The Sixers’ season is over, so the Liberty Links focus will be switching along with it. You’ll still be getting your daily dose of Sixers-related news, but the draft and NBA Playoffs will become a much larger part of discussion around these parts. Whether you’re a Jonathan Isaac guy or a Jayson Tatum guy, you can have it out in the comments.
Let’s do the damn thing.
This is a more detailed version of what I mentioned in Friday’s mailbag: Tatum as the lone takeaway with a top-five pick in this year’s draft is uninspiring. JZ gets into the nitty gritty of the case against Tatum, specifically the lapses/weaknesses on defense that were glossed over in favor of obsession over tools or production against inferior competition. Don’t let him talk you out of what you saw on Tatum, but maybe revisit the tape.
Phil Jackson is a dunce
You may have heard about Phil Jackson holding an April edition of Festivus over the weekend, and his shenanigans deserve their own category today. Let’s run through a brief timeline of Knicks debauchery.
Phil Jackson says Carmelo Anthony might be better off elsewhere
Phil Jackson on Carmelo Anthony: "I think the direction with our team is that he would be better off somewhere else."— Mike Vorkunov (@Mike_Vorkunov) April 14, 2017
Phil said the triangle hasn't worked because "we've faced resistance." Implied that was Melo— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) April 14, 2017
Nothing helps drive a player’s trade value like blaming him for institutional failures and confirming he’d be better off elsewhere!
NBA Players’ Union says, “Hey Phil, you screwed up!”
That damn Sam Hinkie must be stopped. Doesn’t care at all about relationships with players or treat them like human beings.
Players grumble of a support staff that is far more concerned about creating an illusion of hard work with management and ownership than facilitating winning, a media-relations staff that is suffocating and intrusive, and a management/coaching dynamic that’s made Hornacek look like a puppet.
I assume the NBA is going to step in and install a Colangelo any day now. The culture being built in New York is a disgrace to the league.
Yahoo’s crack team of bloggers nominated Joel Embiid as a First-Team member of favorite players to watch in the league this season. You’ll be shocked by this, but Embiid was also one of our favorite players to watch in the NBA this season, and we’re all left to lament just how much more fun the year would have been if Embiid had been able to stay healthy for the stretch run.
Brighter days ahead, man.
This story is from Friday, but it deserves your attention and respect. To the blockquote!
I’m not saying the Celtics should have traded one of their Nets draft picks. I just think it’s incredible that no one even questioned the decision. It’s amazing Boston fans even have time to tweet while washing Danny Ainge’s feet all day.
As luck would have it, the very same Jimmy Butler being discussed by Ricky in this story is the best player in the series and the primary reason the Bulls won the first game. Pretty prophetic stuff, especially when you consider that a team having the best player in an NBA Playoff series has never been a factor in the history of the league.
Non-sarcastic aside: all the respect in the world to Isaiah Thomas, who played in the opener (and freaking balled) despite losing his sister over the weekend. Most people would have folded like a cheap suit if put in the same situation.
Joel Embiid looks like a ghost of Sixers past
Blame Max for this one:
Silver lining — at least Embiid’s look was because he was covered in water.
Brett Brown and Bryan Colangelo don’t agree on who Ben Simmons will guard
Trouble in paradise? Probably not, but the head coach and GM don’t seem to be on the same page as it pertains to who Simmons will defend. Here’s what Brown said on a recent podcast with Woj:
I’m not talking about Draymond, I’m not talking about LeBron, you know, I’m talking about a point guard. And so I intend on trying this. You always get into conversations, ‘well that’s fine, who does he guard?’ I don’t see him guarding the opposition’s point guard.
Here’s Colangelo on Friday:
Colangelo on Simmons: "I think Ben will show you he can guard most point guards in this league."— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) April 14, 2017
Might want to figure this one out, guys.
An brief review of Kendrick Lamar’s new album, Damn
It is goddamn good, and you should listen to it.