Doc Rivers, Tobias Harris react to fan running on floor vs. Wizards

The Philadelphia 76ers react to the fan running onto the floor against the Washington Wizards.

The NBA had to deal with yet another fan incident on Monday when a fan decided to run onto the floor in the second half and he was then detained by Capital One Arena security and then arrested. The Washington Wizards then announced that the fan was banned from the arena after he got his 15 seconds of fame.

This has been a continued problem for the NBA in these playoffs as there have been multiple fan incidents involving them being very unruly at these games.

Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers addressed the issues with the fans before Game 4 on Monday, but he then discussed it again after this latest incident.

“I didn’t even notice it,” he said postgame. “I thought it was the ball boy until he jumped up and tried to touch the rim or the backboard. I don’t know what’s going on with these fans right now. I just don’t. I don’t want to get involved in it. We just got to have safety. I don’t know what’s going on.”

“That was just some [expletive] [expletive] and that was it,” said Tobias Harris. “I don’t know what you really want the NBA to do. People have been stuck in the house for a long time, social media is a big thing so everybody wants clout somewhere so he got 15 seconds of fame. That was it really.”

At this point, the fans have to continue to follow the code of conduct and realize that they need to just enjoy the game and have fun. There is no need for any of this extracurricular activity.

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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Watch: Ravens’ 2021 draft class tries to guess ’90s entertainment icons

The Baltimore Ravens have been putting their 2021 draft class to the test. This time, they were tasked with naming ’90s entertainment icons

The Baltimore Ravens have been having fun with their 2021 draft class over the course of the past few weeks. From getting them into the building for the first time all the way to OTAs, each rookie has been getting a feel for the NFL little by little.

One thing that Baltimore’s creative team has done is put out a series of videos of the draft class trying to name things from the ’90s. First, the rookies were tasked with naming items from the ’90s, followed by naming artists from the time period. Now, they were asked to name entertainment icons from what some classify as a long time ago, and they didn’t disappoint with their answers.

It seemed like certain players knew almost everything they were handed, including Daelin Hayes and Ben Cleveland. However, most of the rookie class was able to correctly guess things like “Remember the Titans”, “Friends”, and even “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”.

Many are familiar with what the Ravens’ rookies can do on the field, but these videos and activities are a good way to get a glimpse into what each of them is like off of it. It seems like Baltimore drafted players who fit their culture and have great personalities, which is something the team values tremendously.

Ben Simmons, Sixers discuss free throw struggles in loss to Wizards

Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons and coach Doc Rivers react to Simmons’ free-throw struggles.

The Washington Wizards knew they had a bit of a size advantage with the Philadelphia 76ers so they decided to use a strategy that is not universally well-liked, but it is a strategy nonetheless to keep efficient teams from scoring on offense.

The Wizards went to the hacking strategy and their target was Ben Simmons. He was 0-for-9 from the foul line in the first three games of the series and he has really struggled from the line since the All-Star break.

The result was the Wizards were able to disrupt Philadelphia’s offense and they were able to come away with a 122-114 win to keep the series alive. Simmons shot 5-for-11 from the line in the loss as he had a tough time being able to knock down free throws, mostly splitting them, and the Wizards were then in a groove on the offensive end and the Sixers were not able to run any offense because of Washington hacking Simmons.

“Analytically, if you split all those free throws, offensively, you’ll take a point per possession,” said coach Doc Rivers. “He did that. I have no issues. Obviously, we’d love it if he made them both, but I didn’t think that changed the game at all for us so I was fine with it. If he had missed them both, then that is something, but overall, I was fine with it. That’s what they should do and we’re fine with that.”

Normally in a situation such as this one, a team will take out the bad foul shooter and insert somebody who is a little better in that situation. However, that thought did not cross Rivers’ mind.

“You want me to take Ben Simmons off the floor?” Rivers retorted. “I’ll pass on that one. He’s pretty good so I’ll pass on that suggestion.”

