Royce White

Royce White expected to play for Sixers Friday

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Call me skeptical, I want to see him out on the court, but we may see Royce White playing a little for Philadelphia this season.

White could play his first game as a Sixer Friday, in a preseason game against the Celtics. At least that’s the plan, reports the Philadelphia Daily News.

Originally the plan was for White to travel with the team to Europe for preseason games, but doctors scratched that idea. He stayed home. White battles a generalized anxiety disorder and among the symptoms is a fear of flying. That is going to make life in the NBA challenging, it led to confrontations in Houston. The Rockets drafted White but he never played for them, this summer he was traded to the Sixers.

Friday night’s game is a home one for the Sixers, making the travel issue moot. Sixers coach Brett Brown thinks there is a place for White on the team.

“I see a talented player that is wildly creative, wants to do everything,” Brown said. “We want to put him in a real clean role initially and then let him use his creative instincts, but it’s based again on his fitness. He’s very talented, different talented. He’s like DeJuan Blair, when we coached him in San Antonio. He had a different feel for the game – passing, running, creative. I see similarities with Royce.”

The relationship between White and the Philly management is better than in Houston. The other advantage the Sixers have is playing in the Northeast — he can get to many more games by car or train from Philadelphia than he could from Houston.

We still have no idea how all this will play out. Ultimately White doesn’t have a lot of leverage here — if he is a DeJuan Blair level player that’s not enough to get teams to change how they operate — but maybe he has found a place he can make it work. At least for a season (the Sixers do not have to pick up his option for next season).

Isaiah Thomas nutmegs Knicks center Marshall Plumlee (video)

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Isaiah Thomas usually saves his best play for the fourth quarter, but the Celtics guard showed out early with this pass between Marshall Plumlee‘s legs to get Kelly Olynyk a layup.

Thomas uncharacteristically just didn’t have enough late. Though he scored 39 points, he shot just 2-for-9 in the final period, as the Knicks pulled away for a 117-106 win.

Kevin Durant misses dunk so hard, ball flies past halfcourt (video)

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Kevin Durant played great in the Warriors’ win over the Thunder last night, but – perhaps fueled by excess emotion – he missed this incredibly emphatic dunk attempt.

Later, Russell Westbrook showed his former teammate how to do it (sparking their apparent conversation):

James Harden outduels Giannis Antetokounmpo as they produce fantastic highlight video

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James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo met in a battle of two of the NBA’s best point guards. (Still weird to say.) The final lines:

  • Harden: 38 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 blocks
  • Antetokounmpo: 32 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks

The winner? Harden and the Rockets, who topped the Bucks, 111-92.

But the real winner? Anyone who gets to watch this highlight video. It just gets better as it goes.

PBT Extra: Who do you want to see most in first All-Star Game?

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Tonight the NBA All-Star Game starters will be announced. Then the coaches have a week to vote and the rest of the roster will be put together by them.

This year should see a few first-time All-Stars, guys bursting on the scene and grabbing fans attention — so we asked people on Twitter who they most wanted to see in his first All-Star Game and I break it down in this PBT Extra.

The winner? Giannis Antetokounmpo with 45 percent of the vote. Which shouldn’t be a surprise, he’s second in the fan voting for the frontcourt in the East (behind only LeBron James). Good news for those fans, the Greek Freak is almost guaranteed to be a starter, he’s getting plenty of media votes and likely a lot from the players as well.

Second place in the poll? Joel Embiid of the Sixers. I’d love to see him, but will players and media members vote in a guy on a minutes restriction? Will the coaches pick him for that same reason? He is on the bubble.