76ers’ Embiid named Eastern Conference Player of the Week

Joel Embiid had another great week, which got him some recognition. He was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played between Monday, March 6, and Sunday, March 12, the league announced on Monday.

For the week, Embiid averaged 38.5 points (62.0% FG, 50.0% 3PT, 87.9% FT), 6.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.8 blocks, and 1.5 steals per outing. The 76ers had a perfect 4-0 week, and he was the lone player to average such numbers in the league; Philadelphia’s five-game win streak is the longest in the NBA.

He led all players in total points (154) and free throws (51) while ranking second in blocked shots (11) throughout the week. 

Embiid scored at least 39 points in three consecutive games from March 6-10, becoming the first 76er to accomplish that feat since Hall of Famer Allen Iverson in 2004. This included a 39-point effort on Friday, March 10, which helped the 76ers overcome a 21-point deficit against Portland. In that game, a 120-119 victory, Embiid hit a go-ahead field goal with 1.5 seconds remaining, marking the first time he has connected on a go-ahead basket within the final 2.0 seconds of a game in his NBA career.  

In 54 games this season, Embiid leads the league in scoring with a career-high 33.4 points on a career-best 53.9% shooting mark from the field, in addition to his 10.0 rebounds per game. The Cameroon native is on pace to become the first player since Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo (1973-75) – and the only player in franchise history – to average at least 30 points and 10 rebounds in back-to-back seasons.  

This is the 10th time Embiid has captured the weekly award and his third honor this season. Embiid and Iverson (20) are the only 76ers to win the award at least 10 times since the award’s inception in 1979-80. 

Domantas Sabonis of the Sacramento Kings was named Western Conference Player of the Week. 

76ers’ Harris on Doncic, Irving: ‘Those are some of the best guys with the basketball in the whole league’

When the Mavericks acquired Kyrie Irving from the Nets to team up with Luka Doncic, they were hoping for a dynamic duo and nights, as we saw on Thursday against the visiting 76ers.

Doncic had 42, and Irving added 40 as the Mavericks defeated the 76ers 133-126.

The dynamic duo, who combined for 82 points, became the first pair of Mavericks teammates to score 40-plus points in the same game, and they became only the fifth pair of teammates to record 40-plus points in a non-OT game over the past 30 years.

Doncic was 13/22 from the field, including 7-13 from deep to go along with four rebounds and 12 assists, and Irving was 15/22 from the floor and 6/8 from downtown to go along with four rebounds, six assists, and three steals. 

“I thought our leaders, when you talk about Luka [Dončić] and Kai [Kyrie Irving], they were great on both ends of the floor,” Mavs coach Jason Kidd said after the win. “Offensively, both having 40 and 42, but those guys set the tone from the first quarter. You know those guys were trying to lead their team to victory, and you know Kai’s sub-pattern kind of changed. I was asking, ‘do you want to come out?’ And he was like, ‘no.’ We let him go a little bit, but you can see those two working together was at a high level against a very good team.”

76ers forward Tobias Harris was impressed by what he saw from Doncic and Irving.

“I mean, two guys damn-near had 100 points on us,” he said. “That team was tough with one wizard with the basketball in Luka (Doncic), and now they got two of them out there. Those are tough matchups. Those are some of the best guys with the basketball in the whole league, and they just picked us apart tonight.”

Doncic liked the scoring but would have liked to have seen some better defense.

“I mean, yeah, like I said, we always talk about the team. The only thing, the offense, I don’t think is a problem … just on the defensive end,” Doncic said. “We play a team like Philly, who is one of the best in the NBA, and showed them what we can do.”

Dallas has lost some close games of late, including Tuesday’s two-point loss to the Pacers, and according to Irving, the team wanted this win against Philadelphia.

“There’s been a few losses over the last week where we felt like they could have been winnable games,” Irving said. “It was definitely a different approach tonight for us as a team because we really wanted this. I wanted this. But I think like I said, last time I was sitting up here, I just had to join the party and make sure my teammates were going to follow along. Luka [Dončić] was ready for the party. I was ready for the party tonight, and it was one of those games where we had some special performances, and I’m just grateful that the work translated because it could’ve gone either way.”

So far, Doncic likes playing with Irving, believing he makes things easier.

“Like I said, it’s way easier,” Doncic said. “It’s unbelievable the things he does on the court, some movements I have never seen in my life. I think if I would have to play with somebody, it would be him for sure because those movements and shots are incredible.”