To Rivers’ point, Simmons had had a pretty terrific Round 1 series with Washington outside of his poor foul shooting. So there is reason to leave him out there on the floor.

“He still does other things,” Rivers continued. “He split them all and I’ll take that. Obviously, I want him to make more. Ben’s not an 80% free-throw shooter.”

After the All-Star break, Simmons shot 53.3% from the line to close out the regular season. He has then struggled from the line in this series and at this point, it is all on him to be able to work everything out.

“Just step up and knock them down, for real,” he said. “That’s about it. I’m not discouraged going to the line so I got to knock them down. It is what it is so I just got to step up and knock them down.”

Some guys could get upset with a hacking strategy. It disrupts the flow of the offense and it throws off the rhythm of both the player being hacked and the whole team.

However, Simmons is not upset with the strategy. He just has to step up and do his job.

“No, I’m not upset, it’s basketball,” he added. “Nah, I’m not upset.”

The scene now shifts back to Philadelphia for Game 5 on Wednesday where Simmons will undoubtedly see more of the “Hack-a-Ben” strategy from the Wizards.

“Just keep working on them,” Rivers added. “I think he will. I didn’t think he was scared of the moment. He just didn’t make them. With Ben, we’re gonna keep him on the floor. Unless you guys want us to bench him the whole game, if anybody wants us to do that, just let me know. Then I’ll know you don’t know basketball.”

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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Hornets select Davion Mitchel with No. 11 pick in NBC Sports mock draft

After nailing their pick last season, the Hornets will now look to surround LaMelo Ball will complementary pieces.

Charlotte’s offseason will be an interesting one. With their future secured around LaMelo Ball, the Hornets will be making decisions based on how those players fit around their point guard. Heading into the draft, any number of possibilities are at hand. The team has a need for center but at the No. 11 pick, a center is not expected to be in that range.

As a result, the Hornets could go a number of different ways with their pick. One direction could be going after a wing like Corey Kispert from Gonzaga. Another way could be taking a guard that complements Ball like Baylor’s Davion Mitchell, which NBC Sports mocked to Charlotte in their latest mock draft.

Likely no player saw their stock rise in the 2020-21 season and during the tournament than Mitchell. Here is the analysis on the pick given by NBC Sports:

Mitchell raised his profile a good deal as one of the best players on Baylor as they won the national championship. He’s arguably the best defensive point guard in this draft and he can also pass and shoot lights-out from three. This season he hit 44.7% from long range on 4.7 attempts per game. Those are elite numbers to take into the draft.

On the season, Mitchell averaged 14.0 points on 51.1% shooting from the field and 44.7% shooting from the 3-point line on 4.7 attempts per game. Oddly, he shot just 64.1% from the free throw line, though he also added 5.5 assists as well.

His value to the Hornets would also come on the defensive end as well. As one of the best guards in the draft at that end of the court, he would complement Ball, who is not yet a good defender in the NBA.

Ultimately, it seems unlikely the Hornets draft another guard with multiple already on the roster. But Mitchell’s skillset is interesting enough that it could make him worth the risk.

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Can Ravens afford to keep three QBs on their roster in 2021?

The Baltimore Ravens have kept three quarterbacks on their roster for the last few seasons. Will they be able to do so again in 2021?

The Baltimore Ravens have plenty of stars on their roster, led by quarterback Lamar Jackson. Since they have the fourth-year signal caller, there is no starting quarterback controversy in Baltimore. However there could be a few questions as to who could be backing up Jackson, and whether there is enough room to house multiple backups on the roster for another year.

Over the past few seasons, the Ravens have kept three quarterbacks on their team. There have been both primary and secondary backups to Jackson, but with Baltimore having such a deep roster in 2021, it could cause a problem when it comes to deciding if they should keep three quarterbacks this season.

