Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Kurucs, Fultz, Ujiri

According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, the Sixers start to this season should be considered a minor miracle given everything they’ve dealt with in the past nine months. Windhorst details Joel Embiid and his fractured orbital bone at a time when the Sixers had just won seven games in a row. Embiid needed surgery and missed 10 games, and when he came back in the playoffs he wasn’t himself.

Then, the team had to deal with the Bryan Colangelo drama earlier this year after their former GM’s purported Twitter accounts had some not-so-nice things to say about Embiid and Ben Simmons. As Windhorst surmises, would the absence of that debacle have helped the Sixers close on Nemanja Bjelica or another free agent?

On top of all that, the Sixers’ 2018 first-round pick, Zhaire Smith, has still not played this year and probably won’t after undergoing a thoracoscopy for a severe allergic reaction to sesame. The team apparently knew he was allergic to peanuts, but not sesame.

Then, just recently, guard Markelle Fultz was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome and is expected to miss three to six weeks as he rehabs his right shoulder away from the team. Time will tell what happens with Fultz, but the Sixers should be commended for how well they’ve done this season given all of the above.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets are in a bit of a lull, to say the least, but one bright spot could be the play of rookie Rodions Kurucs, writes Bryan Fonseca of NetsDaily. Kurucs, 20, scored 12 points and grabbed four rebounds in 14 minutes in Brooklyn’s loss to the Cavaliers on Monday.
  • For a more thorough explanation of thoracic outlet syndrome, the medical condition that Fultz is currently working through away from the Sixers, take some time to read this informative piece from Stephania Bell of ESPN.
  • In an appearance on today’s episode of The Jump on ESPN, Raptors’ president Masai Ujiri laughed off the interview Kyle Lowry gave in which he didn’t exactly give a ringing endorsement of Ujiri, who said, “Kyle Lowry is always mad at me, every year!” (Hat tip to Faizal Khamisa of Sportsnet).
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18 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Kurucs, Fultz, Ujiri

  1. djpiglatin

    Sixers aren’t doing anything this year with Chandler and Muscala at the 4. They gotta get Ariza or make a run at Julius Randle with NO slumping. Gotta dangle the Miami pick.

  2. bennyg

    If someone is allergic to peanuts, you just assume all nuts and not have any – THE END!
    Starting to question Phillys medical staff, especially with their rookies requiring basically their rookie season off and “requiring surgery”.
    College kids will start stating not to visit Philly out of fear of that scenario….

    • Codeeg

      Peanut allergies and nut allergies are two different things dude.

      Maybe I should be afraid of your advice.

    • x%sure

      Peanuts are unusual, growing underground. I don’t think it is typical to also be allergic to tree nuts or seeds.

      Seems like Zhaire should have experienced sesame seeds by now, or if he did, informed the team when he mentioned peanuts.

      All in all, it’s like it’s a 76er thing!

  3. MiddleIn

    Sixers need 2 players. Definitely need to dangle picks. One more shooter and one more big.

  4. Z-A

    Once they pay Simmons and Butler, they will need their picks to replenish the bench. Bolden and Shamet need to take over Amir and TJs roles by seasons end. Going to be interesting how much Harris will be willing to go into the luxury tax to win.

    • mcgovern92003

      Do you watch the Sixers at all? Amir is currently out of the rotation (thankfully), he only plays when Chandler is hurt. As for Shamet replacing TJ, you realize Shamet plays the 2 and TJ plays the 1? And that Shamet is not much of a ball handler at all? They just run him off picks and screens to take 3’s, TJ does not shoot 3’s at all. So you want to take one of their better 3 point shooters away from shooting so he can handle the PG duties? Interesting…

      • Z-A

        Hand to face. Dude… take over roles… primary PG back-up and big back-up. You realize they are on 1 year deals correct (TJ/Amir) and they need to move on from both next season. Unless you don’t want to add another piece?

        If Fultz is out of the long-term plan, they need Shamet to also transition into the back-up PG role. He is not being asked to handle the ball currently, he’s being asked to shoot. So you’re saying he can’t do both right? B/c TJ can’t shoot and Fultz our back-up PGs must not be able shoot moving forward? They didn’t draft another replacement or are you holding out hope for Demetrius Jackson?

        And Johnson is still getting some minutes. Mike/Chandler are the primary 4 – both gone next year btw. So whenever Bolden is healthy he needs to develop into an option at the 4 or small ball 5, even if he’s just a reserve and they retain Mike/Chandler or bring someone else in.

  5. Lefty_Orioles_Fan

    but the Sixers should be commended for how well they’ve done this season given all of the above.

    Oh commended….hmmmm dunno
    However, I still say the Sixers are winning despite Brett Brown, he is awful!

    PS They can’t beat the better team and Simmons is nothing more than a facilitator and does not really help the team
    I can never myself being a fan of his.

  6. Last night again showed that the Sixers can not ball with the Raptors this year. Philly is just not deep enough, which means they can’t afford to have any star player have an off game like Embiid did. Lowry also struggled, but there’s enough bench depth to work through that.

  7. x%sure

    Kurucs brought some attitude to the game. The Nets looked discouraged from not being able to handle Tristan’s activity or dribble-drives straight down Euclid, as they say in Cleveland. Down the middle, no hesitation.

  8. x%sure

    Agree, good article by ESPN’s Bell about the TOS thing Fultz has. Better than the approach taken by UPMC, which they say is not a hospital. Local joke. (The P is for Pittsburgh; they advertise heavily in Ohio.)

    Hate to speculate (not really), but whether they are called Hospitals or Medical Centers, TOS publicity has to be good news for their incomes. This ailment will require a lot of tests on people feeling regular soreness. Be wary of a possible redirect from vascular to thoracic doctors, who drive the most profit in hospitals.
    link to
    Apparently neurologists have better things to do than be nerve doctors. (?)

    Anyway, at least they will be looking at his nervous system function at some level instead of some sneaky tumor or childhood trauma.

  9. Kevin Rowley

    Can a HoopsRumor staffer or whoever wrote this post point me towards the source for saying that Zhaire Smith “probably won’t” play this year?

    • Luke Adams

      Think that should’ve been a reference to the calendar year, not the full season. As far as I know, any suggestions that Smith won’t play at all this season are just speculation.

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