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Tag: Ersan Ilyasova

Jake Fischer: 76ers’ Joel Embiid Is the “Pillar This Team Needed”

Rookie Joel "The Process" Embiid has almost singlehandedly made the Philadelphia 76ers fun to watch again. (@joelembiid/Instagram)

Rookie Joel “The Process” Embiid has almost singlehandedly made the Philadelphia 76ers fun to watch again (Instagram/@joelembiid).

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Four games into the season, the Philadelphia 76ers are again winless, and the franchise hasn’t won a pre-December regular-season game since the 2013-14 season. This time, however, Sixers fans are enjoying the process marveling at Joel “The Process” Embiid rather than commiserating about tanking. Jake Fischer of SB Nation’s Liberty Ballers and SI.com joins the show and raves about Embiid’s impressive debut and transformative potential. Along with 2016 No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons, whose highly anticipated debut will have to wait, last season’s NBA All-Rookie First Team member Jahlil Okafor and rookie Dario Saric, Embiid’s emergence brings optimism back to Philadelphia basketball. Fischer also examines the Sixers’ glut of similar bigs and identifies the likely odd man out. Not since Iverson and Iguodala respectively crossed over opponents and soared through the sky has there been so much unbridled joy and passion around this fan base. Peep the excerpts below:

1:59-2:23: Fischer starts out describing the aforementioned new aura of positivity around the 76ers faithful: “It’s a complete 180 from the last couple years. There’s still the good-hearted humor of ‘Oh, I wonder which new way we’ll find out this team can lose a game tonight,’ but at the same time there’s an optimism now I think that fans truly have thought, at least in these first four games, that the team has a shot at winning every night just because Embiid’s out on the floor.”

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Dan Feldman Gives Pistons a “Coin-Flip Chance” to Make Playoffs

At only 22, Andre Drummond has become a dominant force in the NBA. (Keith Allison/Flickr)

At only 22, Andre Drummond has already become a dominant force in the NBA (Keith Allison/Flickr).

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Hovering just around .500, the Detroit Pistons are probably the streakiest team in the NBA this season, amassing long winning and losing streaks alike. However, for all the team’s inconsistency, Detroit remains in the thick of the playoff race. Dan Feldman of NBC Sports’ Pro Basketball Talk joins the show to dissect Andre Drummond’s historic dominance, Detroit’s team-building strategy under Stan Van Gundy, Reggie Jackson’s continual growth and so much more. Choice excerpts are below:

4:25-6:00 On Andre Drummond’s free-throw shooting and where he fits in the modern NBA:

“I think a lot of fans get worked up on, ‘How could you give a max contract to a guy who makes 40 percent of his free throws?’ I just think it’s just nitpicking one thing because it’s so easy to diagnose… It’s so much harder to assess the other things he does well that I think the free-throw shooting has taken an outsized part of assessing his game… But it’s so helpful to have one guy you can run the pick and roll with, who can finish at the rim, who can defend the rim. He really fits as this modern center if you have the pieces around him. He’s definitely someone you can build around.”

7:15-8:05 On the short- and long-term effects of acquiring Tobias Harris at the trade deadline:

“It’ll take some adjustments to make him an ideal fit in this system. He’s going to have to become a better 3-point shooter, and I think he can. He’s been somebody who’s been streaky. But I think once there’s a comfort level… in the long run, this could really work… It was probably the biggest steal of the trade deadline week.”
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