The two signal callers who will be battling for a roster spot are Trace McSorley and Tyler Huntley. McSorley is entering his third season out of Penn State, while Huntley is a second-year player out of Utah. Both have impressed when called upon, and also fit the Ravens’ system.

With veteran backup Robert Griffin III no longer with the team, there is a prime opportunity for either McSorley or Huntley to make a name for themselves as the primary backup to Jackson. However, the team might keep a few more players at other positions this upcoming season, making roster space limited.

Baltimore could opt to keep more wide receivers, tight ends, offensive linemen, edge defenders, cornerbacks, or safeties than in previous years due to the sheer amount of depth that they have at each position this offseason. That could cut down on the roster space that the team has for other positions, quarterback included. Despite having so much depth at those positions, it is possible that the Ravens decide to keep less players at running back and even on the interior of their defensive line, which would open up roster spots.

Having multiple backups on the roster for Jackson is a great thing. However, if Baltimore likes a few other players at different positions, the Ravens might have to let go of one of their young quarterbacks. The team likes what both bring to the table, so deciding on whether to keep one over the other could be a difficult decision, as at this point it doesn’t seem likely that either would make it to Baltimore’s practice squad if cut.

Multiple Sixers react to losing star Joel Embiid to injury vs. Wizards

The Philadelphia 76ers give their reactions to Joel Embiid’s injury in their loss to the Washington Wizards.

With the Philadelphia 76ers looking to close out the series on Monday night on the road against the Washington Wizards, they had a tough task ahead of them already. The Wizards are led by two stars of their own in Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal and they were not going to go down without a fight.

On top of the strong play from Westbrook and Beal, the Sixers did lose their superstar big man, Joel Embiid, in the first half due to right knee soreness. Without Embiid, it was tough to find consistent offense and they had to rely more on Mike Scott and Dwight Howard.

Afterward, coach Doc Rivers was not sure what happened to his superstar leader.

“Obviously, it was in the middle of the game so I didn’t really check,” said Rivers. “I just knew he was out. I wasn’t even sure what it was. I think it was the knee or the back.”

Once Embiid went out, the Sixers had to rely on other players to step up in his absence, but it was just not enough to overcome Westbrook and Beal on the road. Tobias Harris had a tough night shooting just 8-for-24 as he was not able to make up for the offensive loss of the big fella.

“Once Jo came out, I don’t think we were moving the ball as well,” said Ben Simmons. “We weren’t playing team ball for a minute and then also not getting stops which is a huge part of our offense in order to be able to push the ball which hurt us for a little bit.”

It was a tough time for the Sixers once the big fella went down. Philadelphia was in the midst of trying to close out a series and then, boom, they lose their superstar leader.

“Originally, at the time, we knew he wasn’t coming back in the game,” Harris said. “That was about it. That’s all we knew.”

The last time Embiid was injured in Washington, he was out for 10 games with a bone bruise back in March. The hope is that he will be all set and ready to go for Game 5 on Wednesday.

“I don’t know the details so I can’t really speak on that,” Simmons added. “Obviously, we need Jo to win. He’s a big part of this team, but if he’s not there the next game, we got to close it out. We got what we need.”

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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Brooklyn Nets player ratings for Game 4’s win over Boston

Here are our Nets player ratings for their win in Game 4 at TD Garden.

The Nets had a dominate performance in Game 4 to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series against the Celtics. This took an effort from the entire team whether it was helping out on the offensive end or contributing on the defensive end. Only two players for Brooklyn finished with a negative plus-minus.

If this is how the Brooklyn Nets respond to real adversity, that’s a scary sight for the rest of the league as these playoffs continue. Let’s take a look at the player ratings for Game 4 at TD Garden.

Pelicans nab Arkansas guard Moses Moody in NBCSports NBA mock draft

In need of shooting and size on the perimeter, the Pelicans could make a move for Arkansas’ Moses Moody with the No. 10 pick.

