Roy Hibbert has developed into a good center.
Decent shooter with enough of a midrange game to make you respect it. Nice rebounder. Solid enough on defense.
Bill Walton expects more of him. One of the legendary centers of the game before he became an over-the-top broadcaster, the Pacers have brought in Walton to work with Hibbert, to give him some tips and some inspiration. To push him.
Of course, with Walton comes the hyperbole, as recorded at the Pacers official site.
“He has to control the paint. It’s not his choice, it’s his responsibility, it’s his duty, it’s his obligation. He has to learn how to do that on an individual basis. He has to learn how to do that on a team basis. It’s a matter of how hard he’s willing to work not just physically but mentally, as well, and to train his mind so that in the heat of battle he can make the correct decisions that are going to allow him to become a great champion and return the Pacers to their rightful place among the hierarchy of the NBA.”
“The goal is to raise the foundation, broaden the spectrum of skill and help him learn, help him develop, help him grow and realize what it takes and what’s at stake. When you’re 57 years old, it’s easier to understand all that stuff. When you’re 23 years old and the world is swirling around you, it’s difficult. My job is to help and to always be there for Roy, for Larry (Bird) and the Indiana Pacers.”
The good news for Pacers fans is that Hibbert is staying in Indiana for a chunk of the offseason and putting in the work. He is entering his third year in the league and while he has been good there is room for great in parts of his game. You can see it.
We’ll see if Walton is the guy to get it out of him.
There’s so much money floating around the Bay Area right now thanks to another tech boom, this price almost seems low.
If you have a suite for the Golden State Warriors home games this season — and those are pretty much sold out, the Warriors draw big from the Silicon Valley crowd — you can have the NBA championship Larry O’Brien Trophy visit your suite. All for just a couple grand. From Gilbert Lee, via ESPN’s Darren Rovell.
The best part is it includes champagne… do you get to spray each other with it as you hold up the trophy? Now that would be perfect (goggles included, of course).
Have an issue with this? Why? To the victor goes the spoils. The Warriors may be able to sell this package for years.
First, the Sixers nailed the Nike “statement” jersey.
Now, they have announced a new “Spirit of 76” promotion, with seven tribute nights this season honoring the history of the franchise and of the Philadelphia area (and there is plenty of history to honor).
The best part — the “Spirit of 76” court with the bell logo.
Here is the promo vid
I just hope the Sixers team can live up to all the hype.
When the Washington Wizards open training camp next Tuesday, starting forward Markieff Morris will not be on the court.
That’s because he will have surgery to repair a sports hernia, a story broken by Candice Buckner of the Washington Post and since confirmed by Chase Hughes at CSNMidAtlantic.com.
While we don’t have details on the surgery, often recovery time for this is just a few weeks, and Morris could well be ready for the start of the season.
Morris averaged 14 points and 6.5 rebounds a game last season, and the Wizards offense was 5.7 points per 100 possessions better when he was on the court last season. With him out, coach Scott Brooks can lean on Jason Smith or Mike Scott for traditional lineups, but don’t be shocked if he tries a little small ball with Otto Porter and/or Kelly Oubre at the three or four.
Morris also is in the midst of a felony assault trial in Arizona (one where he does not need to attend).
This is the season the 76ers make the leap from team with potential to playoff team fast on the rise.
That’s the plan in Philly, but there are a lot of questions for this team to answer. While a couple of these issues are answered already — Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz are cleared to play and practice with teammates — a couple big ones still hang around. At the top of the list is “how healthy is Joel Embiid?” Coach Brett Brown doesn’t even have that answer yet, reports Derek Bodner of The Athletic.
It’s this simple: The Sixers outscored opponents by 3.3 points per 100 possessions when Embiid was on the court last season, he was a dominant force defensively who scored 20.2 points a game. When he was off the court the Sixers were 11.5 points per 100 possessions worse. They need him to play and play consistently if the Sixers have playoff dreams. It’s unclear when Embiid will return, but know that the Sixers will be cautious with his minutes again when he does get cleared (he has played just 31 games in three seasons).
Does that mean more Jahlil Okafor? Maybe not, the Sixers are still willing to trade him.
The Sixers have shopped Okafor for most of a year and found no deal they like. Okafor battled knee issues last season and, after a summer working to get healthy, other teams will want to see him play a little before talking trade. If he comes to camp slimmed down and his knee looks right, it could revive trade talks. Using a back-to-the-basket game, he averaged 11.8 points a night shooting 51 percent last season, he’s efficient, and some teams could use what he does (off the bench).
It’s going to be an interesting season in Philly. Are they playoff bound?