Miami vs Philadelphia

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Welcome all, thank you for joining us at Inside the ACC for my favorite time of the year, the NBA’s silly season. Two months of pure joy. Something to look forward to every day and this weekend typifies the excitement with eight games spread out over two days. I will be examining the NBA playoffs through the ACC players on each playoff roster. We will post these in order throughout day one and day two of the playoffs. Please check back in periodically throughout and check out all 8 of them. Comment and tell me all the reasons I am wrong.

Teams split season series 2-2, with all but one being decided by under six points.

To be brutally honest, while I appreciate the pragmatism that accompanies The Process, I’m kind of sad that it is working out in the end. If only because too many other teams have begun to incorporate various tenets of the process into their own rebuilding schemes. Tanking is a very real problem right now. There is no need to begin mailing games in at mid-season if this isn’t the year for your team. Even more amazing, having read a Deadspin article on the Dallas finale vs Phoenix, I’m at a disconnect with why fans would continue to pay for seats for this. There needs to be some incentive for clubs to put their best on the floor and try to win games every night. Maybe go old school minor league baseball and dividing the season into halves somehow might be. The Carolina League had it right all along!

Embiid is hurt with a broken face. Dario Saric also lost some teeth and had a DNP-Lips designation in the last box score. So…many…jokes….there…none of them appropriate. This Sixers team doesn’t know any other way, they play hard every game, are coached well every game. They could easily come out of the East, and seal the deal on any LeBron proceedings. He will be a Sixer, there is no compelling reason not to join them.

JJ Redick (Duke) has recreated himself as a mentor in Philadelphia and gathered more respect from his colleagues year over year after arriving in Orlando as mostly a bust. He is a UFA this offseason, and the Sixers would be wise to keep him, but not at his current $23M price tag. I’m not sure that a player on the wrong side of 30 (he is 33) is in position to make demands for an increase, and the Sixers will be looking to shed as much salary as possible to fete Lebron with.

Redick has picked up a lot of the offense Embiid took with him to the DL, scoring 20 regularly with some nice outbursts in the last two weeks, scoring 25+ three times, while trying to integrate the extremely late Markelle Fultz into the lineup. He almost registered for the 50/40/90 club, falling just short on his FG%. His three-pointers dominated those attempts, and where I’m from, 42% three is tantamount to 63% from two. Better than the goliaths Wilt and Shaq could put up dunking on fools.

If he happens to depart, it may be due in part to management feeling that Justin Anderson (Virginia) is a viable replacement. He scored 25 in a meaningless season finale but had some injury concerns dating back to last year. His D is better than JJ’s, but his 3 was still only 33%, or a little lower than you’d want a starter to produce. JJ would be the best fit for this team moving forward, and maybe the Sixers will stray over the cap to retain him. Just so long as they avoid the repeater tax, and they should because Lebron will likely move on like a museum exhibit moving from city to city.

It’s the first playoff game since the Iverson era, and the building will be lit. A whole generation of kids became adolescents waiting for a sign of life. Can they handle the pressure, the Heat? If Embiid returns soon, the team can win going away. If not, the Heat can hang around. It’s that simple.

Miami loves itself some ACC and has four players: Wayne Ellington (UNC), James Johnson (Wake Forest), Dion Waiters (Syracuse), Justise Winslow (Duke). Waiters are out after ankle surgery.

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