Lavoy Allen, Chris Andersen

Lavoy Allen oversleeps, misses Sixers practice

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It’s going to be a long season in Philadelphia. When factoring in injuries, the roster features one of the worst overall collections of NBA talent that we’ve seen in quite some time; it could be argued fairly easily that an expansion team would have better luck putting together a squad capable of winning more games than the Sixers will this season.

The franchise is essentially starting from scratch, and that includes a first-time general manager and a first-time head coach.

This year is about building a culture and foundation for the future, so a transgression that may otherwise seem minor — like a player missing practice simply because he overslept — is magnified and dissected to see if it’s a sign of a character flaw rather than an honest mistake.

From Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com:

One day after admitting he has not played particularly well this preseason, Lavoy Allen missed Sixers practice, which was open to the public and held at the Palestra.

“We got word that he overslept,” head coach Brett Brown said. “That is part of the culture we are trying to get right. I will deal with him. What else can I say?”

Brown spoke more about the culture, and what he’s trying to achieve in beginning to build his team.

“You can build skill, (but) it’s hard to build DNA character qualities,” Brown said. “And that needs to be the foundation, the bottom line, number one. We need the right competitors who want to get better.

“There is no one whose skills stand out that significantly more than others, and so it’s people. Who are the people we are going to keep here or that [GM Sam Hinkie] is going to bring in? What makes them tick? That is what is crucial in year one. You can’t get tricked.”

Allen is one of 11 players in place who have guaranteed contracts for this season, and he’ll be a free agent (either restricted or outright) next summer. Allen’s numbers through his first two NBA seasons have been underwhelming, and considering that work ethic is of more overall importance than talent to Brown in year one, he’d be wise to make this careless mistake his last.

Reggie Jackson to return to Pistons lineup Sunday vs. Orlando

AUBURN HILLS, MI - APRIL 24: Reggie Jackson #1 of the Detroit Pistons tries to get around the first quarter defense of Kyrie Irving #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers in game four of the NBA Eastern Conference quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at the Palace of Auburn Hills on April 24, 2016 in Auburn Hills, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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The Detroit Pistons’ playoff dreams hinged on them being able to hang around until point guard Reggie Jackson got back from this thumb and knee injuries. They have done just that — the Pistons are 11-10 and would be the eighth seed if the playoffs started today.

And now they get Jackson back. Stan Van Gundy made the announcement Sunday at shootaround, before the team takes on the Orlando Magic.

It will take a few games to get his conditioning back, but this is huge for Detroit. Jackson running the pick-and-roll with Andre Drummond is at the heart of Detroit’s offense – the Pistons were 2.3 points per 100 possessions better with the ball in his hands. Ish Smith played well for the Pistons in his absence — 10.8 points per game, 6.4 assists, and he’s been solid. Move his playmaking to the second unit and suddenly the Pistons become a lot more dangerous.

Jakob Poeltl with huge poster dunk for Raptors. Yes, Jakob Poeltl. (VIDEO)

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The scouting report on Jakob Poeltl coming out of Utah said he could run the floor well and he was a good finisher around the rim.

But we didn’t expect this.

During the Raptors win Sunday against the stumbling Hawks, Poeltl filled the lane on the break, got the rock, and nobody was going to stop that finish. Least of all Tim Hardaway Jr., he just ends up in the poster.

Hassan Whiteside: “Portland was my second option”

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 28: Hassan Whiteside #21 of the Miami Heat looks on during a game against the Charlotte Hornets at American Airlines Arena on October 28, 2016 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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Entering free agency last July, Hassan Whiteside said his first choice was to stay in Miami — then Pat Riley gave him 98 million reasons to stick around. While the Heat have been up and down this season, Whiteside has thrived as the franchise player in Miami.

Last July he also met with Dallas, but it turns out that was not his second choice. Here is what Whiteside told Erik Gunderson of the Miami Herald before his team fell to the Blazers on Saturday.

“Portland was my second option,” Whiteside said at the team’s Saturday shootaround in Portland. “I would have came here.”

Interesting. There were reports the Blazers chased Whiteside, but it didn’t seem that serious. Apparently, it was. If The Blazers got Whiteside, would they still have spent $70 million on Evan Turner? Probably not. And suddenly a lot of things look better in Portland.

For Blazers fans, watching their team try to outscore opponents while playing terrible defense this season — in part because of a lack of rim protection behind their undersized guards — it’s easy to imagine how much Whiteside would have changed the picture in the Northwest. But at this point, that’s just fan fiction.

JaVale McGee tries to inbound ball for wrong team, Warriors bench cracks up (VIDEO)

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JaVale McGree has become a solid contributor for the Warriors off the bench, giving them a needed shot blocking presence. He’s not getting a ton of run (seven minutes a night), but he’s efficient when he’s out there.

Still, there is his reputation as the guy most likely to end up on Shaqtin’ a Fool. He hasn’t done anything like that for a while… until Saturday night, when after a made free throw he tried to inbound the ball for the Suns for a second.

The Warriors bench was laughing under their shirts and towels.