James Ennis

Sixers Lose in OT to Finish Exhibition Play
The Philadelphia Sixers drop their final exhibition game in overtime to the Dallas Mavericks. Yes, they actually played extra time because we were all sitting on our couches thrilled to see the deep bench in big moments! Joel Embiid was not in the lineup due to his calf injury, but Brett Brown stated that he expects Embiid to play in their first regular season game on Saturday. After the team shot 26% in the first half and going 15-57 from the field, the 76ers showed fight in the second half led by Tobias Harris. Harris finished with 28 points and 11 rebounds. Al Horford helped out by scoring 11 of his 14 points in the third quarter. Ben Simmons had a bad offensive night and only played the first half. It will be interesting to see the rotation as the seeding games begins.
No Embiid, But Starters Look Good in Exhibition Game 2
The Philadelphia Sixers blew a 24-point lead to the OKC Thunder in their second exhibition game, but once again, who cares about the outcome. Joel Embiid did not play due to a calf injury. I believe Brett Brown when he says it shouldn't be a concern, but I am curious if this can cause problems down the road. Speaking of injury, Glenn Robinson III left with a hip injury and he will be re-evaluated Monday. Ben Simmons was magnificent and clearly the best player on the floor. He was so strong rolling to the basket, he facilitated beautifully, and he was remarkable defensively. Shake Milton is so intriguing. He is able to shoot the ball off the dribble, provide pick and roll play, and also drives to the rack. I am confident his game will correlate to success in postseason play! Josh Richardson showed his versatility and Al Horford was able to knock down some three-pointers early. I do question what is happening to him on the defensive side of the floor though and that will come into play when Embiid is off the floor in playoff games. It's not so much about the outcome of these games, it's more about their mentality and work ethic. It seems they are very focused which is all you can ask for at this point.
Sports Talk with Brodes: Ben Simmons Takes a Couple Threes!
The Philadelphia Sixers won their first exhibition game against the Memphis Grizzlies. There is no doubt they looked good, but the question is: How much stock can you put into this? You would rather see them play well compared to the alternative, but it also doesn't relate to a match-up against Miami or Boston in a playoff season. The biggest takeaway is Ben Simmons taking a couple corner-threes. It looked smooth, comfortable, and it was in rhythm. I was interested to see if he was going to do it in the first game back. If he didn't, I would be concerned, but this was obviously a big step mentally for Simmons when shooting the rock. Shake Milton was able to provide a spark in his new role, Matisse Thybulle had a monster jam, and Tobias Harris had a quiet double double. Joel Embiid didn't touch the floor in the second half. There is no doubt it was exciting to see the guys run on the floor and hear Marc Zumoff's call on the broadcast! I can't wait for the next one.
Brett Brown Doesn't Trust Younger Players in Playoffs? Who Cares!
Brett Brown mentioned how he normally doesn't trust young players in the NBA Playoffs. Obviously, that sparked a nerve with Brown haters. I don't see how that is an issue at all. That doesn't mean young players can't have successful playoff games or nice moments throughout a series, but historically, a more experienced player is more beneficial in a postseason game. Just because you might not love Brown, it doesn't mean everything he says or does is wrong.
The Anniversary of Kawhi Leonard's Game 7 Shot
On May 12th, it was the one-year anniversary of Kawhi Leonard's buzzer beater in game 7 to send the Sixers packing. It was heartbreaking during the time, but I am doing well now. Sadly, since no sports are currently active, it's time to embrace this play.
Sports Talk with Brodes: The Knicks Show Interest in Elton Brand
It was reported in the New York Daily News that Leon Rose and the New York Knicks are interested in the General Manager of the Philadelphia Sixers, Elton Brand. There is still time left on his contract, but the Knicks thought maybe he would be fired this off-season. It doesn't seem to be the case and I can't imagine that happening. I support Elton Brand. I think he is aggressive and has a ton of value. The overreaction to a bad move is similar to what fans think about Carson Wentz and Ben Simmons after a bad game. "GET RID OF HIM!!!" I am not claiming he is the best ever, but it's not time to give up on him.
NCAA Seniors in Winter Sports, Do They Deserve Another Year?
The coronavirus took March Madness away from us and the seniors who play the game! It has been reported that the NCAA gave student-athletes who play spring sports another year of eligibility. This is because a certain percentage of the regular-season was not completed yet. This raises the question about the teams that play in winter. College basketball finished the regular season and was canceled after some teams received their automatic bids, but the Power 5 Conferences did not. With all of the other winter sports, similar situations occurred. What about the seniors in these sports? Do they deserve another run at it? I don't believe they do. They have already finished enough of the season where it's unfortunate and it's sad, but enough of their schedule was played out. If seniors could return because it is "unfair", well what about the incoming freshman that now lose their scholarships? What about the sophomores that played this season, are they sophomores again? What would happen in DII and DIII sports? What about seniors who didn't punch their tickets to the NCAA tournament in the smaller conferences, they now get a second chance? It's a sticky situation, but if I was the commissioner of the NCAA, I would just move on with the seniors. It would open up holes and there are too many moving parts.
Coronavirus' Impact on Sports
Wow. It's hard to process these big businesses actually putting everything on hold. It had to be done though. We are talking about something way bigger than sports. I thought the Adam Silver and the NBA moved just a hair slow, but it also wasn't the worst reaction time. Once Rudy Gobert was positive with coronavirus, they had no other option. The NHL, MLB, MLS, and all of the other leagues had to follow in their footsteps. You can't allow players, coaches, staff members, and fans to be in that type of environment every night with the possibility of passing along the virus. The NCAA, well, that's a totally different situation. It's a disgrace that it took Duke and Kansas withdrawing themselves from the tournament before it became official. Did we expect anything else? My brain is trying to wrap my head around how historic of a moment this is. Obviously, the health of everyone is most important, but for these cooperations to actually delay everything with how much money is involved, it's unfathomable. Think about the TV deals for March Madness. Think about the tickets, concessions, parking, and more involved with each individual NBA game. The rescheduling nightmare of all these events. Some cities have two teams in the same building along with concerts scheduled. It had to be done though. This is no over reaction. With a problem like this, it's about keeping everyone safe over being "soft" about "just another flu."

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