The Pelicans’ need for shooting and wing players is one that dates back even into the build-up to the 2020 NBA draft. While the Pelicans then opted to take point guard Kira Lewis, the likelihood of New Orleans going away from a wing this season seems slim.

While one name could be Michigan’s Franz Wagner, the team could look for a more dynamic offensive guard in a player like Arkansas’ Moses Moody, who NBC Sports mocked to the Pelicans at No. 10 in their latest mock draft.

With the Razorbacks last season, Moody averaged 16.8 points on 42.7% shooting from the field and 35.8% shooting from the 3-point line. While he is a more prototypical shooting guard at 6’6″, his reportedly 7’1″ wingspan would make him a versatile player on both ends of the floor.

Last season, the Pelicans lacked those types of players with length on the perimeter, which became apparent when injuries struck. Without wings on the roster, the team was forced into undersized lineups that cost them at times.

A player like Moody won’t be a natural small forward, but he would provide size and shooting, two things the team could use around Ingram and Williamson.

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Arizona State surges up leaderboard, will be top seed for match play at NCAAs

Matt Thurmond’s squad surged past Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to finish as the only team under par at Grayhawk Golf Club.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The Arizona State men’s golf team just needed to make match play, that means finishing in the top eight after 72 holes of the NCAA championship. But the Sun Devils weren’t content to just do that.

Coach Matt Thurmond’s squad surged past Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to finish atop the leaderboard after the stroke-play portion Monday at Grayhawk Golf Club. Now it is on to the match-play quarterfinals on Tuesday with ASU to face No. 8 North Carolina, beginning at 10:20 a.m. ET.

Other matches will feature No. 4 Oklahoma vs. No. 5 Illinois, No. 2 Oklahoma State vs. No. 7 Vanderbilt and No. 3 Pepperdine vs. No. 6 Florida State.

Thurmond knows his team now has to focus on the next task.

“It feels great to be heading into match play.” Thurmond said. “People that say just getting to match play is everything probably didn’t finish first. It’s nice. It’s pretty cool to have beaten everybody for four days. It was hard but we had to earn every bit of it. It’s a good feeling but again, in about an hour it doesn’t matter because we’re going to play somebody who’s excited about taking down the No. 1 seed. And we don’t get a head start tomorrow.”

The Sun Devils started the day in third place, 14 strokes behind Oklahoma State and one behind Oklahoma. But ASU managed a team total of 5-under 275, the second-best score of the day behind the sizzling 9-under 271 from Pepperdine which leaped up six places into third.

Oklahoma State imploded to a 12-over 292 for a four-round total of 1,120 while Oklahoma, the top-ranked team in the country coming in, was 9-over 289 for a 1,130.

ASU boasted balance throughout its lineup with senior Chun An Yu posting a team-best 3-under 67 that came despite a bogey on No. 18 where he went from a bunker to the water. Yu was the fourth different Sun Devil to chalk up the low score of the day this week.

“Today I felt really good. This course plays tough so I was just trying to play smart, not trying to do anything too special. Just one shot at a time. I thought I did a good job today just hitting fairways and greens,” he said.

Three ASU players finished in the top 15, led by sophomore Ryggs Johnston who was third at 5-under 275, just two strokes behind medalist Turk Pettit of Clemson and one behind runner-up Bo Jin of Oklahoma State. Johnston, who had a 7-under 63 in the second round on Saturday, went into 18 one stroke off the lead but his tee shot bounced off the cart path and into a cart. He ended up with a bogey but still managed a 1-under 69 for the day.

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“I’m pretty proud of the way I handled myself today and the whole tournament,” Johnston said. “There were a lot of nerves out there throughout the whole thing. I thought I did really well taking care of that and played some really good golf this week.”

Cameron Sisk was also 1-under for the day, putting up a 72-hole total of 279 which tied him for eighth. He was the model of consistency with 17 pars and one birdie. Mason Andersen rounded out the scoring with an even par 70.

The Sun Devils were so good that the score not counting was a still respectable 2-over 72 from David Puig.

