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


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.

Finally Moving Out

After nearly 9 months at home, I’m moving out again. Thank god. Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents and not paying rent and my commute being 2 minutes, but it’s time to GO.

Rob and I are moving to Venice Lofts in Manayunk in April. My initial plan was to live alone, as was Rob’s. After looking around (probably at the same places), he found a double in Venice Lofts for a reasonable price. The place is nice and despite some administrative issues, we’re locked in for a year.

This being my second time moving to Manayunk, I have a pretty good idea what to expect. I can’t see Rob and I having any issues other than maybe getting too many girls.

Here’s to being the man.

For the Readers

This is just to keep the readers informed on my weekend.

Robert Covington is doing okay

He was adapting nicely but once he met Elvis everything went to shit. I moved him down to the basement with me and he’s getting along much better now. You know what they say, cats will be cats. He’s going to be an all-timer, I can feel it.

Pittsburgh was fun

Gourlay and I visited Jonny out in Pittsburgh. The two highlights were me getting up $1,700 in Blackjack only to lose it all, and Jonny doing a shot of whiskey then immediately throwing up. The drive was just over 4 hours each way which is a small price to pay to see your friends for a weekend.

I have a multiple posts in the works right now so I’ll catch up this week. If you want to stop by and see Covy, feel free.

I got a cat

This is my cat.

He’s 11 months old and we got along well at the Kitty Cafe both times I went. He was also the fan favorite of those I went with.

The final step is naming the little fella. I have a few ideas but am open to suggestions from the blog readers.

For some reason, the name Robert Covington is striking me right.

A Pretty Productive Sunday…

On Christmas, Jeff broke the high E string on my acoustic guitar. I still haven’t fixed it.

Today, at about 3:00 PM as I started episode 4 of Stranger Things (I know, I know, I just wrote that ‘tv series’ are stupid post’, shut up), I thought to myself:

“I should go buy a new acoustic guitar. Better yet, I should go to the casino, win $200, then use that to buy an acoustic guitar!”

As I took $300 out of the ATM, I pondered my strategy. I came to two conclusions:

1. If I get up $200, I should walk away and buy a guitar.
2. Leave the table if the vibe is bad.

On my first table, I was +$25 but there was a total donk there so I bailed after like two minutes

On my second table, I played a full shoe and ended +$125.

On my third table, I played a shoe and a half and ended +$200. What was my rule? I should leave if I was +$200.

On my fourth table, I got hot and in ~5-10 minutes I was +$700. It was just me and the dealer and I figured I’d try to make it an even grand. I bet $200 and nailed a blackjack to be +$1000 exactly.

On my fifth table, just kidding. I colored up, left the table, and decided that was enough. I walked out, drove home, and still don’t have a new guitar.

Pretty good Sunday!

I Almost Got a Cat

We went to Kawaii Kitty Cafe yesterday morning. You go into a small room with a few couches and tables and like 10 cats. Initially I wondered what the hell we were going to do for an hour in there, but the time flies.

The cat I posted about, Carl, was in there and looking good. I walked in and we bonded immediately. I still have some scabs from where he bit my hand. But some jackoff from the group before us decided to adopt Carl, so that was out. The rest of the hour was spent getting vibes from all the cats.

My adoption application that I sent in on Thursday hadn’t been approved yet so I couldn’t walk out with a cat. They said I should hear back sometime this week, and when I do, you can bet I’m booking another hour. It’s worth the $10 just to go in and pet cats for an hour, let alone take one.

I will have a cat soon. This little guy had potential.

I Might Get a Cat

On Saturday I’m going to Kawaii Kitty Cafe with the intent of coming back with a new kitty. One of my 2016 goals was to get a cat and I failed. I won’t fail in 2017.

There’s one cat in particular, Carl, who’s the leading candidate, but I’m going in with an open mind. I don’t have a preference of gender, color, breed, or anything else. I want to let the cat pick me for lack of a better term.

For the two months I’m still at home (more on that in another post), I’ll have my fingers crossed that Elvis likes the new kitty. He’s hated every other cat we’ve had, but now that he’s older and more mellow I think they’ll be okay.

Here’s to a new cat. Below is Carl.

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.

Last Chance Training – Update 1

First, I want to give a shout out to High Altitude Training Institute, the group that gave me the plan. I actually think this will be the difference in PR’ing again vs. remaining in running purgatory which I’ve been in the past few years.

It’s only been a week but having a structure and coach to report to has already made a difference. If you want to commit to a plan and try to run fast, check them out.

Week 1 was a success.

The Workouts

The first workout was 200s and 400s on the track @ 70s quarter pace. It’s a shock to the system when you’re running 6:30 – 7:30 pace for all of your runs then drop to 4:40 pace, but it was short enough that it wasn’t a killer.

On Friday I did 3 cruise miles @ 5:40 followed by some 200s for speed. This sucked because:

  • It was 30 degrees
  • It was windy
  • It was dark at the track

I’ll have to get used to those conditions for the next month or so. Overall though, not a bad workout.

The Alumni Mile

The Ursinus Alumni Mile was Saturday and I wasn’t going to miss it. Drew and I talked a big game saying we were both capable of running 4:40 but neither came close.

I even split a 4:46 and after 6 months of not training Drew managed a 4:49. Credit to the others that ran as well, this year was much more respectable than last year in terms of average time.

Full results here (bottom of the page). Special shout out to Dave for breaking 6!

The Long Run

12 miles with 9 @ tempo pace at Valley Green. I surprised myself and ran 6:03s for the 9 mile tempo, slightly faster than goal pace. I struggled to find the pace for the first 4 miles (my first was a 5:50 and second was a 6:10), but eventually settled into ~6:05 pace and kept it going.

I’d guess I ran 5% harder than I should have.

Week 1 is in the books. 38 miles. I doubt I’ll post a detailed update like this every week, but it made sense for this one.