Super Bowl, Sarah Thomas, Bowl game, NFL, Referee Kevin Kinkead talks Doc Rivers, Ben Simmons, 76ers standing in Eastern Conference, and more

Kevin kinkade from will be our sixers guest today, as the sixers have the night off, they play the hornets tomorrow. They are in charlotte. We’Ll have the game for you here on 97.3 espn and, of course, kevin kinkade. Uh has covered the sixes the last couple years. We’Ll get some good insight from him on. You know what’s different about this sixers team. I want to get his take on uh how doc rivers offense looks a little different, what they’re doing with ben simmons uh, but first bros. What do you got a deal that you need to hit on? All you have to do to get your share of these huge prizes is enter the draftkings free super bowl prediction challenge. Once you submit your picks, you will get a free, instant prize up to twenty five thousand dollars the top prize. One million dollars download the draftking sportsbook app now and use promo code 973 when you sign up must be 21 or older new jersey. Only gambling problem call 1 800 gambler all right there. He is kevin k to find wvu alum, as he joins us here to talk a little sixers inside the sixers and kevin. You know this team is last year was like painful to get through. We had a watch and it was like painful every night. This team is a lot more fun, but what do you see that’s different about this team when you watch them like? Is it just as simple as they switch two players in and out and that’s the difference, but or is it something that sticks out to you as to why this team seems more fun than last year’s team? I don’t know that kevin’s hearing us right now.

Do you you hear us kevin kevin? Are you hearing us? I see kevin, but i don’t know that he’s hearing us right now it does. It seems like he is not because i’m hearing you all right. So kevin is not hearing us, so maybe uh. We can have josh reach out to him or something and there’s kevin he’s kind of staring at us and he’s. Just saying, yeah, he’s dying, yeah he’s, giving us yeah he’s, giving us the earphone. Look here, yeah! Well, you can answer the question. He says no audio! All right we’ll see if he can uh josh. Maybe you can give him him a call and see if he can hear us, because uh he’s saying he’s not hearing us, but um we’ll get kevin here on a second now you would figure that he has used the video many of times and that this is Something that he normally does, i feel like if he was to speak. We would hear him because i hear him fondling around a bit, so i guess it’s, just he doesn’t know what he’s responding to yeah exactly he’s, just kind of like you know, hey he just typed me. I have no audio and uh there. He goes he’s going to uh pick up his phone now we’re going to try to get him here on the phone and see what’s going on, but he definitely has the ability to talk. He just couldn’t hear the question you guys just don’t learn anything there.

Well, it’s funny we’ll be able to watch him. Talk like on his phone it’ll be it’ll, be kind of fun there right all right, so he’s reacting to josh yeah. So he said that he said that wvu people don’t can’t figure out how to get the uh. The audio to we could hear you, but you couldn’t, hear us. Oh that’s, not true a west virginia joke that’s uncalled for we’re, just having a little uh little technical difficulties over here, but it’s always good to be on the sports bash, especially with another fine mountaineer and mike gill yeah. I saw the the wvu kids today were. Did you see the video of them going down the hill on refrigerators? Yeah? You know, look uh points for creativity right, you got ta find whatever is available and uh you know make use of it so good for them. Yeah, it’s, a college ingenuity right. So you’ve been around this team for a while. You covered the brett era and now we’re seeing doc. Is it a simple kevin that they just switched two guys and this team’s now fun, because last year was miserable, it was painful to get through that season. They really only made a handful of tweaks. You know they switched two guys out and entering the year i don’t think people were like well, this team could be a finals contender. I think most people thought they were still a middle of the road team.

