(Don’t) Trust the Process

“A competitive league like the NBA necessitates a zig while our competitors comfortably zag.” – Sam Hinkie

There was a lot in common with Chip Kelly and Sam Hinkie. They both didn’t play well with others and genuinely believed they knew what they were doing over everyone else. Note to self, management will give you 3 years to prove a winning formula.

chip-kelly-glareThere was a big difference between Chip and Hinkie and that was seen in the amount of games won. Chip Kelly got the Eagles to the playoffs in his very first season, then narrowly missed in his 2nd and 3rd. His moves to get Demarco Murray and Kiko Alonzo didn’t pan out and the future didn’t look as bright as when he started. He got shit canned once people started to question if he “really” knew what he was doing. Chip was released by the Eagles vs Hinkie leaving because management wasn’t letting him do what he wanted anymore. How much time did Hinkie want?

HINKIEFlat out, Hinkie didn’t win. The Sixers are 47-195 since 2013-14, including a 10-68 mark this season. If they lose their final four games this season, they will have posted the worst three-year span in NBA history, sinking even lower than the .187 winning percentage posted by the Dallas Mavericks from 1991-92 through 1993-94.

I was never directly behind Hinkie even though I had optimism that he knew what he was doing. 3 years of being the worst team in NBA history is not “a process”. After 3 years of Hinkie, the Sixers are only “positioned” into being a playoff team, let alone a championship team. Their roster literally only has 3 NBA players in Okafor, Noel, and Embiid. After 3 losing years, that’s it. They have Saric in the wings and a few draft picks which will bring in raw talent. Whether this raw talent develops is the biggest, most difficult question to answer.

"I love playing for the sixers."

“I love playing for the sixers.”

The idea of getting a lot of high picks to draft players is not a process. The 2012 draft brought us Anthony Davis, Damien Lillard, and Andre Drummond who I’d consider superstars within the top 10 picks. The top 10 picks in the 2013 draft have only Victor Oladipo averaging more than 15 points a game. The point is that out of the top 10 picks only a few guys are actually bonafide superstars after a few years. The idea of tanking to get high picks is a crap shoot and Hinkie crapped out.

NBA: Playoffs-Golden State Warriors at Cleveland CavaliersThe teams that have won the championship over the last 10 years are the Cavs, Spurs, Warriors, Celtics, Mavericks, and Lakers. Aside from the Spurs, who I’d argue are more of a team, the other’s all had 1 or 2 of the best players in the league. Lebron. Steph. Kobe and Shaq. The big 3 (Pierce, Garnett, Allen). Show me how the Sixers are competing with a total of 0 stars (and one potential beast with a bum foot)?

And don’t comment telling me that if I’m so smart, what would I do? If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. I liked Hinkie’s out of the box thinking. I believe there was merit to what he was planning but at some point, you have to win some ball games.

By |2016-11-08T09:32:04-05:00April 7th, 2016|Sports|0 Comments

Sixers Sense of Sam Hinkie

Pablo Torre from Around the Horn

Pablo Torre from Around the Horn

Sixers article from ESPN magazine found here.

It’s a long article written by Pablo Torre that has good insight and is informative if you can get the entire way through it.

 

Sam Hinkie is the Sixers GM

Sam Hinkie is the Sixers GM

The first tidbit I take away is that Sam Hinkie is a secretive strategist who shares as little info as possible with the media.  Pablo’s 1st part of his article can be summed up in these 3 concepts that are part of Hinkie’s strategy:

1) Find injured prospects and foreign players,

2) Utilize a collective-bargaining-agreement-driven, pre-apocalyptic stockpile of second-round picks

3) Players who have long wingspans and are subpar shooters

 

My Take On Hinkie’s Strategy

Andrew Bynum Bowling1) Injured players can indeed provide value if they stay on the court.  It’s like drafting Arian Foster in fantasy football.  You know he’s great except he will only give you 12 games if you’re lucky.  Difference here is that his players are not even proven.   Foreign,  injured players, are even riskier.  It must be noted that Joel Embiid recently hit 48/60 from 3 in a shoot around so that’s promising.  Grade: C

One of the greatest 2nd round picks ever.

One of the greatest 2nd round picks ever.

2)  2nd round picks are also incredibly risky and flop more often than not.  To give you an idea of the top ranked active 2nd round picks:

1) Manu Ginobli (HOF)
2) Marc Gasol (Top 5 Center)
3) Paul Millsap (All-Star)
4) Monta Ellis (Scorer)
5) Lance Stephenson (Meh)

Fine players but none were ever top 10 in the league.  Grade: C

Now that's a wingspan.

