Embiid, Simmons lead 76ers from Process to work in progress

first_imgMOST READ Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ “Embiid! Come on boy, make me some noise!” Ball yelled, as he pulled Embiid in for a bro hug. “Don’t be scared.”Ball placed his hand on Embiid’s shoulder and offered a bit of fatherly advice: “Here’s the smart thing. Don’t worry about nobody on the outside. You just keep playing and doing your thing.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSBrian Heruela arrival bolsters Phoenix backcourt, defenseEmbiid nodded and laughed as he walked away from the powwow and headed down the dingy concourse, the Philadelphia 76ers center needing tips from Ball on basketball about as much as Martin Truex Jr. needs racing lessons from an Uber driver. Embiid has been doing his thing just fine as the big baller in the middle for the Sixers and has posted the kind of numbers (23.5 points/11.1 rebounds) that should turn the social media star into an NBA All-Star.Embiid has been healthy, durable and dominant, a clutch reason the Sixers are 13-11 and in the thick of Eastern Conference playoff contention for the first time in five years. “It’s been pretty tough,” Simmons said. “But we can get back to where we were. Still learning. But I think we’ll get back there.”Help could be on the way.Fultz is close to a return from soreness and a scapular muscle imbalance in his right shoulder that has sidelined him since October. Fultz needs more than strength and conditioning work to get in basketball shape — he needs to rework a mangled shooting motion that was mocked around the NBA. For the Sixers to make a dent in the playoff race, Fultz must follow the path of fellow lottery picks Embiid and Simmons, and not a disposed Process piece such as Okafor, the No. 3 pick of the 2015 draft who fell out of favor and was traded on Wednesday.Fultz can still have fun and trolled Embiid this week with a “Process that ” on Twitter when his Washington Huskies upset Embiid’s Kansas Jayhawks. Simmons and Embiid are tight and attended a Jay-Z concert together last week. It’s the kind of camaraderie that keeps a locker room fun through thick and thin — a process or playoffs — and has coach Brett Brown firm in his belief that this season won’t unravel like so many others on his watch.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Cavs’ Derrick Rose has bone spur in ankle, happy to be backcenter_img It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson LATEST STORIES Philadelphia 76ers Joel Embiid, front right, of Cameroon, makes his move against Los Angeles Lakers Andrew Bogut, left, of Australia, during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)PHILADELPHIA — LaVar Ball was holding court outside the Lakers locker room when he spotted two of his sons goofing around with the 7-footer in the white sweatshirt.Ball, the preposterous patriarch of LA basketball’s foolhardy family, had just dissed the President in their ongoing Twitter feud. But in the presence of the player nicknamed “The Process,” even Ball knew it was wise to play nice with Joel Embiid.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel and, perhaps, 2017 No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz proved the path to a title can come with more rocky terrain ahead.But the NBA has put on watch that the 76ers are on a playoff push.“We have a focus on where we’re going,” team president Bryan Colangelo said. “We have a clear definition of what that looks like.”At its peak, it looks like it did against the Lakers:Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma drove the lane and went high with his right hand for a layup. Embiid saw the rookie coming and barely left his feet to use his right hand and swat the ball directly to Simmons. Embiid stared at the fallen Kuzma as Simmons took off on a fastbreak. Simmons dribbled to just inside the 3-point line when he made a left-handed, no-look bounce pass behind him to a charging Richaun Holmes for a thunderous dunk that brought another raucous sellout crowd of 20,495 to its feet.“The Philadelphia 76ers is must-see TV right now,” TNT analyst and Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal said during the broadcast. “I’m looking at the chemistry that Simmons and Embiid is playing with, and it reminds me of a young Penny (Hardaway) and a young Shaq.”Simmons’ attack off the dribble, rebounding, passing like a point guard trapped in a power forward’s body and ability to finish strong at the basket has already forced comparisons to Cleveland’s LeBron James, the four-time NBA MVP who has served as a mentor to the rookie.“I think Ben is his own makeup of speed, power, quickness, ability to pass the ball and being able have a feel for the game,” James said. “You know, Ben is Ben. And I am who I am. And so on and so on. So you guys kind of do that comparison stuff.”Simmons and James go head-to-head on Saturday in Cleveland, with the Sixers looking to avenge a 113-91 home loss last month.The Sixers have lost four of six games and were stunned when Brandon Ingram hit the game-winning 3-pointer with 0.8 seconds remaining in the Lakers’ 107-104 win on Thursday. They lead the league in fouls committed per game, are turnover prone (had 18 against LA and the Lakers had 15 steals) and have little depth beyond Simmons and Embiid, and JJ Redick, Robert Covington and Dario Saric. They get beat much too often on the offensive glass. Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours View comments Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Oh yeah, and he’s had help.Ben Simmons, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2016 draft, has been better than advertised in his rookie season. Simmons had already the third triple-double of his career with 12 points, 13 rebounds and 15 assists against the Lakers. Simmons, fourth in the league in assists, joined Hall of Famers Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson as the only rookies to have at least three triple-doubles through their first 23 games.More big thrills are surely on the way.The Sixers are still a work in process as The Process becomes something more than a code name for a demoralizing rebuild that stripped the franchise of quality players in exchange for cheap talent and draft picks.Embiid and Simmons proved The Process can pay substantial dividends.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

