Brand: ‘Joel(Embiid) has quickly established himself as one of our game’s most dominant players’

The NBA announced today that Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers was named an Eastern Conference starter for the 2020 All-Star Game in Chicago. It’s Embiid’s third consecutive All-Star Game selection after being named a starter in each of the past two seasons. He’s the first 76ers player to be named a starter in three straight All-Star Games since Hall of Famer Allen Iverson started seven straight from 2000-06. Embiid is also the eighth player in franchise history to be named an All-Star starter three times, matching Wilt Chamberlain with his third selection.

“Congratulations to Joel on being named an All-Star starter for the third consecutive season,” said Philadelphia 76ers General Manager Elton Brand. “Through his continued hard work and intense desire to win, Joel has quickly established himself as one of our game’s most dominant players and a cornerstone of our franchise. His combination of power and finesse is truly special, as is the unique connection he’s made to our fans in Philadelphia. This is well-deserved, and we look forward to Joel representing the Philadelphia 76ers in Chicago during All-Star Weekend.

In his fourth NBA season, Embiid holds averages of 23.4 points, 12.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.4 blocks per game. He and fellow All-Star starter Giannis Antetokounmpo are the only two players in the league averaging 20 points, 12 rebounds and one block per game. Embiid has posted a team-best 24 double-doubles (sixth in East) in his 31 games, while his 21 games with 20 points and 10 rebounds are tied for the second-most in the NBA, behind only Antetokounmpo.

Embiid is one of four Eastern Conference players, and one of seven league-wide, averaging at least eight free-throw attempts per game, making at least 10 free throws on nine occasions. In five of those 10 free-throw games, Embiid has scored 30-plus points, something he’s done a team-leading eight times this season. On Dec. 12, Embiid joined Hall of Famer Dolph Schayes (twice) as the only 76ers ever to post at least 38 points, 16 rebounds and six assists against the Celtics.

Defensively, Embiid ranks sixth in the East with an individual defensive rating of 99.5. He’s one of eight-players league-wide with a mark below 100. Embiid, Antetokounmpo and Detroit’s Andre Drummond are the only three Eastern Conference players averaging at least 1.0 blocks and 12.0 rebounds per contest.

On Nov. 15 at Oklahoma City, Embiid’s 166th career game, Embiid surpassed 4,000 points, becoming the second-fastest 76er to reach the mark, behind only Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain. The Cameroon native would later collect his 2,000th career rebound in his 174th game, becoming the fastest NBA player to reach the mark since Tim Duncan in 1999. The only 76er ever to post 2,000 career rebounds faster than Embiid was Hall of Famer George McGinnis in 1977.

In the Eastern Conference frontcourt, Embiid finished third in fan voting and second in both player and media voting.

Fans accounted for 50 percent of the vote to determine the NBA All-Star Game starters, while current NBA players and a media panel accounted for 25 percent each.

After all votes were tallied, players were ranked in each conference by position (guard and frontcourt) within each of the three voting groups – fan votes, player votes and media votes.  Each player’s score was calculated by averaging his weighted rank from the fan votes, the player votes and the media votes.  The two guards and three frontcourt players with the best score in each conference were named NBA All-Star Game starters.

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76ers’ Ben Simmons named Eastern Conference Player of the Week

The NBA announced today that Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for play during the week of Monday, Jan. 13 through Sunday, Jan. 19. This marks Simmons’ third career Player of the Week honor, earning the award in each of his first three seasons in the NBA (April 9, 2018 and March 4, 201

Simmons’ award marks Philadelphia’s second consecutive winner after Josh Richardson earned Player of the Week honors on Jan. 13. The last time the 76ers were awarded back-to-back Player of the Week honors was the 2002-03 season when Hall of Famer Allen Iverson earned the honor in consecutive weeks. The last time two different 76ers earned the award in back-to-back weeks was when Aaron McKie and Iverson did so in 2000-01.

 For the week, the 76ers played in four games, earning a 3-1 record. Simmons recorded a total of 85 points through four games, averaging 21.3 points on the week. The 2019 NBA All-Star notched 20-or-more points in a career-high four straight games. Simmons also averaged 9.5 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game, the only Eastern Conference player to record such averages last week and one of three in the NBA.

 Simmons registered a double-double in three of the four games, with all three coming in the form of 20-10 games (two point-rebound double-doubles and one point-assist double-double). The NBA steals leader recorded at least one swipe in each of the four games, sending his season total to 88. Overall, the third-year NBA player has upped his streak of double-digit scoring to 18-consecutive games, the fourth-longest streak of his career.

