ATLANTA — What’s up, people?
Happy Monday from Hot ‘Lanta.
Who would have imagined the 76ers would meet the Atlanta Hawks in a matchup of the Eastern Conference’s only undefeated teams tonight at State Farm Arena?
But a victory over the surprising Hawks (2-0) would enable the Sixers (2-0) to remain undefeated through three games for the first time since 2013. (Back then, those victories weren’t exactly welcomed, as the Sixers were tanking.)
Tonight’s game will be interesting, as the Sixers’ hyped defense will try to contain Hawks point guard Trae Young, who’s averaging a league-best 38.5 points. The Inquirer and Inquirer.com will keep you posted.
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— Keith Pompey (email@example.com)
Turnover woes continue
The 76ers continue to have the same turnover problem they’ve had since Brett Brown’s first season as coach in 2013-14.
The only difference is that the current Sixers roster is loaded with standouts such as Ben Simmons, Josh Richardson, Tobias Harris instead of lesser lights such as Michael Carter-Williams, Tony Wroten and Brandon Davies.
The Sixers committed 22 turnovers Saturday night in a 117-111 victory over Detroit. Through two games, they average the league’s sixth-most turnovers, 19.5.
In the past, Brown attributed the turnovers to youthful mistakes. He’s seeing something different in the early going this season.
"I think when we get into the paint, we are not coming to jump stops," the coach said. "When we get into the paint, and we are leaving our feet, when we get into the paint and we are not re-spacing around the penetration, where there's always an outlet."
He pointed out that defenders are putting their hands on the ball in those situations. Those types of turnovers disturb the coach because his players practice the fundamentals of jump-stopping, re-spacing and not leaving their feet to find open shooters.
But another cause is making lazy passes. Saturday, the Sixers committed several turnovers by making lazy passes that the Pistons turned into baskets at the other end.
· Sixers Joel Embiid is listed as questionable versus the Hawks, I write. The All-Star center did not play Saturday at Detroit because of a sprained right ankle. He’s also dealing with a lacerated right lip.
· The Sixers are taking the surprising Hawks and Young seriously, I write. Overlooking struggling Atlanta, the Sixers played flat while losing three of four series meetings last season.
· The Hawks’ Vince Carter, in his 22nd season, amazes Brown, Marc Narducci writes. The former All-Star has been a solid mentor for the youthful squad.
· Sixers-Pistons best and worst awards. I write that Tobias Harris took over the game when his team needed someone to step up.
· Signing Jamal Crawford would make a lot of sense, I write. The Sixers don’t have anyone on their bench — or roster. for that matter — known for making big shots.
No flip-flopping on Fultz
You kind of knew this would happen. Some Sixers fans emailed me a year ago to say that the team needed to get rid of Markelle Fultz. Sunday, I received an email from one of those fans, asking why the Sixers were so quick to ship Fultz to the Orlando Magic.
Come on, bruh. You can’t flip-flop like that. Folks should be happy for Fultz, elated that the Sixers’ first overall draft pick in 2017 made two three-pointers against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night. I’m elated that he’s regained confidence in his shot and working through his well-publicized shooting woes.
But after what he and the Sixers went through, it’s better for both sides that he’s in Orlando.
Important dates: Next five flow
Monday: Sixers at Atlanta Hawks, 7:30 p.m., NBC Sports Philadelphia
Wednesday: Minnesota Timberwolves at Sixers, 7 p.m., NBC Sports Philadelphia
Saturday: Sixers at Portland Trail Blazers, 10 p.m., NBC Sports Philadelphia and NBA TV
Nov. 4: Sixers at Phoenix Suns, 9 p.m., NBC Sports Philadelphia
Nov. 6: Sixers at Utah Jazz, 9 p.m., NBC Sports Philadelphia
Passing the rock
Question: How much will Brett actually play Trey Burke play this season? — @Tmac6992 on Twitter
Answer: What’s up, @Tmac6992? Thanks for asking the question. As to playing time for Trey Burke, I see him coming in only during emergency situations.
Right now, he’s actually the fifth-string point guard, to be honest. Simmons is the starter. Richardson is the backup. Raul Neto is the third-string point guard, followed by Shake Milton, then Burke. It’s not listed in that order. However, that’s the reality.
Burke is an asset, though, because of his ability to score. But unless players get hurt or the Sixers need someone to come in and get buckets, I don’t see him receiving playing time this season.
Send questions by email or on Twitter (@PompeyOnSixers)