Scotto: Ben Simmons Headlines NBA Draft Prospects at 2K and Legends Classic

Ben Simmons

NEW YORK – Some of the 2016 NBA draft’s top prospects were in town for the 2K and Legends Classics with executives drooling over their potential, including Philadelphia’s Sam Hinkie and Boston’s Danny Ainge. With Brooklyn holding the third-worst record in the league (3-12), Ainge should give Nets GM Billy King a Thanksgiving turkey for sending him Brooklyn’s unprotected first-round pick next summer as part of the 2013 trade for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. However, Hinkie – the man who puts


Celtics Playing Elite Defense Despite Lack of Star Power

Brad stevens Celtics

Based on how the Boston Celtics’ roster is currently assembled, they need to be greater than the sum of their parts in order to succeed.  The Celtics undeniably lack star power right now. According to ESPN’s preseason rankings of the league’s top 400 players, Isaiah Thomas is Boston’s best player at 65th overall. Only the Nuggets, Lakers and Sixers have their top player ranked lower. Yet through 13 games, Boston boasts a statistically elite defense thanks to coach Brad Stevens and


Bernucca: For Hinkie & Sickly Sixers, It’s Time For “Process” To Begin


In the classic war movie Apocalypse Now, Marlon Brando plays a decorated American colonel who has abandoned the war in Vietnam to set up his own dystopian military conclave in Cambodia that features random missions, animal sacrifices and human beheadings. Martin Sheen plays an American captain sent on a classified mission to assassinate the colonel. When Sheen arrives at the camp, he is asked if he believes the colonel’s methods are unsound. And Sheen replies, “I don’t see any method at all,


Sheridan: How much patience is needed … or acceptable … in Philly?


One of these days, the Philadelphia 76ers will win a game. And once of these years, Sam Hinkie will find a better-that-decent player who is not 6-foot-10 or taller. And in the meantime, folks in Philadelphia will suffer. Our message to them comes in the form of an acronym — H-O-P-E. It stands for “hang on, pain ends.” Monday night’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks in another winnable game that got away moved the Sixers to 0-11 on the season and 0-21 since


Sprung: Pelicans’ Ish Smith Making Most of Unexpected Opportunity


On Saturday, Oct. 24, three days before the start of the NBA regular season, 27-year-old guard Ish Smith was finishing up the Washington Wizards’ final preseason practice as he and his teammates prepared for Wednesday’s season opener in Orlando. Then, like he had five times before in his career, Smith got cut. Smith was one of five players on non-guaranteed contracts waived by Washington that day, an all-too-familiar occurrence for a player who spent his previous five seasons on eight different NBA


Bernucca: Rockets Have Been Sputtering Since Liftoff


Talk is cheap. Just ask the slumping Houston Rockets, whose locker room is starting to resemble a presidential candidates’ debate. “We’ve been talking,” slumping superstar James Harden said. “We’ve been doing too much talking.” “We’ve had a lot of heart-to-hearts,” coach Kevin McHale said. “As a matter of fact, we talk too much. Talking doesn’t win basketball games.” Last season, the Rockets surprised more than a few folks by crashing the Western Conference finals, a spot thought to be reserved for the San


Bernucca: Van Gundy Working His Magic In Detroit

Andre Drummond

As a personnel man, Stan Van Gundy has broken a lot of the so-called contemporary rules. Since being lured back to the NBA by Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores in May 2014, Van Gundy has not exactly followed the usual NBA blueprint in rebuilding the once-proud franchise, which has not been to the playoffs in six years. Van Gundy has flat-out waived four veterans with fully guaranteed contracts, accumulating nearly $32 million in dead money to be paid over the next five


Bernucca: Extensions Prove That Everybody Will Get Paid


If you take a quick look at the contract extensions given to the 2012 NBA draft class, nothing seems extraordinary. Eight eligible players received extensions. While collusion conspiracy theorists might point out that it’s two less than the 2011 class, it also is one more than the 2010 class and the same number as the 2009 class. As in previous seasons, the top pick got a five-year max deal and at least one other lottery pick also received a max deal of