 On Wednesday, Jan. 17 against Brooklyn at home, Simmons played in his 200th career game. Through those 200 contests, Simmons scored 3,228 points, collected 1,660 rebounds and dished out 1,608 assists. Simmons joined Hall of Famers Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson as the only three players in NBA history to reach at least 3,000 points, 1,500 rebounds and 1,500 assists in 200 career games.

 In the team’s matchup against the Chicago Bulls on Friday, Jan. 17, Simmons scored 12 of his 20 points in the first half, marking the fourth game in a row that he scored 10-plus in the first half. Against New York on Jan. 18, Simmons locked in his fourth consecutive 20-plus ppoint game, along with his 18th-straight double-digit scoring game, helping the 76ers snap a six-game road losing streak. Philadelphia sealed the season series against the Knicks on Saturday, owning a 3-0 record this season. Simmons is 11-0 in his career against New York.

At Indiana on Monday, Jan. 13, Simmons led the team in scoring (24) and rebounding (14).

 Simmons currently leads the league in steals (88), steals per game (2.1) and loose balls recovered (77), and is averaging 15.5 points, 7.7 rebounds and 8.4 assists (fifth in NBA) per game. Simmons is the only Eastern Conference player this season averaging at least 15 points, seven rebounds and eight assists per contest and the only other players in the league doing so are Lakers’ LeBron James and Dallas’ Luka Dončić.

Hawks acquire Teague from Timberwolves

Jeff Teague is back where it all started for him in the NBA. Minnesota sent Teague and Treveon Graham to Atlanta in exchange for guard/forward Allen Crabbe, it was announced today.

Teague, originally selected 19th overall by the Hawks in the 2009 NBA Draft, has averaged 12.7 points, 5.8 assists and 1.2 steals in 27.7 minutes (.446 FG%, .357 3FG%, .843 FT%) over the course of 746 games (589 starts) with Atlanta, Indiana and Minnesota.

In 34 games (13 starts) with the Timberwolves this season, Teague posted 13.2 points and 6.1 assists (.448 FG%, .379 3FG%, .868 FT%) in 27.8 minutes.

The 10-year veteran spent his first seven seasons with the Hawks and compiled 12.1 points, 5.2 assists and 1.2 steals per game in 518 contests (383 starts). The Wake Forest product ranks fifth on Atlanta’s all-time assists list (2,671), seventh in steals (613) and ninth in 3FGM (420) and was named an Eastern Conference All-Star during the 2014-15 season.

Graham, who made his NBA debut in 2016-17, has appeared in 158 games (44 starting assignments) with Charlotte, Brooklyn and Minnesota. The 6’6” shooting guard from Virginia Commonwealth has averaged 4.3 points and 2.2 rebounds per contest for his career. A native of Temple Hills, MD., Graham averaged 5.2 points and 3.0 rebounds in 33 games (20 starts) with the Timberwolves this season.

The Hawks acquired Crabbe from Brooklyn on July 6, 2019. The six-year veteran saw action in 28 games (one starting assignment) for Atlanta and averaged 5.1 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 18.6 minutes. For his career, he’s posted 9.2 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 24.2 minutes (.426 FG%, .389 FG%, .833 FT%) over 372 games (113 starts).

Spurs’ DeRozan named Western Conference Player of the Week

The NBA today announced that San Antonio Spurs forward DeMar DeRozan was named the Western Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, January 6, through Sunday, January 12. Philadelphia’s Josh Richardson was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week.

This marks the first time DeRozan has been named Player of the Week since joining the Silver and Black in 2018. With his 11th career Player of the Week honor, DeRozan becomes just the fourth player to wear a Spurs uniform to be named Player of the Week at least 10 times, joining Tim Duncan (23), David Robinson (14) and LaMarcus Aldridge (10).

DeRozan averaged 29.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.00 steals in 34.8 minutes for the week, while shooting .629 (39-62) from the field and .902 (37-41) from the foul line. He was the only player in the NBA to average 25-plus points, 6-plus rebounds and 6-plus assists while shooting better than 60 percent for the week.

