The Washington Wizards were having a little fun, a half-court shooting contest near the end of practice on Friday.
Apparently, half court is well within Otto Porter‘s range.
Porter’s going to be starting at the three, working next to John Wall and Bradley Beal, and they could use another shooter to help balance the floor this season. Porter hit 36.7 percent from three last year, he’s got some range. Although he really shouldn’t try this shot mid-game, Brooks wouldn’t even let Kevin Durant do that.
Sam Hinkie’s Process made sense on paper. Get young, lose, draft high, repeat until the 76ers stockpiled enough talent to surge forward with a clean cap sheet.
But the Process didn’t unfold on paper, and there was always a catch. What damage would years of losing do to the organization and the real people within it?
We know some of the fallout. The Process embarrassed ownership, leading to Hinkie’s ouster. It also – according to Hinkie’s replacement, Bryan Colangelo, – created a toxic environment.
Colangelo, via The Vertical Podcast with Woj:
Really, factually, there was a losing culture. There was a losing mindset.
It had been ingrained partly because of the undertaking of rebuilding that they had been going through. And it’s a byproduct of the rebuilding process, if you will. You’re going to lose some games along the way, and it becomes part of the fabric of the team and the organization.
And I think more than anything the mindset needed to shift. The mindset needed to change. And that’s why we’ve been talking about winning and doing everything to promote winning, promote a culture of excellence, to promote better thought process in everything.
Keep in mind, the worse the 76ers are perceived at the time Colangelo took over, the better he’ll look.
But there was real evidence of a bad culture – from Jahlil Okafor‘s fighting to Joel Embiid‘s coachability to Nerlens Noel‘s tardiness. Players knew maximum focus and effort wouldn’t result in winning anyway, so that made it easier for bad habits to develop. Those bad habits can be contagious. Try as he might, coach Brett Brown couldn’t stem the tide.
Colangelo is trying to go a different way, bringing in veterans like Elton Brand, Gerald Henderson and Jerryd Bayless. Philadelphia won’t have as many roster spots for young players with upside, and those vets occupy cap space. But, right or wrong, Colangelo identified a problem and is trying to fix it.
Within hours of the Sixers’ No. 1 pick Ben Simmons going down with a foot injury that might derail his rookie season, the rumors about it being weight related started. Simmons needed to add weight coming it of LSU and had reportedly put on more than 30 pounds since the draft. Was that too much too quickly? Both players and major trainers have said yes.
The Sixers have moved to shoot this down, saying this was an acute fracture — something that happened suddenly, from stepping on a teammate’s foot Friday during a scrimage — and was not stress related, as would happen with weight issues.
More importantly, the severity of the break means surgery, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.
Surgery will mean Simmons likely will miss a majority — if not all — of the coming season, and you can be sure the Sixers will be cautious bringing him back (we saw that with Joel Embiid).
This is just deflating to a Sixers franchise that has had terrible luck with injuries the past couple of years. And yes, some people around the league quietly will say this is karma for all the tanking.
There is a pecking order in the Celtics backcourt: Isaiah Thomas is the scoring/playmaking point guard, with Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart playing the more defensive backcourt teammate role next to him at different times.
Still, there are minutes to be had — Evan Turner is no longer in camp and the secondary playmaker. He is on another coast trying to become the other playmaker Portland needs.
Second-year player Terry Rozier wants those minutes.
Good. Celtics fans should like that their young player is saying this.
More importantly, reports out of Celtics training camp say Rozier is playing very well, using his speed to create shots for himself and others. It’s been a great change of pace for the Celtics, one Brad Stevens could put to use this season.
Rozier is going to be coming off the bench, but if he can do that and bring this energy and shot creation, he’s going to get plenty of run this season. And be another part of a strong young core in Boston that just keeps getting better.