nowOK, it’s mailbag time. Getting to your questions and takes. Let’s recap. The Sixers are 13-2 at home, and even without us fans they’ve been completely dominant at the crib. Only the Utah Jazz (13-2 at home and 26-6 overall) have a better home record and it makes some sense because a few ex-players (pretty sure it was Richard Jefferson most recently) have discussed on air how playing at altitude as they do in Utah or Denver can benefit a home team who’s acclimated to the conditions. So why are the Sixers so good at home? The world may never know. Is it because the stadium is so cold? But we’ve already digressed, so let’ get to your questions and takes.
Is Embiid sitting out games going to affect his MVP chances if it come down to it?— Jo or No? (@WeNiidEmbiid) February 16, 2021
David Early: Let’s start off with a flame thrower, ready? Joel Embiid is playing like the best player in the NBA right now. BUT he’s definitely not winning the MVP. The narrative for LeBron James has sealed this thing. The voters need to right their sins of the past when they cooked up reasons to vote for someone else besides LeBron for like... almost 20 years? If Joel was as good as LeBron has been for as long, he’d win MVP on a life-time achievement jawn and we’d all be fine with it. Barring injury or a record swoon because of injury to Anthony Davis, LeBron will win, but deep deep down we’ll all know. *Extreme Sam Hinkie voice* We’ll all know... who truly deserves it.
Adio Royster: Right now, Embiid has played in 26 out of 32 games this season. That’s 80 percent. Let’s say he stays on that pace and keeps playing that much without significant injury. [Knocks on wood. Crosses fingers. Burns sage.] If Embiid plays 80 percent of this season’s games (which rounds up to 58), he’s the MVP. Period. End of discussion. Embiid is third in the league in scoring (29.8), third in USG, second in PER, and second in WS/48. He’s the damn MVP if he plays 58+ games. If he’s not, then I hope he turns into Michael Jordan in “The Last Dance” documentary and takes it personal come playoff time.
Thoughts on trade or buyout Griffin/Josh Richardon - third 3pt shooter.— Cory Widmann (@The_Jruth) February 16, 2021
DE: One of the funniest things about this season is that they could certainly use Al Horford and Josh Richardson off the bench! I don’t think either will wind up here (they probably won’t be bought out and they probably would choose any team but Philly if they were, but yeah this team could certainly use their respective skillsets). This team really needs a stretch big for nights Joel is managing his load or sitting on the bench. We have all known for years now that Ben with four shooters around him is better than when his non-Embiid minutes get married to a Bobab, a Monroe, or an Amir Johnson. Dems the rules. And quietly, the defense has struggled a bit if your name is not one of their insane defenders like Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons or Matisse Thybulle. Blake could get bought out, but I somehow just don’t get the feeling he’d wind up here. I think if I were him, I’d have a vendetta against the Clips and go to Brooklyn or Lakers to beat them later in the year. He could stretch the floor though but he’s looked a little bit washed lately. He’d probably be better in meaningful minutes and I’d be excited if they landed him but still.... hopes remain low.
Also, Danny green is awful I'd trade him for a bag of chips.— Jo or No? (@WeNiidEmbiid) February 16, 2021
DE: Danny Green isn’t awful. Some may have expected more, but he’s getting up there and he’s not the defender he once was. Also the teams he’s won championships with never asked him to create at the end of a shot clock like the Sixers occasionally do. He’s won titles by playing with elite creators like Manu Ginobli, Tony Parker, Kyle Lowry, LeBron James, and Kawhi Leonard. But the Sixers don’t have guards and wings who can get buckets at the end of a clock so some of that has explained what we’re seeing. But at the end of the day, he’s a dude with 3 titles on 3 teams and in many ways a legend who just isn’t who he once was... but definitely not awful.
AR: I don’t agree with the take that Danny Green is “awful”. Can he look old on defense at times? Yes. Green is 33 years old, not 23. He’s still a plus-defender (albeit JUST plus at 0.3 DBPM), so he’s a better option than in years past. Offensively, he’s still shooting 38 percent from three on six attempts per game. He’s not great. He’s not awful, either. He’s fine. He’s fine, ya’ll. Be reasonable with this one.
DE: Having seen what Adio wrote, I feel even more strongly here. He takes a ton of 3s and is a helpful off-ball defender. He makes the most sense to trade if you’re making a splash because he may still have some value. Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic even named Green as one of 42 “stars” he analyzed that the Knicks might target so maybe someone else holds him in similar regard and they could get value here. If they can’t, he’s not the worst guy to have for big playoff moments.
What happened in this reaction gif?— Ryan Cohen (@RCohen44) February 16, 2021
DE: I do not know this answer to this, please answer in our comments or on twitter if anyone does.
AR: My best guess? Tyrese Maxey hitting some ungodly floater/runner that had NO BUSINESS going in but did, anyway. (Seriously. Maxey’s floater game is bonkers.)
Why do Ben Simmon's advanced defensive stats undervalue his actual contribution? Defensive RAPTOR of +0.8 seems woefully low— @DHC1 (@DHC1_1991) February 24, 2021
DE: Going to be honest, this is probably over my head. I’m not even sure what makes up the RAPTOR metrics, but I’d think Ben probably guarding stars all of the time is why his stats aren’t necessarily off the charts. We saw the game he tried to guard Devin Booker and he had a hand up for a ton of shots down the stretch but Book just hit them all. That can’t help the Sixers advanced stats but it’s not on Ben. If you hid him defensively on bums I bet he’d have a sick Dinosaur rating, or whatever that stat is.