Dallas led by as many as 25 in the third, but Philly went on a furious run to cut the lead to four, but Dallas closed things out and got the job done.

The Mavericks(33-31) got a much-needed win against Philadelphia and moved back up to the sixth seed in the Western Conference. In addition, they got a fantastic performance from their stars.


-The Mavs as a whole were on fire from three-point ranges as the finished with a franchise-tying 25 threes(25/48).

-Reggie Bullockwent 5-10 from 3-point range en route to 15 points. Bullock has scored in double figures in 3 of his last 4 games out of the All-Star Break.

-Joel Embiid led the Sixers with 35 points and 8 rebounds tonight. Dallas native Tyrese Maxey added 29 points, while James Harden scored 27 points to go with 13 assists.

Embiid on playing with Harden: ‘I think we’re on the right path’

This season, Joel Embiid and James Harden have been perfect together. Embiid is second in the NBA in points per game(33.1), and Harden leads the NBA in assists per game(10.8).

They way things are going, Embiid and Harden could be the first teammates in over 40 years to lead the league in points and assists per game.

More importantly, the 76ers are 38-19, third in the Eastern Conference.

Embiid and Harden have played well off each other, and according to Hoops Muse, Harden has assisted on 167 of Embiid’s 496 field goals this season. No duo in the NBA is better.

After the All-Star Game, where Embiid scored 32 points, he talked about his first full season with Harden.

“It’s been great. I mean, since last year, you know, we’ve been growing every single day,” Embiid said. “Obviously, it’s been, what, about a year since we’ve been playing together. It takes a lot of time to have a connection with somebody, but I feel like from the beginning, we already had that connection. The way we play off of each other, I think obviously you can always get better, but I think we’re on the right path.”

Embiid has yet to get past the second round of the playoffs, and based on the roster’s makeup, they have to win now. Embiid is 28 and will turn 29 next month, and Harden is 33 and can opt out of his contract at the season’s end.  Another second-round exit would be a huge disappointment, and anything short of the NBA Finals would be disappointing. 

At this point, are the 76ers better than the Bucks and Celtics? Probably not, but can they compete with those teams? For sure; however, competing is not enough; they need to win. For that to happen, Embiid, who has been battling a foot injury, must be at his best and healthy. Unfortunately, that has been a problem in the postseason, including last season when he missed the first two games of Philly’s second-round series against the Heat.

However, that was last season, and maybe Embiid will change that narrative in this year’s playoffs.

Cavs’ Altman: ‘Kevin Love had an outstanding run with the Cavaliers’

The Cleveland Cavaliers have officially reached a buyout agreement with forward Kevin Love, the team announced on Saturday.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Miami Heat are a frontrunner to sign Love, but he plans to talk to the Philadelphia 76ers before making a decision.

Love, the longest-tenured member of the Cavaliers, playing in his 9th season with the franchise, has been out of the rotation and has not played in the last 12 games.

The 34-year-old appeared in 41 games (three starts) this season, averaging 8.5 points and 6.8 rebounds.

Love had this to say on Twitter:

During his time with the Cavs, Love appeared in 489 games (380 starts) since being traded to Cleveland on Aug. 23, 2014, marking the 12th-most games in team history. In his nine seasons in Cleveland, Love posted averages of 15.7 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in 28.5 minutes and ranks 2nd in team history in three-pointers made (1,096 3FGM), 3rd in defensive rebounds (3,720 DREB), 6th in total rebounds (4,493 REB) and 9th in total points scored (7,663). 

Love was also a member of the Cavaliers’ 2016 NBA Championship team and appeared in 63 playoff games (62 starts), averaging 15.3 points, 9.7 rebounds, and shooting a .404 three-point percentage in 31.1 minutes during his postseason career. His 63 postseason appearances with Cleveland are the 6th-most playoff games in team history. 

“Kevin Love had an outstanding run with the Cavaliers, including memorable on-court moments, four NBA Finals appearances, and an NBA Championship in 2016,” said Altman via a statement from the team. “Kevin represented the organization and the city of Cleveland with the utmost charm and professionalism during his nine seasons in Northeast Ohio. He also embodied everything a franchise would want in a player, and the admiration and gratitude we have for him will ultimately land his jersey in the rafters of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. We thank Kevin for his impact and wish him nothing but the best, knowing that he has solidified his place in the hearts of Cavaliers fans and this organization forever.” 

