This week’s star goes to no damn body! When a team goes 1 – 4 and loses by an average of 17.5 points no player is worthy of being saluted. A roster filled with three top 10 picks and the most reliable player (Dario Saric) is the guy the organization selected outside of the top 10, is a travesty.
Robert Covington began the week playing well and was instrumental in Philly’s lone 122 - 119 win. Against the Sacramento Kings, Covington scored 23 points and grabbed 10 boards. Unfortunately, the forward could not carry that success throughout the week. A hand injury would force him to miss the next three games.
Covington was not the only player whose consideration was eliminated based on injury, center Joel Embiid continues to miss action with a bone bruise.
Or is it a hyperextended knee? No that’s right the center can only play on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Injuries aside talent and effort for some players remains an issue. Nerlens Noel continues to be a player excused from offensive expectations. The sixth pick in the 2013 draft remains unscathed from performances such as this weeks. The center’s averages for the seven day span were as follows 11 points, four rebounds & one block.
Noel at this point is buying time until he is relieved of his duties this off-season. With the All-Star break quickly approaching, hopefully that rest will awaken the team from this horrific malaise.
STAT OF THE WEEK:
Something is wrong with Jahlil. Before the cackling commences it is not a “talent” thing. Nor is it a “his game doesn’t fit the new NBA” thing.
Few things in sports are more disrespectful than saying a player quit or has no heart. To be clear that is not what is being uttered here. What is been said is the joy and pride that Okafor once displayed is gone.
It would be egregious to speculate why, and quite frankly inconsequential because the current situation is not going to change. The former Duke Blue Devil plays for a team that has identified its franchise player and he is not it.
Statistics are misleading more times than not, and you should never be used to replace the eye test. With that said in a contest against the hapless Dallas Mavericks the eye test and analytical test both yielded the same answer/results. Which were Jahlil needs an intervention.
Matched up against a player who had not scored more than eight points all season in Salah Mejri, Okafor looked slow and mechanical. Yet, still mustered 16 points and one rebound. Therein lies the issue with the big man.
The feeling is he is just going through the motions. Almost as if his spirit has been broken, and he is waiting for disaster to strike. This is unacceptable for such an accomplished talent. Jahlil has played the role of “good soldier” too a tee. Or maybe it is not a role and this is perhaps who he has accepted the NBA version of himself to be.
Time and opportunity are a rare combination in the professional ranks. Okafor has stumbled upon both at such a young age, let us hope he does not continue to waste them both.
THIS WEEK IN 1982 – 83 (THE CHAMPIONSHIP YEAR):
Those Damn Blazers
The Sixers would lose a game in back-to-back weeks for the first time all season. In a physical contest in the northwest where 57 fouls would be called the Portland Trail Blazers found itself in the winner’s circle 115 – 109.
The three headed monster of Mychal Thompson, Calvin Natt and Kenny Carr were impressive in handing Philly their seventh loss of the year. Natt proved to be the catalyst dropping 21 points in the second half, finishing with 28 points total.
In the midst of a six game road trip Philadelphia was witnessing the greatness of Moses Malone. The future MVP was putting on a show, averaging 28 points and 20 rebounds for the week. It was no mystery Malone was the center of Philly’s attention literally and physically yet teams still struggled to stop him.
Malone provided the post presence and toughness game in and game out, as the Philadelphia continued to its road to a championship.
TWEET OF THE WEEK: