The Philadelphia 76ers have lost an NBA-high eight straight games, falling to 15-39 and 29th in league. Their 3-point shooting, 31.4 percent, also ranks 29th. They need help.
Enter Kevin Grow.
Grow, a high school senior with Down syndrome, signed a ceremonial two-day contract with Philadelphia on Monday. (Take that, Adam Silver.)
Grow served as his high school team’s manager for four years before suiting up in the final two games. Saturday, Grow scored 14 points on 4-of-5 3-point shooting. Now, he’s ready to make that preps-to-pros jump. CSN Philly:
Grow will participate in the team’s practice Monday, eat dinner with the team, and receive Sixers gear.
Before the Sixers host the Cavaliers on Tuesday, Grow will receive a custom jersey at his very own locker in the team’s locker room. He will stand with the team during the National Anthem and take the court with the Bensalem High School team during a timeout for a special presentation.
Because Grow is on a ceremonial contract, I don’t think he’ll be eligible to play against the Cavaliers. But in case he does, I’m here to help Cleveland prepare a scouting reporting. Let’s review video of his last game and create a plan for defending Grow.
- Not afraid to mix it up inside and get to the basket. Kobe assists are a real concern, so be sure to box out his teammates on the slight chance he misses.
- Tremendous 3-point shooter. DO NOT HELP OFF HIM ON THE PERIMETER.
- Incredibly inspirational. Try to keep focused on the game rather than clapping for his baskets – but good luck with that one.
Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.
The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.
Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:
Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.
Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.
Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.
It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.
A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:
it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.
That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.
Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.
Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.
I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.
This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.