Pre NBA Draft Lottery 2017

It’s the best time of year!

Cavs & Warriors fans have enjoyed this time of year as of late as they each cruise to their third straight finals.

But recently, Sixers’ fans know this time of year for a different reason – the payoff of the process.

We suffer through 82 games a year (except the 15 in January) just to have a chance at the ping pong balls falling our way.

Tuesday, May 16th, is the NBA Draft Lottery, and there’s no shortness of drama for the Sixers thanks to none other than SAM HINKIE.

The Picks

I won’t get into huge detail, but due to Hinkie’s magic we have:

  • Our pick
  • The Lakers pick if it falls outside of the top 3
  • The right to swap with the Kings if their pick is better than ours

With all of that factored in, we have a:

  • 15% chance at the #1 pick
  • 45% chance at a top 3 pick
  • 40% chance at TWO top 5 picks.

Best Case

There are two “best case” scenarios in my opinion.

  1. The first is that we get picks #1 and #4. Fultz goes #1 and then whoever you like at #4 (I’m happy with Monk, Jackson, Fox, or Smith).
  2. The second scenario is that we get #1, the Lakers get either #2 or #3, the Lakers still suck next year, and we get their unprotected pick like the Celtics have with the Nets this year (more Hinkie magic).

Worst Case

We get pick #6 and the Lakers are good next year so we’d get their shitty pick.

This would be the worst thing to ever happen to me in my life aside from if Ben Simmons and Embiid getting into a car accident together.

Watch the Draft Lottery

Joel Embiid will be representing the Sixers at the lottery so it’s sure to be entertaining. My expectations are so high that if we end up with just one pick outside the top 3 I’m going to be so bummed.

Use this draft simulator and see how many times we get two top 5 picks out of 10. It’s incredible. I get a little more excited each time it happens.

NFL 2017 – 2018 Season Team Win Total Over / Unders – My Picks

Instead of going team by team, I’m going to give you my EXPERT picks on which of these you can make some money on. Full list from ESPN Below.

Patriots – 11 – Over

7 straight seasons of 12 or more wins. Not sure why anyone doubts Bill and Tom at this point.

Cowboys – 9.5 – Over

They won’t win 13 again, but Dallas controls football games with their O-line and run game, which is why they’re so good in close games, and why they’ll win at least 10 this year.

Raiders – 9.5 – Over

Derek Carr will be top 3 in MVP voting. Amari Cooper will be a top 5 fantasy receiver. Marshawn will win comeback player of the year. I may have to predict them for the AFC Championship game again this year.

Panthers – 9 – Under

I just don’t think Cam Newton cares about football.

Colts – 9 – Under

This division is better than you think and other than Luck, there’s not much scaring me here.

Buccaneers – 8 – Over

Jameis is a year older, O.J. Howard is a stud, and that offense is going to put up some serious points. The Bucs might take over the Falcons to win that division. They went 9-7 last season, how do they get worse?

Chargers – 7.5 – Under

Rivers is a year older. They won 5 games last year. That L.A. Stadium is a joke (home field will suck). That division is good.

Jets – 5.5 Under

No quarterback, no problem! Except it is a problem. A huge problem. The Jets will be the worst team in the league.


Patriots – 11
Steelers – 10.5
Seahawks – 10.5
Falcons – 10
Packers – 10
Cowboys – 9.5
Raiders – 9.5
Titans – 9.5
Ravens – 9.5
Chiefs – 9
Panthers – 9
Giants – 9
Colts – 9
Bengals – 8.5
Broncos – 8.5
Texas – 8.5
Eagles – 8.5
Vikings – 8.5
Saints – 8.5
Buccaneers – 8
Lions – 8
Redskins – 7.5
Cardinals – 7.5
Chargers – 7.5
Dolphins – 7.5
Bills – 6
Jaguars – 5.5
Jets – 5.5
Rams – 5.5
Bears – 5
49ers – 4.5
Browns – 4

Russ Westbrook and the Stats – Playoff Edition

“Russell Westbrook had the single greatest season ever!”