THE HOOPS REPORT: LENNON DELIGHT AS CELTIC BEAT DONS 2-0

first_imgLENNON: DELIGHTED WITH VICTORY AT ABERDEENFROM NEIL DOHERTY: CELTIC avoided another potential banana skin in their bid to stay in control of the SPL by beating Aberdeen 2-0 at Pittodrie.Yet another young player from the increasingly extensive Celtic scouting system – Tunisian Lassad Nouioui – opened the scoring when he stroked into an empty net in the 73rd minute, having only come on for Kris Commons four minutes earlier.Charlie Mulgrew added a second against his former club three minutes later. It was a good day for a Rangers-less SPL as almost 19,000 fans turned up for the early kick-off.But a cracker on the field it wasn’t as the home side tried to contain Celtic.With Hibs losing the Hoops are back on top of the SPL as manager Neil Lennon hopes his Bhoys can be Lisbon Lions again with the Champions League trip to Benfica midweek.Celtic manager Neil Lennon has described his side’s upcoming Champions League trip to Benfica as the hardest match of the group. “This game will be the toughest of our group, they will be very motivated to beat us,” said Lennon, who rates next week’s game as tougher than the match against Barcelona.“We’re going to come up against a very motivated team at home, who are very impressive at home and who are going very well domestically.“If we can get through midweek with a draw or a win that would be marvellous.”Celtic are second behind Barcelona in Group G on seven points but are three points ahead of the Portugese side who took a point in their first encounter at Parkhead.“No-one would have expected us to beat Barcelona, it was a fantastic night, but it’s gone, it’s history,” said Neil. “I said to the guys, I’ll take you out in 20 years for a pint and we’ll talk about it, but it’s gone now and we want to qualify and that’s our whole focus.“I want to qualify now, it would mean so much to the club.“In the last 16 you just never know where it will take you.”Lennon was happy with the result today – following lost points in that last three domestic matches. “I put a powerful team out today because I felt we had to be physical,” he said.“I thought we had control of the game today for long periods, without quality at the end of it, but we got there.“It’s a huge three points for us. We looked a good team and it sets us up nicely for Tuesday.”And he was delighted with Tunisian Lassad Nouioui who has been riddled with injuries since joining the Hoops in the summer.“We really like the look of him,” said Neil.“He’s been unfortunate that he missed the pre-season and he’s just been picking up wee niggly injuries.“We’re trying to drip-feed him into the squad and that will have done his confidence the world of good.”THE HOOPS REPORT: LENNON DELIGHT AS CELTIC BEAT DONS 2-0 was last modified: November 17th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:THE HOOPS REPORT: LENNON DELIGHT AS CELTIC BEAT DONS 2-0last_img read more