Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Do you Trust the Process?


There once was a GM who lived in a shoe, he had so many bigs he didn't know what to do!!!


Like many a Sixer fan who have been part of The Process for the past several years, it seems the team has finally reached a precipitous point in their processing.  For all of the stellar play of Joel Embiid and Dario Saric this season, the odd man that appears to be left out is Jahill Okafor.  Since trading Jeremi Grant for Eyrsan Ilyasova, the majority of the power forward minutes have gone to Ilyasova and Saric.  Whereas the minutes at the center position (barring injury or rest) have gone to Embiid and Noel.  With these young bigs finally getting some minutes together we have begun to see The Process begin to take form.  This is all without the #1 overall pick Ben Simmons playing one minute.

So you may ask yourself, why have I heard such disparaging chatter about Okafor lately?  Is he really THAT bad?  All of the uber-metrics say he can not rebound or block shots.    I thought he was the best big in college when Duke cruised to a national championship his freshman year? What happened?



Joel "The Process" Embiid happened.  The Hinkie Chosen One.  The man who will bring respect back to Philadelphia basketball.  This season  he has gone up against some of the biggest players in the league and has BARBECUE SANDWICHED THEM.  He proved he can not only handle bigs, but with a new three point shot added to his arsenal the big man has flashed transcendent greatness.

All of this greatness sandwiched in-between nights resting back to back games while both Okafor and Noel worked themselves back from knee injuries to start the season.  All of this without Ben Simmons not playing in one game.  All of this while another European rookie has begun making an impact at the stretch 4 in Dario Saric.  All of this while the Sixers await two possible lottery picks next season.  All of this while a 21 year old Jahill Okafor sits third on the center depth chart behind Embiid and Noel.   The twitter-verse has been pining for an Okafor trade for the better half of two seasons now.  Should Colangelo give up on a kid who could be a junior at Duke right now, absolutely destroying collegiate basketball?  Should he begin to dismantle the once impenetrable Process?  Should he flip the #3 overall pick for a few spare parts and MORE draft picks?  One glance at the Sixers payroll and the answer becomes clear:




With the entire Process Core still on their rookie contracts and tons of cap space for the future, the idea of flipping Okafor for more picks seems counter productive at this point.  Here is a list of the Sixers picks the next three seasons:

-2017 Lakers 1st (top 3 protected- if not, 2018 unprotected)
-2017 1st (right to swap with Kings)
-2017 2nd
-2017 2nd
-2018 1st
-2018 2nd
-2019 Kings 1st (unprotected)
-2019 1st
-2019 2nd


More picks is not the answer.  Neither is packaging Okafor with draft picks to bring in a superstar.  The Sixers salary cap is primed for them to max out Embiid, Noel, Simmons, and perhaps 1 or 2 more top picks in the coming years.  No need to rush greatness.  Philly fans have had a taste and are foaming at the mouth for more.  For Sixers brass to bring in a max player now would not only disrupt the growth of the young guns but also eat up the cap space that took years to set up.

What would benefit the Sixers and Okafor's new suitors would be an even swap, someone with a similar salary and possibly from the same draft class.  Perhaps another lottery pick who hasn't flourished on their current team either, someone looking for a fresh start.  A young guy who is willing to buy in what Brett Brown is teaching, someone who is in it for the long haul.  Recent reports would tell you that Okafor's value has plummeted and after two trades (Plumlee and Cousins), and that there isn't much out there right now.  Not a problem.  He is still under contract for 3 more years.  There's no need to pull the trigger if the deal just isn't there, teams will be calling this summer leading up to one of the best draft classes in a decade.

If Bryan Colangelo can find a nice young guard in exchange for Okafor then make the even swap, if not let the Process continue to develop and watch the foundation of a blossoming big man squadron that is bound to give the Eastern Conference trouble for the next decade.  That is, if they can all get on the court at the same time.



Sunday, January 15, 2017

TWO YEARS!

Two years since the Commish last checked.  What did we miss?

Oh not much.  Just two epic finals match ups between the Cavs and the Warriors.  KD was up 3-1 against the Warriors and he bolted for the team that beat him.  No biggy.  Bron brought a title to Cleveland.  The prodigal son  returned.  Now what?  Will we see a repeat for the third year with the Cavs and the Warriors facing off once more?  Who can stop Bron in the East?  Consider the Cavs a lock.  The Warriors?  Probably.  Too much firepower to stop.  Will Golden State bring the title back to California or will the King keep the ring in the East?  Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Thunder v Rockets. Contenders or Pretenders?