So why are now maybe the expectations better yeah it’s, interesting because uh, you know when they made the the change to bring in seth curry and to bring in danny green. I was just kind of laughing to myself because i was sitting there thinking like man. This is a team that brad would love to coach, you know and if it fit his kind of team, you know space and pace and move up and down the floor and in a lot of ways it was reminiscent really of what the 2017 team was. You know so you got your lmb, you got ben simmons, let’s, say seth, curry is like your jj reddick. You know your sniper. You know you got a three and d guy and danny green who’s not going to take a ton of shots. If you can be your robert covington and get some get some shots up, you know and then play defense on the wing, and then he had dario, sarge and tobias paris kind of reprising. The same role, of course, bias of a better player and not just uh, stand in the corner and shoot three point this kind of player. But beyond that you know joel embiid having a career year kind of hitting his peak and uh. You know doc just kind of knowing when to press the buttons and when not to press the buttons you know um, i don’t think brett was a bad x’s and o’s coach at all.

I think everything over the years you saw him dial up some good stuff. He’S, pretty good on on ato plays and stuff with the whiteboard. I just think the doc, with the experience he has is just better kind of knowing when to put his fingerprints on than when when not to you know, and you saw that in the la game, you know the play that they closed on – that multi action play That they won on, he saw it the other night when they went 2 3 zone down the stretch. So probably the combination of all those things so ben simmons obviously is a maddening guy, um he’s, his scoring average is way down, and then people wanted to trade him. But what’s happened recently that his game and his scoring has gone up just a commitment to aggression and that commitment to assertiveness you know i mean i think, he’d look at his shot chart from the other night. He was nine for 12 and uh. If you go. Look at like the visualization of it like a plot or whatever, like every single shot, came within like two feet of the basket. It looked like a it. Looked like a dwight howard, um 2010, shot plot or something you know, but they’re just doing little things to try to get him to be in that mindset. You know doc. Rivers dropped a good quote the other night about they set up a couple: double drags for ben at the in early transition.

Basically, what a double drag is because i know not a visual media of its radio but uh. You know you just basically set two staggered screens in early transition. You know near mid court and then ben can sort of run off that there’s a lot of moving parts. You know get him to the rim. Uh indiana, for some reason likes to play their bigs up on pick and roll defense, so there’s going to be gaps there for him to to get there. You know so it’s about that commitment to finishing through contact and rounding the corner into getting downhill and uh. You know he can be a point scorer if he has to you have to change to how they play. I think the good thing about the other night was in the fourth quarter. They changed how they played uh without embiid, joel and beat on the floor, because they were 0 4 without him previously and it’s like they just go and try to play the same game. But you can’t really play the same game. You know so they went 2. 3 zone ben was more aggressive, ferguson court moz was in the game in the fourth quarter and um. You know with ben it’s. Just like i understand people are frustrated that he appears to be the same player on offense but uh. You know people always got ta frame the argument in a specific way: it’s, not that any. I know people are disappointed about that.

But again you look at a guy who’s had every other. He can do literally every other thing. So it’s people make it seem like it’s, a negative that he doesn’t shoot but like in my case, i say well imagine what he could be with a shot. You know he’d be the most complete player to come through philadelphia in a long time. You know the nba a long time, so i think that’s why it’s such a hot button issue, because people imagine what he could be if he had it, you know. Are you afraid that that will limit this team in the postseason, though down in the half court? Sets and when things intensify, but i think that’s where because like this is the first year i truly snapped. I was a big defender but, like i lost my mind, a little bit and i’m just afraid that when it comes down to those playoff moments again, if he has to hide in that dunker spot or or whatever that that’s, where my concern is no you’re right. Bro it’s because he’s like it was never an issue of uh ken that’s. Why i was always so stupid when people make these jokes about well, can they coexist or not? Well i mean they won 53 games, the two of them. You know, but it’s one thing to win these regular season games. There’S always going to be a question of you know how that works in the fourth quarter late in games when they have to have these half court possessions in the in the playoffs.

