76ers and Pacers at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday Night
Question: Are the 76ers worth watching?
Short Answer: Absolutely.
1. Their point guard is not a good shooter.
2. Their center does not have much of an offensive game.
3. Their #1 draft pick is out for the year (as the player referenced in point #2 was out for the year the year before).
4. They have two very good college players from last year getting meaningful minutes.
5. Their second-best offensive player (behind their third guard, who might be their best) went to a school down south that a high school kid goes to if the SEC overlooks him and played in the D-League last year. But he's about 6'8" with a jump shot.
6. They have a kid from Turkey who seemingly sets screens and, well, that's about it.
7. Their back-up center is a center from Georgetown, but, sadly, not in the same realm as players like Ewing, Mourning, Mutombo or Hibbert.
8. The visiting team was missing their best player, one of the league's best in Paul George.
9. The best player on the floor last night was the Pacers' power forward, David West.
10. Arguably the second best player on the floor last night was Pacers' shooting guard Rodney Stuckey (who someone missed the big conference coaches' radar screens and played his college basketball at Eastern Washington).
11. Roy Hibbert might have had a better time watching the game from a room at the Four Seasons Hotel than playing in it.
1. Under Coach Brett Brown, the 76ers play hard. If someone (GM Sam Hinkie?) sent them an e-mail telling them that they're supposed to lose, well, they didn't get it. They might be overmatched, but the players are having fun out there.
2. Brown did a masterful job substituting players last night.
3. The former D-League all-star, Robert Covington, hit many key threes and a prayer of a blind scoop shot in the last 30 seconds to help the team win.
4. Another erstwhile D-Leaguer, JaKarr Sampson, had a spectacular dunk off an alley-oop.
5. Back-up center Henry Sims acquitted himself well with a ten-and-five type of night, although at one time he frightened the faithful when he was running the offense while dribbling behind the three-point line.
6. While center Nerlens Noel is as skinny at your average #2 pencil, he had a few key blocks.
7. Rookies C.J. McDaniel and Jerami Grant played some very good minutes, with McDaniel hitting some shots and Grant making some good defensive stops.
8. It is hard to tell whether Michael Carter-Williams is a lot more than a prolific (if not accurate) player on a bad team.
9. The 76ers have great fans. I cannot emphasize this point enough. They pay serious money for NBA tickets, and the team that the ownership puts out there won't confuse anyone with those that fielded Wilt Chamberlain or Julius Erving. And, yet, the fans appreciate the effort that this basketball version of the Bad News Bears plays. They bring a good effort each time down the floor, even if the ownership's strategy is to lose as much as possible (last year it was "Winless for Wiggins," and perhaps this year it's "Oh for Okafor").
10. So, in summary, hard-working young players seeking to impress the entire NBA, a smart, energetic coach and a devoted fan base all combine to make the experience a very good one.
Go watch the 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center -- it's actually a lot of fun.