The NBA released its Midseason Media Survey today, asking a beat reporter or columnist from the 30 NBA markets (including two from both New York and Los Angeles) questions about the current state of the league and predictions for its future. Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer was Philadelphia’s representative. Let’s examine any of the relevant categories in which the Sixers were included or represented.
Who are the 10 best teams in the NBA right now?
- New Orleans
- LA Clippers
Hard to quibble too much here. I would probably put the Sixers above Cleveland and maybe New Orleans, but you can make a good case either way and those teams do have slightly better records than Philadelphia at this juncture.
Note that in a subsequent question, the only three teams that received votes for representing the East in the NBA Finals were Boston (57 percent), Milwaukee (33 percent), and Brooklyn (10 percent). Again, that’s the smart money and I wouldn’t disagree.
Based on what you’ve seen so far, which team made the best overall personnel moves last summer?
The Sixers were in the “Also Receiving Votes” category here, which I think would have to be solely driven by the draft-night trade for De’Anthony Melton. Maybe they also get some love for James Harden re-signing at a discount. The P.J. Tucker and Danuel House, Jr. signings in free agency certainly haven’t blown anyone away.
Joel Embiid did not receive any votes for on track to win MVP. Luka Doncic was narrowly ahead of Nikola Jokic there. They still hate the Process. Although he did receive votes for on track to win Defensive Player of the Year. Brook Lopez has a lead over Jaren Jackson Jr. in that category. They maybe value the Process?
Who has been the best center this season?
1. Nikola Jokic, Denver – 86%
2. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia – 14%
Will the injustices never cease?
Embiid was not mentioned in the Best International Player category, where only Jokic (38 percent), Giannis Antetokounmpo (34 percent), and Luka Doncic (28 percent) received votes. Tough field, to be sure, but come on. Where were you, Keith?
Which current NBA assistant coach is poised to become a head coach by the start of next season?
1. Charles Lee, Milwaukee – 31%
2. Kenny Atkinson, Golden State – 28%
3. Sam Cassell, Philadelphia – 13%
» Also receiving votes: Jerome Allen, Detroit; Johnnie Bryant, New York; Dave Joerger, Philadelphia; Damon Stoudamire, Boston; Sean Sweeney, Dallas; Teresa Weatherspoon, New Orleans; Kevin Young, Phoenix
Sam Cassell has been a name in head coaching conversations as an up-and-coming candidate for some time now. He interviewed for the Utah Jazz position last summer. I know a lot of Sixers fans wouldn’t mind one bit if he suddenly became the head man in Philadelphia. Dave Joerger made the playoffs as a head coach all three years in Memphis, before getting caught for a few years in the decade-plus-long quagmire that was Sacramento. Is this the part where I point out Doc Rivers wasn’t mentioned in any of the coaching categories?
Tyrese Maxey was one of many players “also receiving votes” in the “Most Underrated Player” category. Underrated is always a very nebulous concept, so not surprising that there were over names mentioned, from stars (LeBron) to role players (Larry Nance Jr.). Nice nod to Maxey, nonetheless.
Embiid was mentioned in both the “toughest player to guard” and “forces opposing coaches to make the most adjustments” categories. Yeah, I don’t know what you do about a seven-footer who has become one of the best midrange shooters in the league and has range out to the three-point line. Pray to the old gods and new?
Finally, Philadelphia was “also receiving votes” for best homecourt advantage. Golden State took the top spot. Still, go off, Sixers fans. Honorary Chik-Fil-A for all.
Check out the full survey to see what the media thought about a host of other categories. Let’s hope the Sixers change some minds during the second half of the season.