Sixers Cheering on Delaware Blue Coats: ‘Very Much in Tune’

Danny Green

Getty Sixers veteran Danny Green has been a unifying presence for Philadelphia and loves rooting on his teammates.

The Delaware Blue Coats are seeking to earn their first championship in the Orlando bubble. The G-League affiliate for the Philadelphia 76ers will take on the Lakeland Magic today in the finals at 4:30 p.m. (ESPN2).

It’s been the weirdest season on record, one filled with strict COVID-19 protocols and some G-League teams opting out. But the Blue Coats persevered through the pandemic and won three out of four games to close out the regular season before ripping off two straight playoff wins. Their average margin of victory in those two post-season wins was 24 points.

“There have been so many practices and games since we got here,” Blue Coats coach Connor Johnson said, via the News Journal. “So having a chance at the championship is the icing on the cake.”

The Blue Coats (10-5) last played the Magic (9-6) on Feb. 26 in a crushing 115-107 loss. This would normally be considered a home game for Lakeland but since every team has been quarantined in the Orlando bubble, it shouldn’t really matter too much. Go get it.

Sixers Players, Coaches Rooting Blue Coats On

The Sixers (24-12) will return to the floor on Thursday night against the Chicago Bulls (16-18) at 8 p.m. at United Center. Rest assured, players and coaches will have an eye on the TV set prior to shootaround as they cheer on the Blue Coats.

While the game doesn’t impact them directly, it’s a small glimpse into their future. Rising stars Paul Reed and Isaiah Joe have been putting on a show down there and could be called back up to the Sixers real soon.

“We’re watching. We’re excited about it. We love seeing our guys — Isaiah, Paul Reed, obviously the other guys, too,” Sixers forward Danny Green said. “It’s a good opportunity to win one. They went into the bubble for a good reason to grow, learn, and also achieve something.”

Green, a former second-round pick, hasn’t had too much experience in the G-League considering he came highly-touted out of North Carolina. Yet he did log 19 games for the Reno Bighorns (now defunct) in the 2010-11 season before getting called up to the San Antonio Spurs.

“We’re excited and we know what it could mean for them and for us,” Green said. “But, yeah, we keep very much in tune with what is going on down there.”

Meanwhile, Sixers assistant head coach Dave Joerger had a slightly different take on the situation. He made his bones in the G-League — formerly called the NBA Developmental League — and guided the Dakota Wizards to the 2007 championship. His squad posted a league-best 33-17 record that year.

“I couldn’t be more proud as a Sixer but also as someone who spent 10 years in the minor leagues,” Joerger said of the Blue Coats. “And to have that coaching experience, assistant and head-coaching experience … To be in those playoffs, and certainly for championships, at any level is very special. So I think for those guys to get those opportunities is fantastic for them, for their team and then also for our organization.”

Sixers Eyeing Nuggets Shooter Will Barton?

According to Bleacher Report’s Jason Dumas, the Sixers have been showing interest in Will Barton of the Denver Nuggets. The 6-foot-6 wing player is averaging 11.6 points in 29.9 minutes per game this season while shooting 38.8% from deep. Barton was the 40th overall pick in the 2012 draft.

And Barton isn’t the only player being linked to the Sixers. He joins a growing list of potential trade deadline additions, including P.J. Tucker, George Hill, and Delon Wright. There is a belief around the league that Daryl Morey isn’t “content” with the current roster and wants to add “firepower” to compete with the Brooklyn Nets. Stay tuned.

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