NEW YORK — After a day off from practice on Sunday, the 76ers resume their road trip with Monday’s game in Brooklyn against the struggling Nets.
The Sixers (28-16) ended their six-game road losing streak Saturday with a 90-87 victory over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
- Sixers coach Brett Brown on GM Elton Brand: ‘The club should sign him to a 50-year contract’
- Takeaways from the Sixers’ 90-87 win over the New York Knicks: Late-game N.Y. lapses costly; Furkan Korkmaz strikes again.
- When Embiid returns from surgery, will he be in shape to lead the Sixers? | Bob Ford
Now they’ll will return to the site of one of their worst performances of the season. On Dec. 15, the Sixers lost at Brooklyn, 109-89.
This time, the Sixers are excited to return to Brooklyn. Actually, they would be excited to play anywhere on Monday since it is a special time, the celebration of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
The NBA has 28 of its 30 teams playing on Monday as the teams honor the legacy of the late civil rights leader.
This is a big day for any NBA hoopaholic, but it also is a time to highlight the extraordinary deeds of Dr. King. The Sixers and Tobias Harris kicked off the celebration in fine fashion on Friday night.
You’re signed up to get this newsletter in your inbox every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If you like what you’re reading, tell your friends it’s free to sign up here. I want to know what you think, what we should add, and what you want to read, so send me feedback by email or on Twitter @SJnard. Thank you for reading.
— Marc Narducci (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The 76ers won consecutive games this weekend, but Harris made his best moves on the court before the first jump ball on Friday.
Harris was asked to speak to the crowd before the 100-89 win over the Chicago Bulls at the Wells Fargo Center. The topic was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Since Friday was the Sixers’ last home game before the King holiday, Harris was asked to address the crowd about what Dr. King accomplished.
Harris didn’t speak long, but he was eloquent in his message. He began saying to the crowd, “Martin Luther King stood for equality, stood for love among everybody, all individuals of life, to walk out and embrace each other and give each other and cherish everything that we do on a daily basis.”
Speaking after Saturday’s win over the Knicks, admitted that he had pregame jitters before addressing the crowd on Friday.
“When I was asked to do it, I automatically said yes,” Harris said. “When I was up there, I was a bit nervous.”
He said talking about somebody whose work he admired so much created the nervousness.
“Dr. King is a hero for what he stood for, his way of going about making peace and making change as an activist, really,” Harris said. “So I meant what I said. In the world we live in now, we need to understand what he stood for, how he went about getting things across and being able to unite people. His legacy speaks volumes years after, because of how important it is and what he stood for, so anytime I can get the chance to talk about him and embrace his legacy, I am going to do it.”
Sixers forward Mike Scott echoed Harris’ sentiments about how special it is to play on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
“He did so much for all the races, trying to bring everybody together, a real positive person in our history and it feels good to play on that day,” Scott said before Saturday’s game. “Sharing a court of all different races, it doesn’t matter who you are, it is bringing everybody together.”
Sixers point guard Ben Simmons has logged a lot of minutes, and that is par for the course for NBA backcourt players. Entering Sunday, the NBA’s top 10 players in minutes per game were all guards. Here is the list.
1. Kyle Lowry, Toronto, 37.4
2. James Harden, Houston, 37.2
3. Damian Lillard, Portland, 36.7
4. Fred VanVleet, Toronto, 36.1
5. Devin Booker, Phoenix, 36.0
6. Ben Simmons, Sixers, 35.9
7. Jrue Holiday, New Orleans, 35.6
8. CJ McCollum, Portland, 35.6
9. Russell Westbrook, Houston, 35.5
10. Bradley Beal, Washington, 35.5.
The first non-guard was Toronto forward Pascal Siakam, who was tied for 10th with Beal, averaging 35.5 minutes.
Simmons has played more minutes since Joel Embiid went out with a dislocated finger. Embiid has missed the last six games with the injury. In those games, Simmons is averaging 39.0 minutes.
While Simmons never looks as if he is tired on the court, his minutes probably bear watching.
Today: Sixers at Brooklyn Nets, 3 p.m., NBC Sports Philadelphia
Wednesday: Sixers at Toronto Raptors, 7 p.m., NBC Sports Philadelphia, ESPN
Saturday: Los Angeles Lakers at Sixers, 8:30 p.m., ABC
Jan. 28: Golden State Warriors at Sixers, 7 p.m., NBC Sports Philadelphia
Jan. 30: Sixers at Atlanta Hawks, 7:30 p.m., NBC Sports Philadelphia
Question: Is Bertans definitely not being traded by Wizards? Any chance of a JJ return? Keith Pompey article all but eliminates Covington. What about Langston Galloway or Luke Kennard? I’m not liking Beasley, Moore, or Robinson III. — John McWilliams via email.
Answer: Thanks for the question John. As you mentioned, Keith Pompey wrote an article over the weekend stating how difficult it would be to acquire Robert Covington. Pompey also wrote a story recently that named players the Sixers had interest in and all the ones you mentioned were in his story with the exception of Golden State’s Glenn Robinson III. (He also mentioned several others in whom the Sixers have shown interest.)
Let’s take it one by one of the players you mentioned. Davis Bertans of Washington would be the most desirable. He will be an unrestricted free agent after the season, but Washington holds his Bird Rights — the ability to exceed its salary cap in order to re-sign him at any amount up to the maximum salary. I doubt he will be traded, but he is a major perimeter threat that the Sixers sorely need.
As for JJ Redick returning, I think the Sixers would welcome that, but they don’t have a lot to offer New Orleans. I think New Orleans would start by asking for Matisse Thybulle, and that would likely close the door.
Detroit’s Langston Galloway, the former St. Joseph’s star, is interesting. He will be unrestricted after this season and is making $7.3 million. Galloway would be a wing I would like to acquire and it wouldn’t be surprising if Detroit shopped him, so keep an eye on that one. As for his teammate Luke Kennard, he is out with a shoulder injury and coach Dwane Casey told reporters he likely would be out until the All-Star break. That won’t exactly help his trade value.
As for the others, Denver’s Mailk Beasley will be restricted, and Golden State’s Robinson III and New Orleans’ E’Twaun Moore will be unrestricted. Beasley is intriguing, but he just scored 27 points on Thursday and I don’t think Denver will trade him. Moore is shooting a little less than 40% from three, so he might be a person of interest.