DeRozan led the team in scoring in all four games and helped the Spurs go 3-1 for the week with victories against three of the top four teams in the Eastern Conference. DeRozan started off the week by scoring 25 points (11-15 FG, 1-1 3FG, 2-2 FT) to go along with 7 assists and 3 rebounds in 33 minutes in a 126-104 win against Milwaukee on January 6. Two nights later he finished with 31 points (10-17 FG, 11-11 FT), 6 rebounds and 4 assists in 34 minutes in a 129-114 victory at Boston on January 8. On Friday, DeRozan tied his season-high with 36 points (11-18 FG, 1-1 3FG, 13-14 FT), 9 assists and 7 rebounds in 38 minutes in a 121-134 loss at Memphis. To finish out the week, DeRozan scored 22 of his 25 points (7-12 FG, 11-14 FT) in the second half to help the Spurs overcome an 18 point second half deficit for a 105-104 victory at Toronto.

Over his last 11 games DeRozan has scored 20-or-more points, handed three-or-more assists and shot better than 52.0 percent in each game. He joins Michael Jordan (12) and LeBron James (11) as the only players to accomplish this feat in the last 35 years. DeRozan is one of just two players in the NBA this season averaging at least 20.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists while shooting better than 50.0 percent from the field in 2019-20, joining Giannis Antetokounmpo.

DeRozan is averaging a team-best 22.4 points to go along with 5.3 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.00 steals in 34.0 minutes while shooting a career-best .535 (323-606) from the floor and .827 (196-237) from the free throw line.

76ers’ Richardson named Eastern Conference Player of the Week

The NBA announced today that Josh Richardson of the Philadelphia 76ers was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played between Monday, Jan. 6 and Sunday, Jan. 12. In his fifth NBA season, and first with the 76ers, it’s Richardson’s first career Player of the Week selection.

Richardson led the 76ers to a 2-1 week, including wins over Oklahoma City and Boston, while posting a team-leading (eighth in East) 22.7 points per game. For the week, Richardson connected on better than 50-percent of his shots from the field (24-47) and scored 16-plus in each of the three contests.

 Last Monday, at home against Oklahoma City, Richardson notched a team-high 23 points (9-17 FG) and added four assists as the 76ers earned a 120-113 win, snapping a 10-game home losing streak against the Thunder. He followed up on Thursday with a 29-point (9-16 FG), seven-assist outing against Atlantic Division-rival Boston, the East’s No. 2 seed. In that game, Richardson knocked down each of his career-high 10 free-throw attempts as the 76ers clinched the season series over the Celtics for the first time since 2013-14. With the pair of home victories, Philadelphia improved to 18-2 at The Center this season, the team’s best home record through 20 games since 1982-83. In the team’s final game of the week, Richardson tallied 16 points in 34 minutes at Dallas on Saturday night.

Richardson, who was acquired in an offseason trade with Miami, has appeared in 32 games (all starts) for the 76ers this season, averaging 15.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.0 steals in 32.1 minutes per contest. He’s scored in double figures 24 times and reached the 20-point mark on eight occasions, including twice over the past week. The former Tennessee Volunteer is the team’s first Player of the Week honoree this season and the first since Ben Simmons earned the award in March last season.

Zhaire Smith matches G League career-high in Blue Coats’ loss

The Delaware Blue Coats (12-9), the NBA G League affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers, fell to the Grand Rapids Drive (13-10), 100-91, on Friday night at 76ers Fieldhouse. Zhaire Smith, on assignment from the 76ers, scored a game-high 19 points (6-9 fg, 4-6 3fg, 1-1 ft) with three rebounds and four assists in 29 minutes for the Blue Coats. Smith’s 19 points match his career-high total in the G League.

76ers two-way contract player Marial Shayok added 14 points and six rebounds in 30 minutes of action for Delaware, while Jared Brownridge came off the bench to tally 13 points and five rebounds in 21 minutes of work. Christ Koumadje, the NBA G League leader in blocked shots per game (3.8), added five rejections and corralled a team-high 13 rebounds in a game-high 36 minutes for the Blue Coats. Koumadje was the team’s leading rebounder for the ninth-straight game.

The contest featured 13 lead changes and was tied seven times. The Blue Coats led 43-42 at the halftime break and 69-66 after three quarters. The Drive out rebounded the Blue Coats, 66-48, marking a season-high total for the visitors.

