LOS ANGELES — Happy Hump Day, folks! Or if you’re like me, Happy Travel Day.
Southern California has been nice, but now I’m off to Sacramento to see the 76ers face the Kings tomorrow night at the Golden 1 Center.
The undermanned Sixers (37-25) can only hope that game goes much better than the first two legs of their four-game California trip. They suffered a 120-107 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers last night at the Staples Center. That came after a 136-130 setback to the Clippers on Sunday at the arena.
As a result, the Sixers head to the California state capital with a nine-game road losing streak.
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— Keith Pompey (email@example.com)
Glenn Robinson III quieted his haters.
Some folks were questioning if the Sixers had made the right move by acquiring the swingman on Feb. 6 in a trade with the Golden State Warriors. They pointed out that he averaged just 5.3 points and 15.3 minutes in his first eight games with the Sixers, including four starts. They shook their heads after the seemingly solid three-point shooter missed all 10 of his shots from that distance during those games.
And they criticized him for saying that he was unaware of his role.
Well, the Sixers made it more defined Tuesday night against the Lakers, and Robinson responded in a big way. The sixth-year NBA veteran scored a career-high-tying 25 points in a reserve role. Robinson made 10 of 15 shots, going 3-for-5 on three-pointers, in 31 minutes, 29 seconds. Those were the most minutes he’s played as a Sixer.
He also had four rebounds and one steal.
“I got some great teammates,” Robinson said of breaking out of his rough start. “They believe in me. They just kept empowering me, and confidence. I kept my confidence. So I continued to believe in myself and went out there and gave it my all.”
On this night, Robinson missed his first three-point attempt before making his next three tries. The 26-year-old missed his final attempt.
“It felt good to see some shots go down,” he said. “At the end of the day, like you said, it’s a loss, But like I said when we first got here, me and [Alec Burks, whom the Sixers also got from Golden State in the trade], our goal is to help this team win. And we were brought here to help this team win.”
This goal is to figure out ways to do that especially when starters Joel Embiid (left-shoulder sprain), Ben Simmons (lower-back pinched nerve) and Josh Richardson (concussion) are sidelined. But Robinson is still in the learning stage, playing in fewer than 10 games since the trade.
Robinson is continuing to “get a feel for my teammates,” he said, “and let them see a little bit of what I can do. So they can get a feel for me, too.”
He was averaging career highs in scoring (12.9) and minutes (31.6) with the Warriors. He was also shooting 40% on three-pointers.
Let’s just say problems keep arising for the New York Knicks.
Monday night, they didn’t let Oscar-winning writer-director and Knicks superfan Spike Lee enter Madison Square Garden via the employee/media entrance before their game against the Houston Rockets.
Lee, a longtime season-ticket holder, said he’s been using that entrance for more than two decades. The Knicks wanted him to use the VIP entrance two blocks away.
Apparently, the policy had changed and no one had informed Lee. As a result, he was asked to get off the employee elevator and refused. Once that elevator reached its designated floor, Lee got into a verbal altercation with building security.
The Knicks said Lee and MSG executive chairman James Dolan resolved the issue at halftime. Lee, however, disputed that Tuesday on ESPN’s First Take. Lee told ESPN that he would not attend another Knicks game this season.
“I’m being harassed by James Dolan and I don’t know why,” he told ESPN.
Tomorrow: Sixers at Sacramento Kings, 10 p.m., NBC Sports Philadelphia Plus
Saturday: Sixers at Golden State Warriors, 8:30 p.m., ABC
March 11: Detroit Pistons at Sixers, 7:30 p.m., NBC Sports Philadelphia, ESPN
March 14: Indiana Pacers at Sixers, 7:30 p.m., NBC Sports Philadelphia
March 16: Washington Wizards at Sixers, 7 p.m., NBC Sports Philadelphia
Send questions by email or on Twitter (@PompeyOnSixers)
Question: Assuming everyone is healthy heading into the playoffs, what if anything has changed given Shake’s emergence, GRIII, Burks, additions, etc. in terms of the starting lineup and rotation as a whole? — @JimLark526
Answer: Thanks for the great question, Jim. I think the main thing that will change is Shake Milton will become the fifth starter — at least he should have that role, assuming Al Horford goes back to the bench.
As I wrote in Monday’s newsletter, keeping Milton in the starting lineup would make the most sense. I would move him to point guard, and slide Simmons to point forward. Have Simmons handle the ball in the high post. We’ve been saying for a while that the Sixers need a point guard who can stretch the floor. They have that in Milton.
As for the rest of the rotation, Horford, Furkan Korkmaz and Burks will definitely come off the bench. I think that Matisse Thybulle should also be part of the nine-man rotation because of his defense. I really like Robinson and Mike Scott. However, I don’t think Brown will play them at the expense of not playing Korkmaz and Burks.