Sixers Win on Bryan Colangelo is a Lying Snake Night

By Sean Kennedy (@PhillyFastBreak)

Philadelphia 117, Miami 109 – Box Score

Prior to Saturday night’s home game against Miami, Derek Bodner broke the story that Joel Embiid has a low-grade tear in the meniscus of his left knee. Apparently, the Sixers discovered the tear during a MRI after the Portland game, but the team allowed Embiid to talk them into playing in the nationally-televised Houston game. Embiid’s knee swelled up after that game and he has been out every game since, perpetually day-to-day with what the team called only a bone bruise.

Sam Hinkie was phased out in part due to his reluctance to open up and discuss things with the media and public-at-large. Necessary or not, Bryan Colangelo was supposed to usher in a new era of transparency. Now, we discover that for weeks, Colangelo has been lying to the public about the extent of Embiid’s injury, even conducting a radio interview the day before this news broke and making no mention of the meniscus tear.

My working theory (purely speculation) is that management felt pressure to play Embiid against the Rockets and make up for some previous poor showings on the national stage. After his participation caused swelling, they wanted to avoid any backlash for letting him play, and hoped he could return to the court without ever having to disclose the information regarding the tear. Of course, when your position as general manager is sold on the foundation of a better working relationship with the public, don’t lie to them for weeks. It really shouldn’t be this hard.

Meanwhile, the Sixers tried to take fans minds off things by going out and breaking Miami’s 13-game winning streak. It was a strong team effort from up and down the roster. Nerlens Noel, traded for by Hinkie as part of a draft night with New Orleans, started at center and went off for 19 points and 4 steals. He also held Hassan Whiteside to just 12 points after the Heat big man had gone off for 30 against the Sixers last week. Noel looked more energetic than the opposing center throughout the evening.

Also dropping 19 points was Robert Covington, signed out of the D-league by Sam Hinkie and still on an absolute bargain of a contract. Rock hit his first 4 threes (finishing 5-6) and added a team-high 7 rebounds, 4 steals, and 2 blocks. This sequence where he both blocked and stole the ball on the possession really highlighted how disruptive Covington is on the defensive end.

The third and final member of the 19 points club was Dario Saric, who Sam Hinkie swindled the Orlando Magic for on draft night (in addition to getting the Sixers own 1st-rounder back) in exchange for Elfrid Payton and his broken jump shot. Saric played a terrific all-around game with 6 boards, 4 assists, 2 steals, and a block, flashing his skills as a secondary playmaker and combining with Sergio Rodriguez on this display of sweet international passing.

Finally, with the Heat making a late charge to cut the Sixers lead to 5 with under a minute left, it was the closer, TJ McConnell (11 points, 10 assists, brought into training camp by Sam Hinkie as an undrafted free agent), who sealed the victory with this slick lob pass to Noel.

As if seeing hundreds of cats raised into the air wasn’t enough to let you salvage an enjoyable night, we also received word that the reason Jahlil Okafor did not play was because trade talks were heating up.

Bryan Colangelo, master of deflection. Hopefully, the lying is something we have to put up with in exchange for a lightly-protected first round pick.

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