Now that’s a wingspan.

3) This specific body type is somewhat mind boggling. What these players produce has both negatives and positives.  “Philly is forcing turnovers at a league-high 15.6 percent through the All-Star break but shooting a league-low 41 percent, is incentivized to wait on such a large-scale renovation.”  Grade – C

 

 

sixers-tank-logoA final thought on what produces championships:
FiveThirtyEight found that of the past 40 teams to make the Finals, their No. 1 player, on average, ranked in the 96th percentile in statistical plus/minus. The No. 2 player was 90th percentile; the No. 3, 79th.

Now correct me if i’m wrong but is the Sixers best player even in the top 79th percentile?  They have no superstar.  No leader.  No experience.  This team might be good in 2020 if all works out.  What kind of a strategy is that?  I’m not arguing what they were doing before was working but to automatically think that Sam Hinkie knows what he’s doing here is crazy.

 

By |2015-02-17T11:56:38-05:00February 17th, 2015|Sports|0 Comments

Sixers Trading Thaddeus Young and #3 for the #1?

sixers-tank-logo

Tank For Wiggins!

I’m not a diehard Sixers fan but if I had to pick a favorite team, it’d be them.  The Sixers took a team that had no chance of winning a title with Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner as their best players, and traded them away to get Nerlens Noel, Michael Carter Williams and the 3rd and 10th picks in this year’s draft.  They flushed an entire season down the toilet to get set up in this manner.  I do agree something needed to be done differently, however, I don’t see the spot they are in now as an amazing place to play from.

wigginsThe Sixers have 2 NBA players (MCW – solid PG, Thad – upper end 6th man), 1 inexperienced center (Noel), and the 3 and 10 picks who are big question marks. The rest of the team sucks.  Tony Wroten and James Anderson are the next best players.  I have to raise the question, how is this position leaps and bounds better?

Gregg PopovichAs a fan, I get extremely disappointed when teams tank.  It’s pathetic and a slap in the face to the game.  It’s trying to work the system in a way that might not even work.  Has Gregg Popivich had winning seasons for 17 straight years because they tanked?  WELLLLLLL, in his first season the team was 17-47 which enabled them to get Duncan.  17 years though can’t be questioned and goes far beyond tanking for a season.

nba-draft2nba-draft2nba-draft2

Sixers Draft

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo here we sit in June anticipating the draft and wondering what the Sixers are going to do.  Rumors are swirling that they want Wiggins and Thad’s name has gone along with trading up to the #1 spot to make sure it happens.  I think this is a horrible idea considering you don’t even know if the Cavs want Wiggins.  This makes negotiating imperative because why give up Thad if the Cavs are going to take Embiid.  Information and talks in June are mind blowing because the top 3 teams have to be careful in what information to reveal.  Here is how I see conversation going:

Sixers:  So Cleveland, are you going to draft Embiid?

Cavs:  We might, but we also like Wiggins.

Sixers:  We might really want Wiggins….or maybe Parker.  Would you be interested in the trading the pick?

Cavs:  Hmmmm,  Who are you going to take?

Sixers:  Hmmmm.  I guess that depends on what the Bucks do.  Hey Bucks, who are you drafting?

Bucks:  Hmmmm.  I’ll tell you if you tell me.

michael-jordan-first-trophyInformation at this point is powerful because teams don’t know what to do.  If you watched the 1984 draft on NBAtv you’d understand how important one draft pick can be.  Is Andrew Wiggins the next Jordan?  Who knows but is he worth giving up Thad Young to make sure?  The answer is yes if he’s the next Jordan.  I get the feeling that the Sixers feel like he is the next Jordan and that Wiggins it the piece to this puzzle that Hinkie has to make sure he gets.  After watching his NCAA performance, there are many question marks.  Remember, Jordan hit the winning shot for UNC to give their team the NCAA championship in his third year of college ball.

I am in full support of the move the Sixers made even though I think tanking is a rat way to play the game and a disgrace to the fans.  Their chances of winning with Jrue, Evan, Spence, and the rest of the crew were 0.  At least this is a different way of looking at the game even if it falls flat on its face.  One thing for certain is that the team will have young talent, but that doesn’t translate to championships.

 

By |2014-06-11T08:10:05-04:00June 11th, 2014|Sports|0 Comments

Top Posts

Categories