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Wednesday night NBA grades: How about them Sixers?

Nov 14, 2013, 2:19 AM EDT

James Anderson AP

Our grades from Wednesday around the NBA, or what you missed while watching a man attack a taxi with a didgeridoo

source:   Tony Wroten, Philadelphia 76ers. Rookie sensation Michael Carter-Williams was out and Wroten got thrown in the fire with his first ever start against Houston — and he responded with a triple double. Wroten finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists — the first person since Elias sports started tracking triple-doubles (1971) to get one in his first start. Wroten is a guy who has really developed his game over the past few years and it showed Wednesday.

source:   James Anderson, Philadelphia 76ers. Yes, two Sixers make the list (it could have been three, Spencer Hawes had a big game as well). You have to stay tuned with this team — they are now 4-3 in games in which they trail by 10 points going into the fourth quarter. Anderson sparked that comeback with 13 of his 36 points in the fourth, and on the night he took just 16 shots. Anderson also hit six threes, but none bigger than this.

source:   Brooklyn Nets. What. Was. That. Brooklyn was off to an ugly 2-4 start this season but was getting a Kings team that had lost five in a row — and Brooklyn got just blown out. I’m a stats-minded guy, I don’t like to say “the game was won with energy” but the Kings simply outworked the Nets for most of the night, getting to lose balls, trying harder on defense and generally just seeming to care. The Nets are 2-5 and while getting better is a season-long process that process will not work without effort. For the second time in seven games the Nets just didn’t show up.

source:  Arron Afflalo, Orlando Magic. He’s really best suited to be the No. 2 or 3 guy on a good team, but he played like a No. 1 on Wednesday with 36 points on 11-of-15 shooting including 8-of-11 from beyond the arc. The bigger thing was 29 of those points came in the second half to lead the Magic back from 19 down to get a win. The Magic are still willing to shop veterans on this team and you can’t tell me there are not good teams that couldn’t use what Afflalo brings.

source:   Memphis Grizzlies defense. This was a team that made it to the Western Conference Finals on the strength of their defense, and they brought back pretty much the exact same roster… so why is the defense so terrible? Toronto came into Memphis and dropped 103 points on them putting up 116.8 points per 100 possessions. Last season teams shot 43.5 percent against them and 33.8 percent from three, this season it is 46.6 and 38.2. Memphis needs to turn it around on the defensive end to turn this team around.

  1. 00maltliquor - Nov 14, 2013 at 2:54 AM

    Where’s that guy that tried to tell me Tony Wroten was garbage when I said that he is the best backup PG they’ve had in a decade (that’s not really saying much though!). Show yourself!

    • JMClarkent - Nov 14, 2013 at 6:43 AM

      He’s on the NBA 2k blog complaining “Your ranking of Tony Wroten made me look like a fool!”

  2. 00maltliquor - Nov 14, 2013 at 3:03 AM

    A lot of early respect from me goes out to these Sixers, as well as the Suns. If they’re not playing your team, you gotta be rooting for them.

  3. mungman69 - Nov 14, 2013 at 5:46 AM

    Yeah, Everyone said that the Sixers were going to tank this season. They still may end up on the bottom but…..

  4. nbascreed - Nov 14, 2013 at 7:50 AM

    When coaches say play with energy it’s a synonym for effort and hustle which are demonstrable but not necessarily quantifiable. These do not conflict with data Kurt.

    I’m not trying to be tough on you because I like that you’re trying to embrace advanced stats but you really need to go take a couple stats courses so you’re better prepared to talk with some nuance about data, stats and measurements.

    Right now you sound uninitiated, and it hurts your credibility.

    • Kurt Helin - Nov 14, 2013 at 1:25 PM

      My point is that when you ask NBA players why they won/lost they almost always talk about energy. Even when that had little to do with the outcome, it was about an exploited matchup or whatever.