A pair of 16-point performances paced Grand Rapids. Donta Hall registered his sixth-straight double-double with 16 points (8-12 fg) and 16 rebounds in 27 minutes for the Drive, while Adam Woodbury came off the bench to collect a double-double of his own with 16 points (8-18 fg) and 10 rebounds in 20 minutes. Detroit Pistons two-way contract player Louis King posted 12 points (5-18 fg, 2-2 ft) and eight rebounds in 27 minutes as a Drive reserve, and Tra-Deon Hollins was a game-high plus-29 while stuffing the stat sheet with game-high totals in assists (12) and steals (5) to go along with his eight points (3-8 fg, 1-1 ft).

Christ Koumadje records triple-double in Blue Coats’ victory

The Delaware Blue Coats (11-8), the NBA G League affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers, defeated the Long Island Nets (6-13), 111-88, on Saturday afternoon at 76ers Fieldhouse. Christ Koumadje recorded a triple-double with 12 points (6-11 fg), a season-high 16 rebounds and a franchise-record 10 blocked shots in 32 minutes for the Blue Coats. Koumadje, who was a game-high plus-36, previously tied the franchise record with seven blocked shots (76ers two-way contract player Norvel Pelle, three times) on Dec. 19 against Stockton.

76ers two-way contract player Marial Shayok, the NBA G League’s leading scorer, tallied a game-high 22 points (8-18 fg, 4-7 3fg, 1-1 ft) with five rebounds and three steals in 26 minutes for the Blue Coats. Delaware’s Xavier Munford posted 18 points (6-10 fg, 2-4 3fg, 2-3 ft), five rebounds and eight assists in 20 minutes of action, while Michael Bryson added a season-high 14 points (6-12 fg, 2-5 3fg) in 25 minutes off the bench. Munford’s eight assists came without a single turnover.

The Blue Coats held a 66-39 advantage at halftime and led by as many as 28 points in the contest. Six Delaware players reached double figures scoring for the sixth time this season, while the team hauled in more than 50 rebounds (54) for the 14th time.

Long Island was led by John Egbunu’s near double-double with 18 points (7-13 fg, 2-4 ft), nine rebounds and three blocked shots in 23 minutes as a reserve. Jaylen Hands scored 17 points (5-19 fg, 2-10 3fg, 2-2 ft) with four rebounds in 34 minutes for the Nets.

Wizards’ Isaiah Thomas: ‘I’m starting to feel more and more like myself’

In the 2016-17 NBA season, Washington Wizards point guard Isaiah Thomas was balling. With the Celtics that season, the 5’9″ Thomas appeared in 76 regular-season games, averaged 28.9 points per game, was second in the NBA in fourth-quarter scoring, and he was an All-Star and second-team All-NBA. Thomas had an MVP-caliber season.

Also, the Celtics had the best record in the Eastern Conference and would make it to the Eastern Conference Finals, but they were beaten 4-1 by the Cavaliers in that series. Due to an injured hip, Thomas would play only two games against the Cavs.

Throughout the 2016-17 season, the talk was about how much money Thomas was going to get in the offseason. Based on his performance that season, it seemed that Thomas would get a max deal, but the injury changed things, and ultimately during that summer, Thomas, who fought through the injury that season and even played after the death of his sister, was shipped to Cleveland in a deal that brought Kyrie Irving to Boston. 

Unfortunately, Thomas struggled to return from the hip injury with Cleveland, and after 15 games with the Cavaliers, he was dealt to the Lakers in the 2017-18 season. Thomas played 17 games with the Lakers and averaged 15 points per game before getting another surgery on his hip. 

Last season, the 30-year-old Thomas signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Nuggets, but did not get as much playing time as he hoped. This summer, Thomas signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Wizards, and with the injury to John Wall, this is an excellent opportunity for Thomas.

Thomas has started 19 games for the Wizards and is averaging 13.9 points per game and 4.9 assists, and according to Thomas, he’s starting to become himself again.

“I’m feeling more and more like myself,” Thomas told goforitradio after the Wizards’ 107-100 loss to the Knicks on Saturday night. “I’m as healthy as I’m gonna be, slowly getting my rhythm back, slowly feeling like myself.”

When asked he feels like he can duplicate what he did in 2016-17, Thomas had this to say:

“If given the opportunity.”

It’s hard not to root for Thomas. This guy has overcome a lot to get to this point. Whether it’s being drafted late in the second round, or whether it’s his height, Thomas has always found a way to come out on top. In watching Thomas on Saturday night, you can see that he is not entirely where he wants to be. At times, you saw flashes of his 2017 self, and at other times, you saw a player trying to find his rhythm.

Can he be that guy again? I’m not sure, but I know one thing, I’m sure rooting for it to happen. 

