decide the awards are already in — this is just the grand unveiling.

Which awards will be announced?

MVP, Rookie of the Year, Sixth Man, Defensive Player of the Year, Most Improved Player and Coach of the Year. All-NBAAll-Defensive and All-Rookie teams have already been announced. 

Which Sixers are nominated? Who’s their competition?

Simmons is one of three nominees for Rookie of the Year, along with Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum. Embiid is a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year. Anthony Davis and Rudy Gobert are his competition for the award.

They’re not going to snub Simmons, right?

We’ve already covered many of the reasons Simmons should win here — he has a very strong case.

But the Sixers don’t have a great recent history with this award. Last year, Malcolm Brogdon beat out Embiid and Dario Saric to claim the honor, and Sixers fans are probably never going to forgive him for it.

Still, it would be a real surprise if Simmons didn’t win. Outside of scoring, he holds the advantage over Mitchell in just about every statistical category you could imagine — rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, net rating, win shares, PER, etc. He also led his team to a 52-win season as a rookie point guard and had 12 regular-season triple-doubles, the second-most ever by a rookie.

In most other years, Mitchell, who averaged 20.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game, would be the clear winner, but Simmons should definitely have the edge over him.

Though Jayson Tatum was incredible in the playoffs, this is a regular season award, so he shouldn’t be a factor.

What are Embiid’s chances?

Well, Embiid has already shared his thoughts on the awards (see story). On Apr. 11, he had this to say:

It is what is, [the media] has a lot of say in it, but I think [Brett Brown] should be the Coach of the Year, Ben should be Rookie of the Year, and I should be the Defensive Player of the Year because I feel like all year long we’ve done it. My teammates have helped me a lot and I’m in this situation because of them. I give them a lot of credit. But I still feel like I’ve been the best defensive player in the league this year. Last year, I kind of had the knock on me of not playing a lot of games, but this year I’ve played a lot of games, so I don’t know what excuse they’re going to find next.

While Brown wasn’t nominated for Coach of the Year (Dwayne Casey, Quin Snyder and Brad Stevens are the finalists), Embiid does have a chance at Defensive Player of the Year. Unlike Simmons, however, he's not the clear favorite.

It’s not a great sign for Embiid that Gobert and Davis both made the NBA All-Defensive Team, while he did not.

Each player has a solid case. Davis led the leagues in blocks by a wide margin, with 183. Gobert has the advantage over both in defensive rating, defensive box plus-minus and defensive real plus-minus, and he anchored the team with the second-best defensive rating in the NBA. With Embiid on the floor, the Sixers allowed about four fewer points per 100 possessions than when he was out.

Ironically, if Embiid wins, one of the reasons might be that Gobert didn’t play enough games. Gobert only played in 56 regular-season games, missing significant time because of a left knee injury. Embiid played in 63 regular-season games.

When’s the last time a Sixer won Rookie of the Year? Defensive Player of the Year?

Michael Carter-Williams was the last Rookie of the Year for the Sixers, in 2013-14. Dikembe Mutombo won Defensive Player of the Year in 2001.

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