We are The Process Disciples, welcome to our dojo where we study the art of “Sam Hinkie Specials” and trust every process in life. This is the subgroup of Sixers faithful in Basketball Society where we answer questions about all of the happenings in Philadelphia. The Sixers are in London this week, and they have started the month on a hot streak, can they keep it up?
Meet the team:
1. Last season, the Sixers’ best month was January (10-5 record), will it be their best month again? (2-0 so far)
Calpin: I don’t think so. The reason I say this is looking at their schedule. They have some tough teams the rest of the month (Celtics x2, Bucks x2, Thunder and Spurs). Plus Fultz is such a question mark that if he does come back soon I think there could be some growing pains inserting him into the lineup. One GREAT thing about that is hopefully Bayless would sit on the bench and never move, but that is a topic for another time. I think they finish the month 9-5, which I will be very happy with heading into the midway point at 26-24.
Allan: I would say that this potentially could be the Sixers’ best month with the potential of having Markelle Fultz in the lineup around the end of the month. They do have some tough opponents coming up with the Celtics twice and the Spurs along with the Thunder. I think they can walk out with less than five losses before the month is over.
Fischbein: I do not think the trend will continue. Obviously, everyone is very anxious to see Markelle Fultz play, but I would not be surprised if they took everything slow with him in terms of minute restrictions, rest games, and so on. That being said, I think February will be their best month because Fultz will be, assuming he does come back, at full strength. At the end of the month, I think the Sixers will finish with a 7-7 record.
2. What are your predictions for the London game against the Boston Celtics?
Calpin: It is tough to predict what to expect from another country. To the players is it a huge game where they feel the bright lights? Is it a fun feeling, almost exhibition type game? I am not sure. I expect the Sixers to play their game and give a good fight against Boston. I am assuming it will be a share of fans who appreciate basketball cheering for both sides, I think Joel will enjoy himself, as he always does. I give them a shot to win, but ultimately I have the Celtics taking this one 106-98.
Allan: I predict that this game, for one, will be really fun to watch. The Sixers will have the ability to play the Celtics at full strength and can really make this game a competitive one. I have the Sixers winning this one 107-103 with a big game from Joel Embiid once again.
Fischbein: The Boston Celtics are going to win this game on a buzzer beating shot by Jayson Tatum. They will win 103-102, and the media, along with the fans, will all say that the Celtics robbed the Sixers blind by trading down in the draft and getting Tatum over Fultz.
3. How many players in the Sixers/Celtics game will end up making the All-Star Game?
Calpin: One. Jerryd Bayless. HA. Just kidding. I think that Embiid will definitely make the All-Star game, as he should. He is one of the best big men in the game, if not the best, and the only thing you could say about him is he is not playing all the games yet. But 100% he should be in. As for Ben Simmons, I think it is a little bit of a closer call but I think he is deserving as well. He leads all rookies in major categories and is one of the best passers in the whole league. Sure, he has his issues shooting, but overall level of play I think he deserves to go. So I think both Embiid and Simmons will end up making the All-Star game.
Allan: I think for the Sixers you have one basic guarantee All-Star in Joel Embiid, and one borderline All-Star in Ben Simmons. For the Celtics they are obviously lead by Kyrie Irving who will be a shoe-in for the All-Star game, so I say three players from this game make the All-Star game.
Fischbein: There will be two All-Stars. Joel Embiid and Kyrie Irving are going to be the representatives from these teams. Ben Simmons will be very close, miss out on the fan vote, and then the NBA media will vote in a veteran over Simmons. Ultimately, it’s very promising that these two guys for Philly are already at this All-Star level when they haven’t even played a full season combined.
4. If you could bring back one ‘Process Sixer’ for the remainder of the season, who would it be?
Calpin: Wow. What a question. So many come to mind. Brandon Davies, Tony Wroten, Hollis Thompson, Henry Sims, Jerami Grant among many other dedicated “Processors” I will never forget when the Sixers win the 2020 NBA Championship. But I would have to bring back Wroten. He was my favorite. He was electric, not as bad as some of the others who can be considered for this list and was fun to watch on a daily basis. He has also said his time in Philadelphia was the favorite of his career and that he would love to come back. Give him a ten-day shot, why not?
Allan: Damn this is a great question. As Ryan said above, there are so many options to choose from. One process player that I think was overlooked was James Anderson. Boy could he shoot. My pick would be KJ McDaniels because of how fun of a player he is to watch. He can get up with some of the best dunkers in the league.
Fischbein: For me, it’s a tough decision between Wroten, Nerlens Noel, and Hollis Thompson. Wroten was such a fun player to watch even if his turnovers and wild play drove you crazy at times. Noel, as the defensive stalwart he proved to be in Philly, would make for a great addition to the bench squad. However, if I’m forced to choose only one, I’m going to go with Hollis Thompson. First off, his nickname is the best (Holliswood). Second, he was one of the most underrated shooters the Sixers had over the tanking years. He was shooting around 40% from three in each season. At this point, I’d much rather see Hollis fire up some threes rather than Jerryd Bayless.