“Russell is unguardable!”

“He’s the MVP!”


The Thunder were eliminated from the playoffs last night after a game 5 loss to the Houston Rockets. The series was a tale of one player and two narratives.

Here are the game by game shooting stats for Russ:

Game 1 – 6/23 (26%) for 22 points (L)

Game 2 – 17/43 (40%) for 51 points (L)

Game 3 – 11/24 (46%) for 32 points (W)

Game 4 – 10/28 (36%) for 35 points (L)

Game 5 – 15/34 (44%) for 47 points (L)

Total – 59/152 (39%)

Narrative One (I disagree)

Russ has no help. He’s the only player on his team who can score and his teammates constantly defer to him, so he has to shoot. He’s also a freak athlete who can get to the rim at will so it works.

Additionally, you don’t average 10+ assists a game by being a gunner. He tries to get his teammates involved and get them easy buckets. But clearly the team falls apart when he’s on the bench because his supporting cast just isn’t good.

Narrative Two (I agree)

Russ does everything because Russ wants to do everything. His teammates defer to him because that’s the culture that’s HE’S created. And I don’t buy the 10+ assist metric because he has the ball on literally every play when he’s in the game, of course he’s going to get 10 assists, that doesn’t mean he’s not selfish.

Russ is a career 31% 3 point shooter. He took 49 threes in this series and made 13 of them (27%).

Could his team be better? Of course. But I think Russ is partially the CAUSE of his team being so bad. They’re not playing basketball, they’re playing give-it-to-Russ-and-see-what-happens. That works in the regular season, but you’re not making it far in the playoffs like that unless you have another star like KD to carry the team while Russ sits.

There’s a reason Kevin Durant left OKC. You can’t win a championship with a player like Russ dominating the ball like that, and he shows no signs of changing.

Keep shooting Russ! You may go down as the best player ever to not win a championship.

TTP Capital – Dale’s Blog

Dale started a blog dedicated to tracking his effort in Daily Fantasy Baseball.

He’s starting with $1,000 and hoping to hit it big.

He already has a number of posts laying out his methodology and how he’ll execute his lineups. He values home runs and strikeouts, and has a very elaborate Excel sheet designed to tell him who are the best matchups / values are each night.

Stats!

I find baseball boring, but I’ve read every post so far and am actually very interested in following Dale’s success or failure this season.

If DFS interests you, or even just using data to make decisions, I suggest catching up and reading along.

Plus it will piss Gourlay off if his blog gets popular or if it actually works.

Good luck Dale!

LaVar Ball is Winning

The LaVar Ball show has been going on for weeks now. It started off when he made claims that his son Lonzo was better than Steph Curry and that he was going to play to the Lakers no matter what.

Then he claimed that he himself could beat Michael Jordan in a game of 1 on 1 when they were in their prime.

After weeks of making ridiculous statements, LaVar moved from talking at his home to being invited onto the biggest sports talk shows in the nation.

After watching LaVar on First Take with Stephen A this week, it’s painfully obvious that he’s just a troll. He knows he wouldn’t beat MJ 1 on 1. He knows that if Lonzo and Steph switched places, the Warriors would be worse and UCLA would be better. He’s just promoting himself and his family, and the sports media bit.

LaVar is taking advantage of every minute of his 15 minutes of fame. Regardless of what happens next, he’s way more famous than he should be, and for that, I give him credit.

16 for 16 on Day One

I got every game right yesterday!

The thing about the first round of the tournament is this – it doesn’t matter.

No one wins their bracket in the first round. It’s strictly to look cool by picking upsets that others didn’t.

For example, I picked URI over Creighton today (which isn’t even an upset, URI is favored). If that hits, I look smart, but I have them losing the next game, as is the case with most upset picks. It’s a measly 10 points that goes more to my ego than my final score.

But while my bracket is still in tact, and I still have a chance at the trillion dollars from Jimmy Buffet, I’m going to brag and get my hopes way too high.

See you at the finish line losers.

Russ Westbrook and the Stats

This generation of sports fans, aided by ESPN and other sports media, is almost too invested in the individual stats. Here’s ESPN’s headline in regards to the Blazers Thunder game last night.



The Blazers clearly did have an answer for Russ last night, since, you know, they won the game. Russell himself would be the first to say he’d rather score 0 and win than score 58 and lose.

But every time Russ puts up a triple double, everyone gushes over how amazing he is, regardless of the outcome.

Russell Westbrook is the prime example of a player who will NEVER win a championship.

Stars don’t like playing with him and he doesn’t make his teammates better (to the degree a ‘super star’ should).

He fills up the stat sheet because he’s an athletic freak and a gunner, but you can’t play the way he plays and win a championship.

I actually like Westbrook as a person, and he’s exciting as all hell to watch, but his “dynamic, unstoppable style”, which fuels his triple-doubles, will ultimately be the reason he never gets a ring.

 

Coincidentally, this article was published by the Ringer the day following this post, noting “Statistically, Russell Westbrook is the biggest ball hog of all time.”. It’s worth a read.

Sixers All-Star Break Grades

Player Grades

These are based on performance vs. expectation. C is average.

Joel Embiid – A

The only reason it’s not an A+ is because of him being injury prone. On the court he’s exceeded even the highest expectations anyone had.

TJ McConnell – A-

Compared to what people thought he’d be, he’s playing great. He’s not a starting point guard on a real contender, but he’s proven he belongs in the league 100%. TWO game winners!

Nerlens Noel – B+

Had limited minutes early on. Still very solid on defense and offense was improving. If he can hit the 14-footer consistently, he’ll be a good starting center.

Dario Saric – B+

You’ve got to love the guy’s heart / attitude. All around solid player who’s improved significantly already this year. Looking forward to having him long term.

Ersan Ilyasova – B+

A good shooter, tried hard, took charges, and was a professional for the young guys. Shot just a little too much, but someone had to I guess.

Nik Stauskas – B

More than just the shooter I initially thought he’d be. Can make plays towards the rim and isn’t as bad on defense as people say. AND he IS a good shooter.

Gerald Henderson – B-

A solid all around player who can create his own shot which is rare on this team. Probably won’t be here long term.

Robert Covington – C+

He’s been good on defense but hasn’t shot the 3 like we hoped. I applaud him for playing hard all the time though, doesn’t deserved to get boo’d.

Richaun Holmes – C+

High energy and good defensively. Needs work offensively and should get the opportunity with Noel being gone. Has potential and could be the long-term Embiid back up.

Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot – C

A rookie playing rookie minutes. Hasn’t wow-ed anyone but has shown flashes and I’d prefer to keep him.

Sergio Rodriguez – C-

Started off okay but has faded a bit since. I never believe something good will happen when he has the ball. TJ earned the starting job over him.

Jahlil Okafor – D

A defensive liability. Although he can be effective on offense, this team doesn’t fit his style. We’re up-tempo and share the ball and he’s half-court and the offense needs to run through him.

Chasson Randle – D

Wat


The Front Office – D-

The Sixers front office as a whole, and specifically GM Bryan Colangelo, have disappointed this year.

  • The two trades today were bad. Colangelo was backed into a corner after turning down offers for Noel / Okafor in the past year.  In fact, the best move he’s made so far was getting Ilyasova in the first place. It seems these moves were made with no plan in place. Just trades for the sake of trades. The OPPOSITE of Hinkie. RIP Nerlens.
  •  

  • WTF is going on with Ben Simmons. He’s getting a scan today. First he’ll be back by Christmas. Then January. Now March. When the FUCK should I expect this guy to play?
  •  

  • The Embiid meniscus tear was handled horribly. Why didn’t they come out with it right away? Transparency, Bryan!
  •  

  • Leaving Okafor home because he’s going to get traded, then not trading him at all… are you kidding me? I feel bad for Okafor at this point.

 

We replaced Hinkie for this?

 

Not my GM

The whole reason for canning Hinkie was so we could be MORE transparent and media accessible. That hasn’t happened.

Fans bought tickets in January for March games thinking they’d see Embiid AND Simmons and they may see neither due to the stupidity / lack of transparency from the front office.

Bryan Colangelo has done nothing to instill hope in the fanbase, and has only made the city of Philadelphia miss Hinkie more. I hope the anti-Hink-ites are happy.


Brett Brown – A

This guy deserves a goddamn medal of honor for what he’s had to deal with. Not only did he tough it out when the team was one of the worst in league history, but he’s working through an incompetent front office who constantly hangs him out to dry.

He has these guys playing hard and having fun, and they’re finally winning games since the talent level is above 0! I’m a firm believer that Brett has earned the right to see this thing through until the end.


Through it all… Trust the Process

There’s enough in place to be a REAL contender moving forward. I don’t have a lot of faith in Colangelo, but he’s been gift-wrapped Embiid, Simmons, Dario, Kings’ pick swap, Lakers’ pick, Kings’ 2019 pick, etc., which is enough to contend.

Thank you Sam Hinkie.

Super Bowl LI Quick Thoughts

Patriots Win or Falcons Choke?

You don’t overcome a 25 point second-half deficit without the opponent choking to some extent, but this game won’t be remembered as the time Atlanta choked away a Super Bowl (well, it will in Atlanta, but not anywhere else).

If it were another team, then maybe, but since it was the Patriots, and Brady / Belichick’s 5th, it will be remembered as their definitive stamp on the greatest player / coach to ever grace the NFL.

So WTF Happened to Atlanta?

99.6% is pretty good.

It’s hard to say. They were running the ball really well. Julio made plays when they threw it to him. They were pressuring Brady without blitzing. Aside from Ryan’s awful sack in the 4th, he played exceptionally.

There was some questionable play-calling, namely throwing it on 3rd and 2 when you’ve been running all over AND are trying to burn clock (this was the Matt Ryan fumble), and the Pats just made a lot of plays down the stretch.

The Greatest Quarterback Ever?

It was probably 80/20 in favor of Brady prior to this game, but there’s no doubt now. Brady and Belichick are at-or-near the top in every “Greatest” player / coach category you can come up with.

The Greatest Super Bowl Ever?

No, not even close. This game was a snoozefest for two and half hours. Greatest Super Bowl comeback ever? Absolutely, 100%, no doubt about it.

Talk of “should Brady retire?

“Go out on top!”

Wat? Are you kidding me?

Extrapolate his regular season to 16 games and he threw for 37 TDs, 3 Ints, and 4,740 yards.

He threw 62 times for 466 yards yesterday. This wasn’t Peyton limping to a victory at age 39 in Super Bowl 50. This was a Brady led team and he could not have been more important to their success.

Assuming he wants to (which he’s indicated he does), there’s no reason to think he won’t be a top 3 quarterback next year.

Super Bowl Betting

I predicted the Pats in the preseason and the Falcons / Pats from the start of the playoffs. In my final-game prediction, I said that Pats would destroy because Brady is out for BLOOD.

Today, I’m standing by that prediction. I’m going $200 on Pats -3. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the Super Bowl where the Pats win by 10+.

The over / under is 58. I’m going $100 on the under. I think there will be a lot of yards, but not as many TDs. The Falcons don’t have the experience and their high-powered offense will be surprisingly tame against an under-rated Pats D.

For the sake of making an exact prediction, I’ll say Pats 31, Falcons 23.

Brady wins MVP, obviously.