 

 

 

 

76ers two-way player Shayok scores 29 points for Blue Coats

The Delaware Blue Coats (10-7), the NBA G League affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers, fell to the College Park Skyhawks (10-8), 132-125, on Friday night at 76ers Fieldhouse. The Blue Coats connected on a season-high 21 3-point field goals in a game that saw 17 lead changes and nine ties. 76ers two-way contract player Marial Shayok posted a game-high 29 points (11-19 fg, 6-10 3fg, 1-1 ft) with six rebounds in 29 minutes in front of a sold-out crowd. Six 3-point field goals made were a career-high total for the rookie.

Haywood Highsmith scored 18 points (6-12 fg, 4-7 3fg, 1-1 ft) and grabbed seven rebounds in 26 minutes off the bench for the Blue Coats, while Jared Brownridge also totaled 18 points (7-9 fg, 4-6 3fg) as a reserve. Xavier Munford tallied his fourth double-double of the season with 17 points (6-13 fg, 3-6 3fg, 1-2 ft) and 10 assists in 32 minutes, while Christ Koumadje also secured a double-double for the home team with 15 points (6-14 fg, 2-3 ft), 13 rebounds and three blocked shots in a game-high-tying 33 minutes of action. Koumadje has now recorded a double-double on six occasions this season.

Delaware’s previous season-high total for 3-point field goals made was 20, set on Dec. 17 in a road win at Greensboro. The Blue Coats led 79-78 at halftime after a Shayok three-pointer beat the first half buzzer. The team’s 21 triples came on a season-high 46 attempts from downtown, good for its second-highest 3-point field goal percentage (.457) of the season.

College Park saw eight players reach double figures scoring in the victory. Philadelphia native Tahjere McCall tallied a career-high 28 points (7-13 fg, 4-6 3fg, 7-9 ft) with six rebounds and five assists in 23 minutes off the bench for the Skyhawks. Cat Barber posted his third double-double of the season with 23 points (10-17 fg, 2-2 ft) and 10 assists in 33 minutes for the visitors, while Nick Ward added 16 points (8-11 fg) and six rebounds in his first-career start.

Shayok drops 31 points in Blue Coats’ victory

The Delaware Blue Coats (7-4), the NBA G League affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers, defeated the Capital City Go-Go (5-6), 110-109, on Friday night at 76ers Fieldhouse for the team’s fourth-straight victory. 76ers two-way contract player Marial Shayok scored a game-high 31 points (13-23 fg, 4-7 3fg, 1-1 ft) in 30 minutes of action. Jonah Bolden, on assignment from the 76ers, converted a putback dunk with 5.4 seconds remaining to take the lead.

Bolden posted his third double-double of the season and his eighth overall in a Blue Coats uniform with 14 points (6-9 fg, 1-2 3fg, 1-2 ft), 13 rebounds and five assists in 31 minutes. Christ Koumadje also secured a double-double, his second of the season for the home team, with a season-high 20 points (7-9 fg, 3-3 ft), 12 rebounds and two blocked shots in 20 minutes as a reserve. Jared Brownridge added 16 points (6-11 fg, 4-8 3fg) in 22 minutes off the bench in the victory. Brownridge has now converted four triples or more on five occasions this season, after doing so in 30 of his 49 appearances (61 percent) with the Blue Coats during the 2018-19 campaign.

76ers two-way contract player Norvel Pelle nearly racked up his third consecutive double-double with the Blue Coats, finishing with 12 points (5-9 fg, 1-1 ft) and nine rebounds in 19 minutes.

Delaware grabbed 59 total rebounds for a plus-22 margin on the glass. Friday marks the second time this season that the team has recorded 59 rebounds, two shy of the season-high 61 rebounds posted on Dec. 1 at Lakeland. Delaware has corralled 55 rebounds or more in six of the team’s 11 games to this point.

The Blue Coats led 61-56 at halftime in a game that saw 12 total lead changes. The team improves to a perfect 6-0 overall when leading at the break.

For Capital City, Jerian Grant led the way with a season-high 25 points (6-13 fg, 2-4 3fg, 7-8 ft) to go along with six rebounds, six assists and three steals in a game-high 36 minutes. Jalen Jones collected 20 points (6-10 fg, 4-6 3fg, 2-3 ft) and eight rebounds in 34 minutes for the visitors, while Jalen Hudson added 19 points (8-18 fg, 3-6 3fg), seven rebounds and three steals in his first start of the season.