The Thunder and Rockets went head to head tonight in another Western Conference power battle.  Who's a contender?  Who is pretending?  The Thunder have a lot of ground to make up in the standings and must compete every night just to make the playoffs, meanwhile the Rockets are trying to prove they belong and hold strong in the conference.  If they are both pretenders, this game was a great indicator of where they both stand almost half way through the season.

What have we learned to date?

For the Rockets, James Harden can score against anyone.  Nobody can stop him.  The big question remains DUHWight and if he can elevate his game to 20 and 10 a night.  They will need that if they want to be contenders.  The addition of Josh Smith has alleviated the loss of Terrence Jones, but they must get the most out of their bench to have any chance of a deep run.

Answer:  Contenders, for now.  Thank James Harden for that.

How about the Thunder?

When healthy, Westbrook and Durant are the best duo in the NBA.  But missing a lot of time has left the Thunder as bottom dwellers in the West standings.  The Dion Waters trade has given them a spark, but they have zero room for error if they hope to make the playoffs.  They must win 2 out of every 3 games just to get to 50 wins, and THAT wont even guarantee a playoff spot.  At the same time, there is no team in the league that wants to face them as a 7 or 8 seed.

For this reason, they remain Contenders.

Both teams still have a lot to prove as we push towards the All-Star break but one thing is for sure, the arms race out West is going to make for amazing playoffs.  So lets see if both of these team can live up to their talent potential.



Wednesday, July 2, 2014

5 Free Agent Fits


These five impact free agents would be best suited on the following teams:


Paul Pierce- Indiana Pacers or Los Angeles Clippers/Lakers
PP has some options here.  The storybook ending would have him heading home to LA for a final season, preferably with Doc Rivers and the Clip show.  However, he could probably get a more lucrative offer from the Lakers.  Roundball Manor feels his best fit would be with the Pacers, playing alongside Paul George and setting up another Eastern Conference Finals battle against the Heat.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

NBA Mock Draft

1. Cleveland Cavaliers- Andrew Wiggins- SF
He makes the most sense, can play both SG and SF which they need, is a freak athlete and will only improve over the next several years.  His defense and range is what sets him apart from Jabari Parker.  He is now the surefire #1 pick, but just remember, it's the Cavs picking so who the hell knows.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

NBA Finals Recap

NBA Finals, NBA Finals Tim Duncan, Tim Duncan Finals, Tim Duncan, Spurs 5th championship, NBA Finals 2014
"Who wants some?"

That picture just about sums it up.  Well mostly.

You could call the closing out of this series a clinic, a medical dissection, or just a good old fashioned passionate ass whoopin.  Any of those choices will still lead you to the same road; redemption.  The Spurs didn't just win this series, they royally dethroned King James and company in their quest for a three-peat.

Make the extra pass.  Find the open man.  Believe in your teammates.  These mantras of Coach Pop were never more evident and never more important then in this series.  The ultimate difference in this series was the Spurs ability to exploit the interior defense of Miami, opening up the floor and creating unlimited options from all angles.  It can also be attributed to having three highly skilled pass-first big men who took advantage of the smaller Heat lineup and worked their system to pure perfection.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday Showcase News & Notes

-Heat v Spurs Finals Rematch
-Knicks v Lakers in the Battle of Defenseless Teams
-Nets v Celtics in Paul Pierce's return to Beantown


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tuesday Mornings Inside the Mind of an NBA Guy

By: Pete Certo

It must be another new season in the NBA because the Spurs are 19-5 and of course, not a single peep about them.  Of note, they are doing this with Duncan turning in one of his worst statistical performances in years.  The Spurs organization continues to impress.  (Applause).
 
Also: PHX is 14-9.  Whaaaat?!  Jeff Hornacek has my Coach of the Year vote.  Wow.
 
On a related note:  Miles Plumee's block and stare down sequence of Cousins was simply incredible.
 