You know – and you know so far, it’s kind of played out the way it has played out in the pace. You know you go to that la game from last week and you look at the play. They called to win it just multi option: right: okay, there’s, a pin down, screen, seth, curry and joel embiid. Then they end up in a curry and and harris pick and roll and they get the switch and he drives an alex caruso and he hits the shot to your point. Ben simmons is just standing in the dunker spot, the entire time so right now. The answer is, no, nothing has changed as far as his utility in the half court in these late game scenarios, but you know if they can execute the way they did on that play that might be feasible. You know that might be tenable. I know it’s maddening because you’re looking at the same bend that you’ve seen for the last four years, but if everybody else is doing what they have to do and they can find a way to work around it, then it may be suitable. They may be able to live that way. I i guess kevin. I guess one of the questions would be then like. If ben scored 11 points a game, can they win that way? I guess the the follow would be they can. Maybe if the guys around them do their job kind of what you said like one of the reasons why his scoring average is down is shake milton scoring 15 a game two weeks ago now, he’s not and maxie was scoring 10.

. Now those guys numbers have gone down and simmons has gone up, but it’s almost like people want to see him score 16 and if he only scores 11 that’s good enough, i said well what, if the other guys are scoring more, what does it matter? It doesn’t? It really doesn’t, and you know, it’s funny, because we always uh, you know we look at ben simmons and joelle and b as being the two superstars. You know, that’s always how we framed the narrative around this team. But the fact of the matter is that tobias harris makes the most money. So, if ben, if, if tobias and joelle and beat are scoring safari, is hitting some three pointers, danny greenson’s, if they was, they don’t need ben simmons to score. You know i mean you’d love to see it and we want him to take the next step forward, but if those four guys are playing the way they are right now, tobias, his numbers are just about right where they were when he was playing for doc. Those 52 or 53 games, in los angeles, which are close to career highs and some of them are career highs and joel’s hitting career highs as well. So i mean the answer to that. Is the ben really doesn’t have to be anybody different? If we, if we look at it, is that the bias and joel being the one and two scorer daryl mori was quoted mentioning being championship robust.

What type of moves do you think is needed and that he’s talking about? Is it a backup primary ball handler? Are they sold on shake? I know they keep mentioning the power forward position, so i think that’s something they’re going to look at but uh. What do you think that means when dara mori says that what do you think’s next, you know people talk about j.j reddick. I wouldn’t make a trade for jj because of his salary. I think he’ll probably hit the buy out market, so maybe look at it that way back up power forward for sure, because right now, with mike scott, they have to you know all they can really do. Is stagger, you know it’s, tobias and him and that’s pretty much it um dwight howard’s interesting. You know, he’s been up and down a little bit this year. I i feel like when he’s relegated to just doing his role, which is playing defense and rebounding they’re. Okay, but you can always use more shooting for sure. I think defensively um, they’re, okay, but i i don’t, i think, we’re beyond blockbuster move at this point. I don’t think it james. Obviously james harden is not happening, but zach levine’s, probably not not happening too. I mean this is a pretty pretty damn good team as they are. You know, so you try to add around the fringes and do a little bit of what you did. Maybe in 2017, when you have the ilya silva and the bellinelli kind of kind of additions, but i don’t think there’s any reason for them to to do anything crazy right now kevin.

Do you anticipate seeing more of that zone based on the personnel that they have? I know it’s unconventional for a nba team to kind of utilize that on a night to night basis, they probably did it because of no joel and they had to be a little bit. You know they were down, but did they find something to say? We should incorporate this more yeah. I don’t see. Why not i mean the personnel, for it is amazing. You know i mean remember when matisse was drafted last year. Ironically, one of the knocks that people had on him was that he played 2 3 zone at washington. You know under a jim behind disciple and people were like well, is he going to be able to make the transition from playing? You know cheap? You know, because zone is like stigmatized is being cheap and easy right. You know, can he play that? Can you go from that to playing man demand in the nba and that’s no problem right, so um you take his length and then you put another all nba defensive player next to him ben simmons and that that’s an impossible. You know front court uh backcourt. I’M. Sorry to to get through there and then imagine if you had joel embiid on the floor, you could have him down there in dwight, howard, spot and that’s tough to get around that’s tough to get around now good good nba teams are great passing teams, but they’re Going to be able to find gaps and hit a couple, three pointers: it worked against a team like indy who doesn’t take a lot of three points: three pointers and isn’t a good three point: shooting team, but i don’t see why they can’t go back to that.