Over his 15-year NBA career, Love has played in 853 games (662 starts) with Minnesota and Cleveland, owning career averages of 17.2 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 30.4 minutes per contest while also shooting .372 from the three-point line. A five-time NBA All-Star (2011, 2012, 2014, 2017, 2018), Love was named an All-NBA Second Team selection in 2012 and 2014.

He is 1 of 4 players in the history of the NBA to record 14,000 points, 8,000 rebounds, 1,500 assists, and 1,500 three-pointers made (LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki, and Jason Kidd). 

Love had a great run with the Cavs, but all good things must come to an end.

Cavs’ seven-game winning streak ends in Philly

On Wednesday night, the Cavs’ seven-game-winning streak came to an end as they fell to the 76ers on the road 118-112.

Here’s The Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to the 76ers

The Great:

Cavs Backcourt: Donovan Mitchell(33 points, five rebounds, five assists, two steals) and Darius Garland(27 points, two rebounds, six assists, three steals) combined for 60 points, seven rebounds, 11 assists, and five steals. Mitchell scored 25 of his 33 points in the second half, including 16 points in the fourth, and Garland was 10/14 from the field. Mitchell and Garland almost brought the Cavs all the way back in this one.

Second Half: Cleveland trailed by many as 28 points in the first half and by as many as 27 in the third. However, they finally woke up. The Cavs outscored the 76ers 32-24 in the third but trailed by 17 going into the fourth. In the final stanza, Cleveland cut Philly’s 22-point fourth-quarter lead to four with 1:30 left and with just under a minute to go, but they couldn’t get any closer. The Cavs outscored the 76ers 74-55 in the second half and shot 63%.

Not So Great:

First Half: Cleveland came out slow and sluggish. They never led in this one, and the 76ers jumped on them early. Philadelphia shot 53%(8/15) from deep. Conversely, Cleveland was terrible on offense. They shot 36% from the field and were 4/17 from downtown. The Cavs were fighting uphill the rest of the way and trailed 63-48 at halftime.

The Final 52.5 seconds: With 52.5 seconds left in the game and the Cavs trailing 114-110, Joel Embiid rebounded an Evan Mobley missed hook shot. Instead of playing straight-up defense, Cleveland decided to foul, which did not make much sense. If you play defense and get the stop, you can get it to two or one with still a decent amount of time left, but they started fouling early, and Philly made their foul shots to put the game away.

Bottom Line:

Despite the loss, it was a great effort by the Cavs. For Cleveland(38-23) to come back from a 28-point deficit is impressive. However, this is another learning experience for the young Cavs. You have to start early against a team like the 76ers.

As they head into the All-Star break, the fourth-seeded Cavs are two games behind the third-seeded 76ers(38-19) and are 2.5 games up on the fifth-seeded Nets. 

At this point, with 21 games to go, the Cavs are probably locked into the fourth seed, which means homecourt advantage in the first round and a meeting with the Nets, Heat, or Knicks. All those series seem very winnable for the Cavs, so things are looking up in Cleveland.

Best of the Rest:

-Joel Embiid led the 76ers with 29 points, 14 rebounds, and two steals. James Harden had 19 points and 12 assists. Philadelphia had six players in double figures.

-Evan Mobley had 23 points and nine rebounds; Jarrett Allen added 12 points and seven rebounds

-Cedi Osman(neck) and Ricky Rubio(illness) did not play on Wednesday night.

-According to Shams Charania, the Cavs, and Kevin Love are finalizing a contract buyout. The 34-year-old, who has not played in the last 12 games and is out of the rotation, has reportedly requested a buyout from the team.

Love has spent nine seasons with the Cavs and is making $31.2 million this season. 

Cavs sign three-time champion Danny Green

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed forward Danny Green for the remainder of the 2022-23 season, the team announced on Wednesday.

Green, who was drafted by the Cavs in 2009 and spent one season in Cleveland, appeared in three games this season with the Memphis Grizzlies and was traded to Houston as part of a three-team deal on February 9 before being waived a few days later.

Last season, Green played for the 76ers and tore his ACL and UCL in the playoffs.

Over his 14-year NBA career, the 35-year-old has played in 822 games (709 starts) with Memphis, Philadelphia, L.A. Lakers, Toronto, San Antonio, and Cleveland, owning career averages of 8.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.03 steals in 25.3 minutes per contest while also shooting .399 from the three-point line.