I openly root for Kendrick Perkins to do foolish things on the court.  His reactions are so enjoyable and nonsensical.  Crack a smile, bruh.  We ain't scurred.
 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Curious Case of Christopher Paul


Everybody loves Chris Paul.  When it comes down to it, the man can do no wrong.  He is arguably the best Point Guard in the game today.  He is always ‘in the conversation’ when MVP talks heat up, especially after his torrid start to this season.  In the realm of fantasy basketball, he is a monster with his stat sheet stuffing style of play.  His beloved Chris/Cliff Paul State Farm commercials get more airplay than Flo, but not as much as the NBATV favorite for Remy Martin with Robin Thicke pretending to pursue his Wife.  CP3 is also considered the ultimate Leader who has amassed countless awards like Rookie of the Year, multiple All-Star nods (with one MVP), and All Defensive team recognition.

Monday, December 9, 2013

BATTLE FOR THE EAST- Heat Pacers Preview

Heat Pacers

Tomorrow night's matchup will give NBA fans a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals.  But before we crown anyone, here are a few points worth noting:

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Pistons Snap Heat's 10 Game Streaker

By: David Alen

In 2010 the Miami Heat's greatest enemy was the Media, the fans, the doubters, the hatred, and their fear of failure. Fast forward to the end of 2013 and after two MVP trophies and back-to-back championships the Miami Heat's greatest enemy is their own disinterest.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

10 Things on Roundball Pete's Mind Heading into 13-14

The Wizards, barring significant injuries, will be a #6 seed in the East, and John Wall will be an All-Star.  They were 5-28 sans Wall last season, and 24-25 with him.  It should be noted that those losses were not blowouts as the Wizards were competitive and a tough out  Wall's slash-and-kick to Beal, along with a hopefully healthy Nene, as well as the Gortat upgrade?  Things are looking up.

DeAndre Jordan will shoot over 55% from the line this year.  While on the surface that doesn't seem like something to hang your hat on, he did shoot just under 39% last season.  Doc won’t stand for that in his version of LaLa Land.

The Smith Brothers on the Knicks roster will be gold for the media.  I am not sure whether this will be comedy or drama gold, but man will it be fun.

Evan Turner, Danny Granger, and The Manimal will all be traded.  Also, if Boozer stinks up the joint, I foresee David Aldridge's Cousin LeMarcus making his way to the Windy City.

Greg Oden will stay healthy and provide EXACTLY what the Heat need.  This in turn will make BIRDMAN! BIRDMAN! all the more effective in shorter spurts of court time.

Rumors of internal issues with the Rockets (surprise, surprise DUHWIGHT) will pop-up prior to the All-Star break because Houston isn't performing as well as they should.

Every Bulls/Pacers game cannot be missed this season.  Two big, physical, mean teams absolutely slugging it out for the right to take on Miami.  Gonna be brutal.  Sorry Brooklyn.

Cleveland does not make the leap as a Playoff team this year.  Bennett is chubby, Tristan Thompson is shooting with his other hand all of a sudden, Bynum Shmynum for a variety of reasons, Waiters is a bad gunner, Varejao gets injured all the time, and Tyler Zeller is not Cody.  Too much of not a good thing = letdown.  Fun side effect of this?  Angry Dan Gilbert is always a good time.

Other than confounding, no one knows what those Detroit Pistons will be this year.  On paper, they look beyond formidable.  I just get the vibe that this is somewhat of a square peg/round hole situation.  Regardless, they will be compelling as a mug to watch.

CAN'T.WAIT.FOR.NBA.ON.TNT.AND.INSIDE.THE.NBA.

Thank you,
Roundball Pete

**Hater Disclaimer**

The idea of continually hating LeBron for his 'decision' is an insult to basketball fans worldwide.  When a GM assembles a championship team he is hailed a genius, but when a player decides his own future he is deemed a traitor.  Lets not forget Melo forced his way out of Denver, CP3 forced his way out of New Orleans, and DUHWight forced his way out of Orlando AND Los Angeles.  In the new free agency landscape, even more players will be leaving their old squads to going up with fellow superstars in attempts to WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS.  (See Jalen Rose's predictions for Durant, Westbrook, and Kevin Love)  LeBron is just the first of many players over the next decade to control his own destiny and choose where he wants to play.  We here at Roundball Manor ask that you enjoy the transcendent play of LeBron James this season instead of hating on him.  He is a once in a lifetime talent that will be EVEN BETTER this season.  He will be going for his third straight MVP season, a feat that not even Michael Jordan accomplished and hasn't been done since Lary Bird from 1983-86.  So instead of being angry and sipping that sideline haterade, try to enjoy and appreciate true basketball greatness because it only comes around once in a generation.  Let the Roundball begin!