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Tag: tanking

Andrew Lynch: Suns’ “Season Has Been a Complete Lost Cause”

The best season of Eric Bledsoe’s career was cut short due to lingering issues with his left knee (Keith Allison/Creative Commons).

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Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight and Tyson Chandler have already been shut down for the remainder of the Phoenix Suns’ season, but Fox Sports Senior NBA Writer Andrew Lynch isn’t convinced full-on tanking is in the team’s best interest. Andrew’s appearance comes fresh off 20-year-old Devin Booker’s history-making 70-point output in a loss to the Celtics Friday night. He contextualizes Booker’s rare night and breaks down many other integral Suns issues, such as Eric Bledsoe’s projected NBA future, the disappointing Alex Len, rookie Marquese Chriss’ potential and Phoenix’s approach to this June’s draft.

2:31-2:57: “In this season, Suns fans needed something like that, I think. And it’s just perfectly fitting – I tweeted this last night – that it came in a loss. All of my favorite Suns memories are in losses. I know people want to maybe belittle the achievement a little because he was taking so many shots, because they were fouling, because they were calling timeouts…70 points is 70 points in an NBA game. Period.”

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Darius Soriano: “Onus Is on Lakers’ Player Development Folks” to Maximize Potential

Darius Soriano has high hopes for Lakers rookie Brandon Ingram (pictured), who figures to see his role increase as Luke Walton focuses on his team’s young core (Zach Frailey/Flickr).

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The Los Angeles Lakers have a new president of basketball operations and general manager, as first-year head coach Luke Walton leads a youthful squad headlined by lottery picks from the past three drafts, Brandon Ingram, D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle. At this critical juncture for the team, Forum Blue & Gold Editor-in-Chief Darius Soriano stops by to break down the biggest storylines for LA’s present and future.

2:44-3:43: Sadly, the biggest Lakers-related news this season happened off the court with last week’s management shakeup:

“The writing was sort of on the wall once Magic [Johnson] was hired as an adviser to Jeanie Buss…The timing of it, though, was awkward and just the way it was handled, I thought, was rough for everyone involved…I’m sort of intrigued by the [Rob] Pelinka aspect, and I think the Magic Johnson thing – I don’t want to say ‘cautiously optimistic.’ I’m more along the lines of ‘I’m just sort of hanging back and waiting to see how things go.’ Magic’s very well respected in the business world, and obviously he was an amazing player. We’ll see how all of that translates that to a final decision-maker on the basketball side [for the Lakers].”

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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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Michael Levin: Sixers’ Jerry Colangelo “Emerged as a Tremendous Snake”

Michael Levin, during the live broadcast of last year's Liberty Ballers NBA Draft Lottery party.

Michael Levin, during the live broadcast of last year’s Liberty Ballers NBA Draft Lottery party.

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A flurry of activity surrounded the Philadelphia 76ers front office during the final week of the regular season, beginning with the resignation of GM Sam Hinkie, a figure beloved by some and misunderstood and hated by others. Michael Levin, editor of SB Nation’s Liberty Ballers and co-host of the Sixers podcast “The Rights to Ricky Sanchez,” joins us to discuss the trials and tribulations of covering the Sixers during Hinkie’s tenure and why throughout the unprecedented amount of losing, he still trusted the process and remained optimistic about the future. Now that former chairman Jerry Colangelo has installed his son, Bryan Colangelo, as the new GM and President of Basketball Operations before stepping down himself, who knows what that future may hold for Philadelphia? Choice excerpts below:

1:40-1:50 on Sam Hinkie’s 13-page resignation letter:

“I could have done with 13 more pages. I would have liked 50. I would have liked a novel.”

3:55-4:25 on why diehard Sixers fans were so accepting of Hinkie’s “process”:

“It’s what we wanted for years and years and years because the foundation they were building on for so long was flawed and faulty and totally capped: at best, a scrappy playoff team that would win maybe a round, and at worst just a terrible team. We all were very excited when Hinkie came in. We’ve been very supportive of the process… we never really lost a tremendous amount of faith.”

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Tim Cato: Mavericks “Just Can’t Tank with Dirk”

Tim Cato interviewing Dallas Mavericks Point Guard Devin Harris

Tim Cato (second from left) and others  interviewing Mavericks point guard Devin Harris

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After dropping seven of their last 10 games, the Dallas Mavericks are in jeopardy of missing the playoffs. Tim Cato of SB Nation and Mavs Moneyball joins us to dissect the team’s recent struggles, the impact of Chandler Parsons’ injury and legend Dirk Nowitzki’s future. He also examines head coach Rick Carlisle’s unorthodox coaching strategies, finds hope in Wesley Matthews’ long road to recovery and explains why the team did not opt to rebuild after whiffing on DeAndre Jordan and other prized free agents in the offseason. Juicy excerpts below:

2:19-3:28 On the team-wide effect of Chandler Parsons’ knee injury:

“It’s definitely a concern. The Mavericks rely on his shot-making and his playmaking. The past month or two, he’s really gotten into a good groove, where he’s been making plays and finding his rhythm in the offense. (He is) definitely worthy of being a max player coming up… As the Mavericks have moved to a small-ball offense, he was really thriving. It’s definitely a loss on both the offensive and defensive ends… (They) also don’t have a clear backup to replace him.”

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