      Again, I took 4 stats classes in college, read (and understood) Basketball on Paper, have been to SLOAN, talk to league stat guys, and I could go on and on here but my goal is to present the stats in a way more casual fans can understand. If you do not like my writing you are under no obligation to read it.

      • nbascreed - Nov 14, 2013 at 8:25 PM

        Your statement “…Even when that had little to do with the outcome…” in regards to energy vis-a-vis wins or losses is absurd on its face Kurt.

        You just said that effort and hustle don’t affect won/loss which is ridiculous. These fanboys can thumbs up you if they want, I know basketball and I know applied mathematics and you don’t make any sense. At all. Just b/c it can’t be measured doesn’t mean it can’t be an input into determining outcome. There are objects hurtling through space right now at speeds unmeasurable to even the most precise instrument on earth and particles smaller than the atom in the ether of planets we’ve yet discovered it is to be assumed that neither of these have any affect on their surroundings simply b/c we have no tested way to measure them.

        Kurt, please do better!!!

  5. ryanrockzzz - Nov 14, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    I am loving the early season excitement for my Sixers. I haven’t been this happy to watch the team in a long time, so kudos to Hinkie and Brown for doing a good job with this team so far.

    The Sixers are reminding me a lot of the Spurs– getting players who have roles, have them embrace the roles, and create a balanced team with good chemistry, while allowing star players to play to their strengths. Chemistry can often be overlooked in basketball becuase it’s impossible to quantify, and hard to establish, but the Sixers have it in spades, and it’s paying off for them. If you would have said they’d beat the Rockets, Heat and Bulls to start the year, I may have questioned your sanity LOL.

    On the flip side, you have the Nets. KG looks done, Johnson looks like he has no clue what his role is, and D-Will is a shell of himself. They better be thankful Lopez is playing well, but this team has NO chemistry right now, and it’s certainly not looking good for them going forward. Having a player-coach doesn’t help, no matter how many Lawrence Frank types you stick in a suit next to him.

  6. johngalt1783 - Nov 14, 2013 at 8:40 AM

    76ers Will they play 80 home games this season? Seven out of first nine at home. At least they are playing .500 ball (4-3) at home so far.

    • tved12 - Nov 14, 2013 at 6:50 PM

      Lol, so you had them at 4-3 in their first 7 at home this year? Easy to say that now, but don’t act like you saw them being over .500 at this point.

  7. azarkhan - Nov 14, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    Given their aging roster, I thought the Brooklyn Nets would begin stumbling in January or February, not November. And to think that only a few short years ago, Deron Williams was considered one of the best young point guards in the game.

    • bougin89 - Nov 14, 2013 at 10:59 AM

      Same thing everyone said about the Celtics with the “big three” the last few years. They never play well early on in the season. That being said the season is young but the signs aren’t encouraging for the Nets.

  8. jcmeyer10 - Nov 14, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    Celtics: F-. Shot 38% but it was the offensive fouls and missed free throws when the game was close that shot them in the foot. This is a Jekyll and Hyde team if I ever saw one.

    • peterjohnjoseph - Nov 14, 2013 at 3:15 PM

      Do you think if they roll over the Nets Paul Piece will secretly be smiling in the back? I sure as hell do. “Go on little team that could… go on”.

  9. valeb2012 - Nov 14, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    No mention of Jeremy Lin?

  10. jolink653 - Nov 14, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    No mention of the Knicks either? They went into Atlanta and kept one of the highest scoring teams in the league to 91 points and Andrea Bargnani really played well…it would be nice to see some kind of note about it

    • azarkhan - Nov 14, 2013 at 12:59 PM

      Beating a .500 team like Atlanta that doesn’t play defense is hardly anything to write home about.

  11. senorpapino - Nov 14, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    Kevin Love is out of this world right now. The combination of shooting, distributing, and rebounding at the PF position that has never been seen before.

  12. philadelphiafan - Nov 14, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    I’m loving this team so far this season. They never give up, hustle to loose balls, and play tough defense. And just imagine they still have Nerlens Noel on ice.

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