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Brett Brown says Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz need to improve shooting, spacing

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The Philadelphia 76ers need more shooting. It’s the reason they decided to bring back JJ Redick again this year, and it’s something we have talked about during the entire offseason.

As the regular season has begun, our premonition about Philadelphia has been proven correct. While the team is top five in attempts from beyond the arc per game, they are in the bottom third when it comes to 3-point percentage, according to Basketball-Reference.com.

Part of this issue is roster construction, and that includes the addition of Markelle Fultz to heavy playing time this year with the Sixers. The sophomore point guard struggled all last year after having an unexplainable saga that included him completely losing his jump shot.

Fultz is back, and more confident, but that doesn’t mean he is a good shooter. The University of Washington product has fared well at the rim, but shoots no better than 32% in any of the shot distance segments measured by B-R between the rim and the 3-point line.

Wing teammate Ben Simmons is not exactly a sharpshooter himself, but provides more offensive dynamism that helped him last year when Philadelphia had more shooters spaced out around him. This season has been a bit harder as teams have packed the paint against the Sixers, reducing the effectiveness of both Simmons and Fultz.

Eventually, something has to give.

That’s also the opinion of Philadelphia head coach Brett Brown, who said as much on Tuesday.

Via Twitter:

It’s hard to understand exactly how the Sixers can get better, as currently constructed, as a 3-point shooting team. There should be some progression over the next two years by Fultz in the aforementioned shot distance segments. In fact, there needs to be for him to continue to remain playable. Top guards like Damian Lillard are shooting 50 percent from 3-to-10 feet. Fultz is shooting 28 percent. It’s untenable.

The problem is that Simmons isn’t much better from that distance. Even as a bigger, stronger penetrator, Simmons shoots just 33% from 3-to-10 feet, which is unacceptable. At least, it will be as the Sixers mature and try to remain a top team in the Eastern Conference over the coming years.

I’m not sure what Brown wants to happen between these guys. No doubt some shooting improvement — iif only toward league averages — would certainly help space Philadelphia’s offense. But next season the Sixers will need to add some kind of shooting to their roster simply because it’s hard to imagine either of these players building their games around the 3-point line.

They’re going to have to start on how they shoot much closer than that, and work from there.

Nets GM Sean Marks gets suspended for going into ref’s locker room after Game 4

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Emotions are high as the playoffs move into the second week. Things got a little testy between the Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night as Jared Dudley got in the face of Joel Embiid after the Sixers big man committed a hard foul on Jared Allen.

That caused Ben Simmons and Jimmy Butler to respond to Dudley, who overreacted to a good, hard playoff foul by Embiid. The result of the fracas was an ejection for Butler and Dudley, and a flagrant 1 on embiid.

But apparently that’s not the end of the disciplinary process for the NBA.

Nets general manager Sean Marks went into the officials locker room after the game — no doubt to discuss what happened here — which is a big problem in the eyes of the league.

According to a release by the NBA, Marks has been suspended for one game without pay and has been fined $25,000.

Marks will be suspended for Game 5 between these two teams on April 23rd.

The playoffs are high-stakes, but Embiid blocking the crap out of somebody shouldn’t result in someone going crazy like Dudley did.

Philadelphia beat the Nets, 112-108.

Everyone’s hero is dad who pulls son away from Nets/76ers fracas (VIDEO)

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Fathers everywhere can relate to this one.

You set up a bonding experience with your son or daughter, one you hope will leave an impression on them and create a memory that will last a lifetime… for example, you get courtside seats, just behind the basket, for one of the first NBA playoff games in Brooklyn, ever.

Then everything hits the fan.

Joel Embiid commits a flagrant foul on Jarrett Allen, Jared Dudley rushes in and shoves Embiid to stand up for his teammate, Jimmy Butler runs in to shove Dudley on the same premise, and suddenly there is a wave of large professional athletes about to trample you and your son. So, you grab him, move onto the court, and get out of the way.

There were two fathers with the same thought, one on either side of the fracas that spills into the first row.

Well done Dads. Well done, indeed.

Andrew Bogut says he plans to return to Australian league next season

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Unable to find a new NBA contract for this season, Andrew Bogut went home. The Australia native signed to play for the Sydney Kings in Australia’s NBL, where Bogut ended up being the league MVP and Defensive Player of the Year, leading the Kings on a deep playoff run.

When that run ended, the Golden State Warriors came calling, asking him to fill a role — a role that got much larger after DeMarcus Cousins tore his quad. Bogut has played well for the Warriors in the postseason, and there is a good chance Cousins will not be back in Golden State (the Warriors can only offer him a small raise off what he made this season, that likely will not be enough, even after the injury), so the Warriors may try to retain Bogut for next season.

However, Bogut says he is returning to Australia. Speaking to Matt Logue from the Sunday Telegraph in Sydney, Bogut said he gave his word to the Kings he would return.

“The be all and end all is that I gave my word (to the Kings)… That is basically what it comes down to…

“Someone outside of the Warriors could offer me a deal that would be pretty lucrative and a decent one-year deal, but I’m sold and locked in on coming to the Sydney Kings again to try and better what we did last season.”

Saying you’ll walk away from a lot of money and actually doing it are two different things, but Bogut is a man who stands by his word. He probably returns to Sydney for next season.

When that season ends, however, don’t be shocked to see Bogut back somewhere in the NBA helping a team make a playoff run.

Joel Embiid calls Jared Dudley “a nobody” (but NBA Twitter shows Dudley love)

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Jared Dudley has been in the face of the Philadelphia 76ers all series.

He was the guy who said Ben Simmons was “average” in the halfcourt (which echoed every scouting report on Simmons ever), prompting Simmons to respond, “It’s coming from Jared Dudley. C’mon.” The feud between the Sixers and Dudley was brewing.

Then came Sunday, when Dudley was ejected after coming to the defense of teammate Jarrett Allen, who had taken a hard foul from Joel Embiid. Dudley pushed Embiid, then Jimmy Butler pushed Dudley, then everybody got in a shoving match, and when the dust settled Dudley and Butler were ejected.

In his postgame interview after the Philly win, Embiid said Dudley was “a nobody.”

“First of all, he’s a nobody. And when opponents try to do stuff like that, that’s just to get us out of the game. Especially, I’m too valuable for my team. That’s why I didn’t react.”

That may be how the Sixers feel about Dudley at this point, but Nets fans and NBA Twitter loved the way Dudley stood up to Embiid and everyone else. This is just a taste.