Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Hernangomez, Knicks

The Sixers saw an unexpected glimpse of success last month but recent losses could help the team focus on their real goals, writes Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Injuries to Joel Embiid and Robert Covington have hamstrung a team that not long ago emerged as a surprisingly potent defensive presence, now any talk of them rallying for a playoff spot in the East has been silenced.

According to Cooney, the only presumed Sixers starters for the 2017/18 season are Embiid and 2016 first-overall pick Ben Simmons. That leaves questions at the other positions that will need answering before the end of the season.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • The idea that Carmelo Anthony will be swapped for Kevin Love may be unlikely, writes Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today, but it isn’t far-fetched. Zillgitt also points out that the Cavaliers and Knicks, serendipitously play each other on February 23, the day of the trade deadline.
  • The Anthony trade drama impacts more than just the veteran himself, writes Al Iannazzone of Newsday — it’s affecting all the other Knicks on the roster. “The reason why we signed here is to try to make the playoffs, and we still have a great chance of doing that,” said Courtney Lee. “That’s the key now — getting in the playoffs. It doesn’t matter what the record is. As long as we get in there, it’s a new slate. So if we get there, I like our chances.”
  • Big man Willy Hernangomez has looked great off the bench for the Knicks of late but that doesn’t mean a promotion ahead of Joakim Noah on the depth chart is coming any time soon, writes Ian Begley of ESPN. Head coach Jeff Hornacek cites lineup chemistry as one of the biggest reasons why Hernangomez has thrived as he has and why the club is reluctant to tinker with his spot in the rotation.
  • It’s time for the Raptors to make a trade, writes Tom Ziller of SB Nation. The team boasts a plethora of prospects and a top-five general manager in the league. Those, Ziller speculates, could help the club get back into a position where it could seriously compete with Cleveland for the top spot in the East.
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5 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Hernangomez, Knicks

  1. Nbafan

    I mean the only reason why they aren’t going with hernangomez is because they overpaid Noah, so the organization has no choice, but to play him to not make them look like they made one of the worst contracts in NBA history.

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  2. Formerlyz

    Watching that cavs game, all I could think about was how obvious it is that they can’t keep playing 2 big lineups. I’ve been saying it all year, and you still see it. You’d think at some point Hornacek would tell phil to F off, so he can coach the team the way he was hired to. It’s hurting Rose, Melo, and Porzingis when there is no space on the floor b/c their bigs are clogging the lanes…but Phil is trying really hard to make Melo a scapegoat, so I don’t see them trying to actually maximize their roster.

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    • jerseyjoehaven

      That is not the reason. Its not clogging the front court. Phil has Jeff TANKING the team. Noah way over paid, not the player he was thought to be anymore is the player to help Jeff tank the team. If Jeff gives Willy the starters job and minutes the team would start winning and having O’Quinn as first off bench at Center would make team Even stronger. Phil made a very bad choice in signing Noah to a 4 year $72 mil contract. If anything Phil should have seen Noah in the same light as PG Jennings and give him the same type of make good contract 1 year $5 mil deal. Both players coming off injuries. Jenning is worth a big raise. Noah should be dead wood but will be with Knicks for 3 more years after this year. Until he’s pushed aside by Willy the Knicks are going nowhere as a team and in the playoffs.

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  3. Pihc123

    With the Raptors assets, I expect them to make a move. A good trade could seriously out them in the drivers seat.

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  4. Z-A

    “That leaves questions at the other positions that will need answering before the end of the season.” Everyone and their mom already knows the Sixers need to draft a PG this year. I can see them shipping off Ersan, Rodriguez, and Noel before the deadline, and probably Okafor on draft day or next year since he’s under control for 2 more seasons. The goal is to get a PG – Fultz, Ball, Smith. Henderson/Stauskas are a stopgap for TLC or a draftee. Saric fills Ersan’s role, and Bayless will be there for veteran leadership.

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