“A lot of teams would have loved to have had that score,” Thurmond said.

There were two holes-in-one in the fourth round, the first coming from Oklahoma’s Logan McAllister on the par 3, 205-yard No. 5 hole and the second coming from Tyson Reeder of Arkansas on the par 3, 188-yard No. 8 hole. That made three for the week with San Francisco’s Soren Lind acing the No. 5 hole in the first round.

Top eight finishers at NCAAs

1. Arizona State -3
2. Oklahoma State E
3. Pepperdine +5
4. Oklahoma +10
5. Illinois +14
6. Florida State +16
7. Vanderbilt +24
8. North Carolina +25

Match play matchups

1. Arizona State vs. 8. North Carolina
7:10 a.m., 1st tee
2. Oklahoma State vs. 7. Vanderbilt
6:20 a.m., 1st tee
3. Pepperdine vs. 6. Florida State
6:20 a.m., 10th tee
4. Oklahoma vs. 5. Illinois
7:10 a.m., 10th tee

Top individuals

1. Turk Pettit, Clemson -7
2. Bo Jin, Oklahoma State -6
3. Ryggs Johnston, Arizona State -5
4. Michael Feagles, Illinois -4
5. John Pak, Florida State -3

How ASU did

3. Ryggs Johnston, -5
T-8. Cameron Sisk, -1
T-13. Chun An Yu, +2
T-23. Mason Andersen, +4
T-54. David Puig, +12

Should the Pelicans make an all-in trade for a superstar this summer?

With a bevy of assets through draft and young players, the Pelicans could be in a position to make a big trade this offseason.

Heading into a summer with many questions, the New Orleans Pelicans are tasked with finding out what direction the franchise is headed in with Zion Williamson. With two years of sample size on Williamson with the rest of the Pelicans young core, the front office should have an idea of what players do and don’t fit into their future.

As the focus shifts more and more toward a winning future in lieu of a rebuilding one, the Pelicans will begin to look to aggregate their assets into something impactful. For instance, the team will enter the 2021 NBA draft with four selections, three of those second-rounders. For a team already full of young players, adding four more first-year players to that mix seems suboptimal.

In fact, between the 2021 and 2027 drafts, the Pelicans have 22 draft picks with control over the majority of the Lakers and Bucks first round picks in that span. The team will have plenty of ammunition to add to their roster on top of potentially jumping on opportunities to make a move for a superstar.

That last bit could be pertinent to this offseason. While the clock isn’t ticking loudly yet for the Pelicans, it is ticking as Williamson and Ingram move closer to free agency and the urgency to become contenders will grow. Seemingly each year, a new star becomes disgruntled and seeks a way out of his current situation. This year, there are a couple of prime candidates.

Bradley Beal’s name will continue to be floated around despite the Wizards making a run to get into the playoffs this season. Should the Blazers exit in the first round yet again, C.J. McCollum may be available at a high price.

There will also almost certainly be unexpected players who may become available as well. James Harden this season is a perfect example of that very fact.

The Pelicans, more so than any team not named the Thunder, are in prime position to pounce on this opportunity. All these questions, though, will need to be answered by New Orleans at the same time that they answer internal questions about the state of their roster. Should they bring back Lonzo Ball? Josh Hart? Eric Bledsoe? Steven Adams?

The success of Ball, Ingram and Williamson together would indicate there is something in place for the future. That trio was a plus-4.3 in 942 minutes together this season. In 146 minutes without Bledsoe, they were plus-6.6. In 250 minutes without Adams, they were plus-10.4.

Building around that trio could be the answer for the Pelicans’ future. Adding a lead guard like McCollum or Beal would offer a rather seamless fit. Ball’s versatility defensively and offensively allows the team the ability to add virtually any guard.

The biggest thing, though, is determining the right opportunity and the right cost. If that circumstance presents itself this offseason, it could be time for the Pelicans to make a big move to get to the next level.

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