Green has made at least 100 three-pointers in 11 of his 14 seasons, and his 1,465 career three-pointers rank 14th among active NBA players. Additionally, he has appeared in 165 career playoff games (159 starts) with averages of 8.1 points and 3.2 rebounds in 25.6 minutes. His 165 playoff games are the 3rd-most of any active NBA player, behind only LeBron James (266) and Andre Iguodala (177).

A three-time NBA Champion with the Spurs, Raptors, and Lakers (2014, 2019, 2020) and one of just four players in NBA history to win championships with three different franchises (LeBron James, Robert Horry, and John Salley), Green was an NBA All-Defensive Second Team selection in 2017.

Green gives the Cavs more wing depth and veteran presence with championship experience, which will hopefully help Cleveland this season.

76ers sign veteran center Dewayne Dedmon

Philadelphia 76ers have signed center Dewayne Dedmon for the rest of the season, the team announced on Tuesday. 

Dedmon, 33, was recently waived by the Spurs after being traded by the Heat to San Antonio in early February. This season, Dedmon, who spent three-plus seasons in Miami, averaged 5.7 points and 3.6 rebounds in 30 games with the Miami Heat.

Dedmon is not unfamiliar with Philadelphia, as he played in 11 games during the 2013-14 season. The 10-year veteran had the most success as a pro with the Hawks(2017-19). During his time in Atlanta, he averaged 10.2 points while starting in 106 of 136 games played. 

Philadelphia could use more size, and the 7-foot Dedmon gives them that. It should be interesting to see what role he’ll have with the 76ers, as they currently have Paul Reed and Montrezl Harrell as the primary backups to Joel Embiid.

Embiid named Eastern Conference Player of the Month; Rivers named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month

The Philadelphia 76ers had a lot of success in January. They went 11-3, including a perfect 6-0 on the road, and because of that, Doc Rivers was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for January, and for the second consecutive month, Joel Embiid was named Eastern Conference Player of the Month, the league announced Thursday.

In 10 games played throughout the month, Embiid produced a league-best 34.9 points on 54.9% shooting, 10.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.0 steals, and 1.6 blocked shots. He is the first 76ers player to produce such numbers in a calendar month since Hall of Famer Moses Malone did so in Feb. 1982.  

The five-time All-star reached the 30-point mark in nine of his 10 games played throughout the month, including a streak of seven consecutive from Jan. 2-19. He scored 40-plus points three times in January, including a 47-point (18-31 FG), season-high 18-rebound game in a win over Denver on January 28. 

Rivers run deep!

This marks the first time this season and the second time as the leader of the 76ers that Rivers has captured the monthly coaching honor. He joins Larry Brown as the only two coaches to earn the award multiple times with the franchise. With 13 monthly honors throughout his coaching career, Rivers stands alone in second place on the all-time ledger behind only San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich (17). 

Philadelphia finished the month with a perfect 7-0 mark in games decided by less than 10 points.

For the season, Rivers has led the 76ers to a 33-17 (.667) record, good for third in the Eastern Conference and fourth in the NBA. Going back to December 9, Philadelphia is a league-best 21-5.

Doncic, Embiid named NBA Players of the Month

On Tuesday, the NBA announced that Mavericks guard Luka Doncic(Western Conference) and 76ers center Joel Embiid(Eastern Conference) were named Players of the Month for games played in December.

Doncic averaged 35.1 points (.519 FG%, .424 3FG%), 8.5 rebounds, 9.3 assists, 1.6 steals and 36.3 minutes in 15 games in December. It marked the highest-scoring month in franchise history (min. 10 games played) and the Mavericks went 11-4 in his 15 appearances during the month (11-6 overall).

He tallied a career-high 60 points (21-31 FG, 2-6 3FG, 16-22 FT) to go along with a career-high 21 rebounds, 10 assists, two steals and one block in a career-high 47 minutes in Dallas’ 126-121 come-from-behind win over New York on Dec. 27. Doncic became the first player in NBA history to record a 60-point, 20-rebound triple-double and the second player to post a 60-point triple-double of any kind.

Doncic netted 50-plus points three times over his final five games in December, totaling 228 points, 56 boards and 51 assists over that five-game stretch (Dec. 23 to 31). He became the first player in NBA history to total 225-plus points, 50-plus rebounds and 50-plus assists over any five-game run. Dončić also became the first player to record three 50-point games over a five-game span since Harden in January 2019.