For sure you only come out of zone really when teams figure it out and when you go into it they don’t figure it out. You can stay in it as long as you want to that’s what they did. The other night joelle has obviously been insane this year. What impresses you the most when watching him play this season? You know it’s just his kind of his how he’s added every level to the scoring now and uh. You know because we know that he was dominant on the inside. We know he was great from 10 to 12 feet, but now they’re running like these delay, actions and stuff for him, where they just hand him the ball. On the three point line, he doesn’t necessarily have to shoot the three pointer but he’s able to create from there he’s able to get into the paint um he’s able to feel contact and draw fouls the way that he’s getting to the line is uh. How would i put it it’s it’s absurd the numbers that he’s putting up there. You know if you, if you go by per 36 numbers, you know so everybody in the league plays the same amount of minutes, and you extrapolate that right now, joel embiid is getting to the fat line 12.2 times per 36 minutes just for just just, for the Sake of the exercise, because i was interested. I went back and looked at like 25 years of that statistic and nobody was even close to hitting that not giannis, not prime dwight howard, not prime shaquille o’neal.

For 36. They only give the fallon, like 10 10 times per game, he’s he’s, going to shatter that number if he keeps doing it at the the way he is this year and those those trips to the foul line. Just unlock the rest of this game and get him into a rhythm, and he just starts rolling. I don’t know how many times we’ve looked up this year and i’m sitting there. Thinking like, where did he? Where did 27 points come from? Where did 29 points come from because he’s just like ripping off 10 to 12 music batches and make these second quarters and third quarters you’re like wow holy crap he’s already, where he is so just just kind of to answer the question just for him to kind Of be able to put it together at every level now and feel that contact and just sort of master the art of of the rip through which he was already good at you know, he’s really really fleshed that out to like elite status now well kevin. I guess in in like closing we’ve watched, ben and joelle together and we all just assume they’re the two guys tobias is there, but maybe in the years past they weren’t ready to win. They were yeah, they were young, they just weren’t ready. Do we feel that joel embiid and ben simmons quite frankly have matured to where they’re ready to win? I think so too and that’s a great point and that’s, not anything that you can really you know, qualify or quantify you know.

Sometimes it just clicks for people um another thing i feel i kind of feel bad for brett in a way because you know he got these guys at their earliest. You know and uh. You know it’s funny because sometimes like i think we all have this idea, that development is like a linear path. Right, like a guy, comes into the nba he’s going to shoot 40, then he’s going to shoot 42 and he’s going to shoot 44 it’s going to kind of you know, go up on a slope, a grade right i’m, making a motion with my arm um, but That’S not always the case, you know, sometimes it just clicks with people and like in your third year. Your fourth year, just like a light bulb, goes off in your head. You’Re like, ah i get it. You know, or the personnel that you’re playing against is different. You know, or you just like st you everybody, i think, reaches this moment any job. You do any profession where it just starts to click and you’re like it becomes automatic for you, and i don’t know if that’s, where ben is right now, but joelle is definitely there yeah. You know 27 years old. I think, like you look at his median ages where people where people hit those primes and just start to take off he’s right at that age. Right now so it’s been a pleasure. It’S been like a privilege to watch.

You know it has been. You know as last year, as painful as it was one year has been such a difference, especially in watching joel embiid you’re right about that kevin kincaid covers the 76ers crossing. Broad.Com is where you can check out more of his work. Sixers off tonight, they’re back tomorrow and then back to back they’ll play thursday we’ll see if the big man is back uh dealing with that back stuff but uh. You know it’s a lot more fun this year, watching this team for sure and, as you said it you know, brett was not the most popular guy amongst the fans. It would have been interesting to see how that would have been different this year, but yeah we’ll check that out all right, kevin appreciate it. Man, no problem, maybe next time i’ll get my audio visual situation sorted all right. Yeah man fix that man Laughter.

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