It’s strange to say this, but the 76ers really need Spencer Hawes back.
Philadelphia has lost five straight and not having Hawes is a key reason — he was the guy that swung the ball side-to-side in their offense and made it flow, with him out the ball gets stuck more often and Philly is easier to defend. Plus, he was the best center on their roster, averaging 10.5 points per game on 57 percent shooting.
The 76ers will be without him a couple more weeks due to his strained left Achilles tendon, the team announced. However, he is optimistic about his return, reports Dei Lynam at CSNPhilly.com.
…via twitter (Monday) afternoon he gave an update on his strained left Achilles tendon, saying he just landed in Philadelphia and was headed to rehab. He also said the protective boot was off and that had him really excited.
Hawes saw foot specialist Dr. Richard Ferkel of the Southern California Orthopedic Institute over the All-Star break. Dr. Ferkel’s recommended that he remove the protective boot and not play in a game for at least two weeks.
If the playoffs started today the Sixers would be the four seed by virtue of winning the Atlantic Division (a division winner can be no lower than a four seed, so even though Orlando has a better record the Sixers would be the higher seed). Philly is 3.5 games ahead of the New York Knicks, who only promise to improve as they get used to one another with everyone healthy. The Sixers need to find some wins to stave off the Knicks, and they need to do it before Hawes gets back.
The Pistons will start Reggie Jackson at point guard, and they signed Ish Smith to provide better backup at the position.
The competition for the third point guard spot is heating up.
With Lorenzo Brown and Ray McCallum already signed to unguaranteed deals, Detroit is adding undrafted Old Dominion guard Trey Freeman.
Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops:
The Pistons have just 14 players – one shy of the regular-season roster limit – with guaranteed salaries. The final spot will very likely go to a point guard.
Brown and McCallum should be favored in the competition, because they’re more NBA-ready. A president/coach, Stan Van Gundy is more prone to covet the player who can step in immediately.
Freeman’s partial guarantee is likely designed to entice him to play in the D-League for a low base salary. The Pistons can waive him in the preseason and then assign his D-League rights to their affiliate, though he’d become an NBA free agent.
Freeman is working to become a better distributor after playing as a go-to scorer in college. A solid mid-range shooter, he must extend his range beyond the arc. It’d also help if he got to the rim more, and it seems he has the bounce to do that.
For an undrafted player, he has nice tools. They’ll probably just need to be refined in the D-League.
But even if that’s the intention, Freeman at least gives himself a chance first of upsetting Brown and McCallum in the race for third point guard.
With 32 wins and missing the playoffs, last season wasn’t exactly what the Knicks hoped for. However, last season also came with hope in the form of Kristaps Porzingis.
And there were highlights. Check out the team’s Top 10 plays, courtesy NBA.com.
It starts with some Derrick Williams moments, and ends with a Jose Calderon game winner, but there are moments from players the fans actually like in between.
At this point, there is zero chance Russell Westbrook‘s posts are a coincidence.
First. he posted a video of himself singing along to Lil Uzi Vert’s “Now I Do What I Want.”
Then came the shoe ad that was another little jab at now Warriors Kevin Durant.
Now comes Westbrook’s return to karaoke posts, this time singing Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Getting Back Together” and Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake.”
Apparently, Westbrook and Durant are having one rough teenage breakup.
One of the great stories of last season was the return of Paul George to All-Star level form (then to watch him be crucial to the USA winning gold this summer).
It was a great story because vintage Paul George was so great. Watch this throwback video of him blowing by LeBron James and dunking over Chris Andersen from a few years back — this is vicious.
By the way, if you’re not following NBA history on Twitter and Instagram, you’re doing it wrong.