The three-time All-Star has totaled 292 points, 77 rebounds and 69 assists during the Mavericks’ current seven-game win streak (41.7 ppg, 11.0 rpg and 9.0 apg since Dec. 21), which is their longest win streak since their championship season in 2010-11. He is the first player in league history to record 290-plus points, 70-plus rebounds and 60-plus assists over any seven-game stretch.

Embiid dominates

This was Embiid’s fifth career Player of the Month award, breaking a tie with Hall of Famer Allen Iverson for the most such honors in 76ers franchise history.

Embiid led the 76ers to a 9-4 record (.692) in the month, including a season-long eight-game win streak from Dec. 9-25. Philadelphia’s .692 winning percentage ranked third in the NBA throughout the month.

The five-time All-Star earned the honor after leading all NBA players in scoring at 35.4 points per contest on .545 shooting from the floor and .417 from three-point range. He and Doncic were the only NBA players to post such numbers in December.

His totals in points (460), rebounds (129) and blocks (23) make him one of four players in league history with such numbers over 13 outings, joining himself (earlier this season), and Hall of Famers Moses Malone, Bob McAdoo and Shaquille O’Neal.

Embiid posted at least 30 points in 10 games, joining Hall of Famers Wilt Chamberlain and Iverson as the only 76ers to have double-digit 30-point outings in the month of December. Embiid (twice), Iverson (seven) and Chamberlain (five) are the only 76ers ever to post at least 10 30-point games in any month in franchise history.

Highlighting the month was Embiid’s second 50-plus point game of the season on Dec. 11 against Charlotte. In the win, Embiid posted 53 points on a career-high 20 made field goals, adding 12 rebounds. He’s one of five players in NBA history to post at least four career games of 50 points and 10 rebounds, while shooting at least 60-percent from the field.

Embiid is the first center with multiple 50-point games in a single season since Hall of Famer David Robinson in 1993-94. He is also the first 76er with multiple games of 50-plus points since Iverson had three such contests during the 2004-05 season.

The Cameroon native went on to round out the month with his fifth career triple-double against the Oklahoma City Thunder, making him the eighth 76er to produce five triple-doubles with the team.

76ers’ Rivers on team: ‘They’re starting to visualize what we are, and that’s a good thing’

Before the start of their seven-game homestand, many said this was the point where the Philadelphia 76ers needed to take advantage of these games and make their move in the standings.

After four games, they have just done that, including Friday night’s 118-106 victory over the Golden State Warriors. The 76ers(16-12) have won four straight at Wells Fargo Center and are 10-1 in their last 11 home games.

Joel Embiid led the way with 34 points and 13 rebounds, and James Harden added 27 points, five rebounds, and nine assists.

Philly is getting it done without Tyrese Maxey(foot), and on Friday night, they were without Tobias Harris(back), but despite that, they keep on winning.

“It’s next man up mentality,” Embiid said. “We are missing our best player in Tyrese [Maxey]. Tobias has been great this year. He’s doing his thing, been efficient defensively; he’s been great. When you are missing these types of guys, it’s hard, but I think we have enough talent. Guys like Shake(Milton), Matisse(Thybulle), they’ve been playing really well. Can’t talk enough about De’Anthony [Melton]; he’s been amazing. All of them; D-House, George, Furk, all of those guys are definitely doing their job. I think the main thing is that everyone has bought in

76ers head coach Doc Rivers likes the direction the team is going in right now. 

“We’re healthier; we’re getting there–slowly,” Rivers said. “We’re playing better basketball. We’ve kind of found, and we’re still not there because we need everyone back, but we’re finding who we are. I think our guys are finally seeing like this is who we are; this is how we have to play. They know it. They’re starting to visualize what we are, and that’s a good thing.”

P.J. Tucker, who had seven points and six rebounds, added: “I say the biggest thing is just our energy and effort towards each other, helping each other be successful. I always like saying, like Coach [Erik Spoelstra]’s favorite sayings, “enjoy somebody else’s success,” and I feel like that’s like huge when it comes to the bench, and everybody’s just having that good energy and that good comment towards everybody. I feel like that’s picked up a lot, and everybody’s spirit has gotten better as a team.”

Philadelphia is getting healthier and is starting to look like the team many thought they would be when the season started. They hope to keep the good vibes going on Monday night when they battle the Raptors.