Sixers vs Kings: Lottery Ball Superbowl

George Karl and the Sacramento Kings have lost eight of their past nine games, leading to uncertainty about Karl's future with the team | David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

George Karl and the Sacramento Kings have lost eight of their past nine games, leading to uncertainty about Karl’s future with the team | David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

George Karl is still the head coach of the Sacramento Kings.

For now, at least.

Marc Stein of ESPN reported on Monday that the Kings had decided to fire Karl after a 1-8 skid left the Kings with a 21-31 record, a full five games back of the Houston Rockets for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

That decision was reversed on Tuesday when, after a meeting between Karl and general manager Vlade Divac, Karl reportedly pledged to make changes to how he handles his defensive schemes, practice policies, and other points of frustration from within the organization.

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Sixers Mailbag #14: How Has Okafor Performed at Power Forward?

Sixers head coach Brett Brown has experimented with asking Jahlil Okafor to defend the power forward position | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Sixers head coach Brett Brown has experimented with asking Jahlil Okafor to defend the power forward position | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

This week we continue our 76ers mailbag series, where we discuss some of the pressing topics around the team.

In the 14th edition of our Sixers mailbag we talk about Jahlil Okafor‘s move to the power forward spot, whether to extend Nerlens Noel this offseason, and various possibilities in the 2016 draft.

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Sixers Selling Tickets Through StubHub Unlocks Treasure Trove of Consumer Data

AP-SIXERS-FINALLY-WIN-AP-HANNAH-FOSLIEN-940X540The Philadelphia 76ers will sell all tickets through StubHub starting next season — and they’re doing it to unlock a treasure trove of data about ticket buyers.

All Sixers tickets for the 2016-2017 season (both season tickets and individual) will be sold through a new StubHub platform available on Sixers.com. For fans, it’s a place where they can see all the available tickets in one place, with one seat map. Plus, it’s optimized for mobile devices and allows people to buy tickets from multiple sellers in one transaction.

For the Sixers, it’s all about data. Currently, the team has no information on people that buy tickets through StubHub, Craigslist or other secondary-ticket marketplace. That means the team can’t send them targeted advertisements or learn about their purchase habits. Read more »

T.J. McConnell’s Steady Play Providing Boost for Sixers

 

Sixers rookie point guard T.J. McConnell and associate head coach Mike D'Antoni react during a timeout | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Sixers rookie point guard T.J. McConnell and associate head coach Mike D’Antoni react during a timeout | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

When the Sixers made the trade to acquire Ish Smith, much was made about how Smith could help elevate the play of big men Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor, and deservedly so. Both of the Sixers’ prized possessions have been playing substantially better basketball with Smith’s ability to create getting them easy looks at the basket.

A secondary benefit was likely to be the Sixers’ perimeter shooters. If there’s one elite skill Smith has it’s his speed, and his ability to collapse the defense, force the opponent into help rotations, and pass out of that pressure was sure to generate more open looks for guys like Robert Covington, Hollis Thompson, and Isaiah Canaan.

One of the unexpected beneficiaries of Smith’s presence on the roster has been rookie T.J. McConnell.

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The History of the Philly Boo

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Mark Gail/MCT/Getty Images

As the clock wound down in the second quarter of the Eagles game against the middling Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the visitors had already piled on four touchdowns. All signs — particularly the Birds’ defense, which resembled matadors and turnstiles — pointed to a rout. In the wake of a heartbreaker loss to the lousy Miami Dolphins the week before here at home, a letdown against the Bucs had season-ending implications. The fans knew this. Which is why, as the players jogged off the field at halftime, a shower of boos rained down. These weren’t your garden-variety “We’re not happy” boos. This was a deafening, guttural roar. A seismic display of frustration. A tsunami of “You suck.” Read more »

Report: Sixers Have Inquired About Clippers Forward Blake Griffin

Could the Sixers acquire star power forward Blake Griffin? A report from Fox Sports Ohio says they have inquired about his availability | Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Could the Sixers acquire star power forward Blake Griffin? A report from Fox Sports Ohio says they have inquired about his availability | Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

According to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio, the Sixers have had discussions with the Los Angeles Clippers about the availability of star forward Blake Griffin.

The report comes on the heels of a report from Mitch Lawrence of the Sporting News that the Denver Nuggets had inquired about Griffin.

Speculation about Griffin’s availability has increased in recent days after a report that Griffin would miss at least 4-6 weeks because he broke his hand in an altercation with the team’s assistant equipment manager.

Do the Sixers have a chance of pulling off a deal?

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Report: Colangelo Has to Approve Changes to Sixers’ Basketball Operations Department

Philadelphia 76ers owner Joshua Harris (L) introduces Jerry Colangelo (R) as special advisor before a game against the San Antonio Spurs at Wells Fargo Center. | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

According to a report from Yahoo Sports, Jerry Colangelo has to approve all changes to the Sixers’ basketball operations department | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports’ ‘The Vertical’, the Philadelphia 76ers have promoted Brandon Williams to chief of staff.

In the newly created position Williams would report directly to general manager Sam Hinkie, where he would have influence on player development, agent relations, and recruiting, according to the Yahoo Sports report.

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Sixers Experiment With Okafor at Power Forward in Loss to Hawks

Whether or not Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor can succeed playing together is a key question for the Sixers this season | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Sixers head coach Brett Brown could start experimenting with Noel and Okafor’s defensive assignments | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

“I don’t think anybody really played that well,” Sixers head coach Brett Brown said after his team was destroyed by the Atlanta Hawks by a score of 124-86.

The 38 point differential was the Sixers’ second worst loss of the season.

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Sixers Mailbag #13: Which Player Has Improved the Most?

Jerami Grant's improvement on the defensive side of the court has been one of the pleasant surprises for the Sixers this season | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Jerami Grant’s improvement on the defensive side of the court has been one of the pleasant surprises for the Sixers this season | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

This week we continue our 76ers mailbag series, where we discuss some of the pressing topics around the team.

In the 13th edition of our Sixers mailbag we take a look at Dario Saric and what role he’ll play with the team, we’ll discuss who has improved the most and what some of the most pleasant, and unpleasant, surprises of the season are, and take a look at some of the best wins in the Sam Hinkie era.

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Ish Smith and the Fickle Nature of Player Development

Ish Smith has jumpstarted the development of Nerlens Noel since returning to the Sixers on December 24th | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Ish Smith has jumpstarted the development of Nerlens Noel since returning to the Sixers on December 24th | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Progress is a fickle beast.

The start of the Sixers season was as bad as anybody could have imagined. A 1-30 record, Robert Covington and Nerlens Noel struggling to replicate their success from last year, and an embarrassing set of off-court incidents for rookie big man Jahlil Okafor.

That all changed on the night before Christmas, when the Sixers reacquired veteran point guard Ish Smith from the New Orleans Pelicans for a pair of second round draft picks. The returns were immediate, as the Sixers won twice as many times during the first three games of the Ish Smith era as they did during the previous thirty one contests combined.

The Sixers have now gone 6-11 since reacquiring Smith. With the exception of games against the Los Angeles Clippers and Atlanta Hawks, the team has been competitive night in and night out with Smith at the helm.

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