The Roar
The Roar

Johann Leffler

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Joined September 2017

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I’m not so sure. He’s putting up essentially the same exact stats as last year, and I don’t see him hitching the team to his back and carrying them the same way players like Harden and LeBron do. IMO the Celtics’ success is due more to phenomenal team play (they have so many talented players) and coaching than it is Irving utterly dominating.

Handing out the NBA's end of season awards after one month, part 1

There’s an argument to made there. I simply felt that the three guys I picked have been more dominant in the early going. That can change with 75 per cent of the season still left to play, and Adams is worth keeping an eye on.

Handing out the NBA's end of season awards after one month, part 2

I did mention at the beginning that these awards are a little difficult to evaluate in the early going – and as Tom said, he got off to a bit of a slow start. However, I’ve been impressed with him lately and I agree that his recent play can put him into the conversation (as long as he keeps it up over a bit larger sample size).

Handing out the NBA's end of season awards after one month, part 2

I love Covington – definitely one of my favourite players. I’m just not entirely sure that he’s been enough of a standout defensively compared to some of the other guys. I did tab him as one of my top candidates for most improved in part 1 of this article, though.

Handing out the NBA's end of season awards after one month, part 2

Porzingis has been a joy to watch this year. The NBA is in such a great position right now – there is just an incredible amount of young talent in the league, and it looks like that’s just going to keep coming in this next draft.

As for Ball, he might never be a great scorer, but like you said, he’s just too talented to be a bust. He’s shown that he can contribute all over the court. I hope for his sake he can develop a league average jump shot over the next couple years just to get people off his back….he seems like a good kid

Handing out the NBA's end of season awards after one month, part 1

Yeah – all good points. He’s always just going to be an above average big without a more developed offensive game. It’s also been a while since he that incredibly dominant shot-blocking force on defence…always seemed to be an effort thing with him.

Whiteside isn’t the only player with a questionable mentality, but as you said, he’s one of the most frustrating because you can really feel his talent.

Mr Whiteside: Is Miami’s $98-million man really a star?

Like seeing these updates, good work.

A look at the FCS picture in college football

Match Report
The Washington Wizards beat the Philadelphia 76ers, 120-115 in Washington DC on Thursday.
The young 76ers exceeded expectations and gave an experienced Wizards squad all they could handle all the way through the match.
All eyes were on Philadelphia’s young core of Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Markelle Fultz and Dario Saric heading into this game. All but Saric performed well, with Embiid and Simmons both turning in very positive displays. Embiid put up a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds in limited action, while Simmons put up 18 points and 10 rebounds of his own. Both players shot 7/15 from the field.
Forward Robert Covington was the real star for the Sixers, going 7/11 from three en route to 29 points.
As expected, John Wall and Bradley Beal carried the Wizards, scoring 28 and 25 points, respectively. Marcin Gortat helped seal the deal with an excellent stat line of 16 points and 17 rebounds.
The 76ers play in the closing moments of the game will leave them kicking themselves. Down by two with under two minutes to play, Philadelphia turned the ball over on consecutive possessions, effectively robbing themselves of a chance to tie the game. I’ll chalk that up to pressure getting the best of a young squad, and I expect to see them improve on late-game decision making as the season progresses.

Ben Simmons' NBA debut highlights: Wizards spoil the party for 76ers in tight victory

Simmons’ stats: 18 pts (7/15), 10 reb, 5 ast, 2 stl, 1 blk in the 35 minutes played.

Ben Simmons' NBA debut highlights: Wizards spoil the party for 76ers in tight victory

Any thoughts on the game, Roarers?

Ben Simmons' NBA debut highlights: Wizards spoil the party for 76ers in tight victory

Some quick notes:

Philadelphia’s young core played well. Fultz, Embiid, and Simmons all put on positive displays and shot well from the field. Embiid’s minutes restriction may just have cost them a victory.

Between Covington and Redick, Philadelphia looks to be an improved three-pointing shooting team. They struggled in this area last year so this is a welcome sight. Hopefully it keeps up.

John Wall did just enough in the second half to put his team over the top. His quickness caused problems for the 76ers defenders as they just couldn’t keep him out of the lane.

Gortat is so underrated. He is an elite roll man and he displayed that again tonight. Strong defence and dominance on the boards rounded out a great performance from him.

Overall, this was very promising from Philadelphia. They hung in with one of the better teams in the league and had multiple chances to tie the game late in the fourth if not for some ill-advised passes. If they play at this level all season, a playoff appearance becomes very realistic.

Ben Simmons' NBA debut highlights: Wizards spoil the party for 76ers in tight victory

That’s the game. Washington takes it 120 – 115.

Ben Simmons' NBA debut highlights: Wizards spoil the party for 76ers in tight victory

Q4 0:02
Beal heads to the free throw line with the chance to ice the game. He comes through, hitting both shots.

Wizards – 120
76ers – 115

Ben Simmons' NBA debut highlights: Wizards spoil the party for 76ers in tight victory

Q4 0:02
Covington tips in a miss and the Wiz call timeout.

Wizards – 118
76ers – 115

Ben Simmons' NBA debut highlights: Wizards spoil the party for 76ers in tight victory

Q4 0:10
Redick misses from three and Washington will head to the free throw line. Gortat hits both shots.

Wizards – 118
76ers – 113

Ben Simmons' NBA debut highlights: Wizards spoil the party for 76ers in tight victory

Q4 0:25
Beal hits one of two free throws. His shaky foul shooting has helped the 76ers stay in the game here.

Wizards – 116
76ers – 113

Ben Simmons' NBA debut highlights: Wizards spoil the party for 76ers in tight victory

Down by two, the 76ers turn the ball over twice. Unacceptable play in the final minute of a close game.

Ben Simmons' NBA debut highlights: Wizards spoil the party for 76ers in tight victory

Q4 2′
Covington with a huge three!

Wizards – 115
76ers – 112

Ben Simmons' NBA debut highlights: Wizards spoil the party for 76ers in tight victory

Q4 2′
Simmons draws a foul in transition and hits the free throws this time.

Wizards – 115
76ers – 110

Ben Simmons' NBA debut highlights: Wizards spoil the party for 76ers in tight victory

Q4 3′
Simmons gets into the lane and manages to draw a foul. Free throws both miss. Ouch.

Wizards – 115
76ers –108

Ben Simmons' NBA debut highlights: Wizards spoil the party for 76ers in tight victory

Q4 3′
Embiid pulls up for a jumper. Wall gets into the lane and finds Gortat for the and-one layup. Those two have excellent chemistry. Free throw is no good.

Wizards – 115
76ers –108

Ben Simmons' NBA debut highlights: Wizards spoil the party for 76ers in tight victory

Philly forces a shot clock violation. Now they need to follow it up with a bucket.

Ben Simmons' NBA debut highlights: Wizards spoil the party for 76ers in tight victory

Q4 4′
Gortat tips in one on the other end.

Wizards – 113
76ers – 106

Ben Simmons' NBA debut highlights: Wizards spoil the party for 76ers in tight victory

Q4 4′
Embiid tips in a miss.
Wizards – 111
76ers – 106

Ben Simmons' NBA debut highlights: Wizards spoil the party for 76ers in tight victory

Q4 4′
Wall finds Gortat in transition to extend the lead to seven.

Wizards – 111
76ers – 104

Ben Simmons' NBA debut highlights: Wizards spoil the party for 76ers in tight victory