Sixer Player Update: Pappy Jack Serves Notice


Jul 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard

Pierre Jackson

(55) congratulates teammates after a time out is called during an NBA Summer League game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Sixer Player Update: Pappy Jack Serves Notice

The 2015 off-season for the Philadelphia 76ers has been predominantly about the point guard position. In days leading up to the NBA draft, that topic was devoted to the likelihood of the Sixers drafting Ohio State Buckeye D’Angelo Russell. But the Los Angeles Lakers chose Russell with the second pick of the 2015 NBA draft, the Sixers picked Duke Blue Devil center Jahlil Okafor. And from that moment on, the one position has been everything from a question mark to a committee to a debate to an enigma.  But throughout all of the developments, the questions, and the roster additions, the position remained a popular topic.

During the winding down of the summer league, the Sixers signed two point guards to the roster: Scottie Wilbekin and Pierre Jackson.   Wilbekin came in after some nice shooting in the summer league, finding a nice range shot and contributing in offense.  Wilbekin, like Wroten, is versatile and can play off the ball if need be.   Jackson, a popular player among the fans, was also signed after showing that he has returned from a year’s absence due to an Achilles heel injury.   With the addition of both Wilbekin and Jackson, the team had four point guard options.  The other two are returning players Tony Wroten and Isaiah Canaan.

But Hinkie deals with uncertainty by saturating the alternatives.  And so he did not stop, and recently signed free agent Kendall Marshall to bring the roster to the projected 20 player limit.   Marshall has been rumored to the Sixers for days, and brings a superior passing game to go with good ball handling skills.

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But there is an old adage: two is company, three’s a crowd.  So it’s logical to project five players after one position as a lumber jack match, especially in the spirit of good old fashioned competition.  And so it is within that framework of good hearted competition that the following Pierre Jackson tweet was sent:

This is good stuff, the kind of stuff teammates can say and do and get away with because they have mutual respect and appreciation for one another.   Now, the two teammates Pappy Jack refers to in the tweet is none other than Isaiah Canaan and newly signed Kendall Marshall.    Isaiah Canaan couldn’t let this challenge go unnoticed, and responded back to his teammate in the same good-hearted spirit.

As of this publication, Kendall Marshall, Scottie Wilbekin, nor

Tony Wroten

have weighed in.   Correction, Tony Wroten DID notice:

So the stage is set.  #CampWars is official.  But in competition with high stakes, it’s important to put the situation in a friendly atmosphere.   This is a team sport, which despite the competition among players for a roster spot, should bring each player to the point where they try to bring out the best in each other.

We’ve talked about the basketball analytics, and the role that head coach Brett Brown will have in developing this youthful team.   But teammates ultimately must lean on one another, learn from one another, compete with one another, and instruct one another.   It’s a fine line sometimes, and the situation right now is that five point guards with no obvious favorite  will be pared down to the number of PGs the team will carry into the season.  At this point the number of point guards is not known either.

In an interview on 94 WIP, Brett Brown shared that this NBA is about pace, space, and pass.   It will be upon the Sixers to get shooters to create the space for the bigs down low in the post.   But when the conversation turned to how can the team take the next step without having a floor general, Brown opened up:

"“I think two things, first thing is at the end of the day, if you want to play deep into June, you simply must have a point guard. I think it’s a point guards league. They are the field general. They are ball dominant, and an extension of the coach. I think you’re going to need that. We can’t rush this, expedite this. We can’t get pregnant on average players. I don’t think we can rush the process and risk making bad decisions with a long contract. We don’t want average, we want great. And so we have to take this base of our our bigs, develop shooters, and then turn over the keys to this team to our point guard. Maybe we can play big ball and pound it in there down low too.”"

When Brett Brown was asked to project the success and the ceiling of the Philadelphia 76ers team, he tapped the brakes on the impatient aspect of recent comments. The team is working on a base of bigs, then working on shooters. Finally, the team will look for the point guard to run it all for the foreseeable future.  The assortment of players lining up for the position each have unique skills, unique ceilings, and unique developing areas of their game.

We’ll know soon enough who that point guard will be, at least for this season.

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