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Consecutive wins for Saints, who host Eagles on Sunday

Eric Fisher’s weekly column about a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions on the “non-benching” of Nerlens Noel, Doug Pederson’s misguided explanations and what type of reception Lane Johnson may receive Thursday.

Eric Fisher’s weekly column about a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions on the Eagles’ early-season success, the anticipation for the Sixers’ season and Penn State’s upcoming challenge.

The Greek God of Wrestling previews WWE’s TLC (Tables, Ladders and Chairs) event. Achilles Heel also provides a list of the numerous championships that changed hands during the past week, tells you what to expect during Ring of Honor’s television tapings at 2300 Arena, and provides bad news about Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka.

Archive for May, 2018

Seems like old times

Posted by Eric Fisher On May - 30 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

The NBA Finals features a familiar matchup. A very familiar matchup. An extremely  familiar matchup.

The Warriors and Cavaliers are meeting in the NBA Finals for the fourth straight season. This is the only time teams have met in the finals four years in a row. The Warriors have a 2-1 edge.

Neither team is playing at its best. In fact, both teams needed seven games to get through the conference finals. LeBron James, in the finals for the eighth straight season, would like to cement his reputation with another championship. The Warriors, seeking a third championship in four years, would like to add to their legacy.

Let’s take a look at the NBA Finals.

CAVALIERS VS. WARRIORS

How Cavaliers got here: Defeated Pacers in 7 games, swept the Raptors, and then outlasted the Celtics in 7 games

How Warriors got here: They beat the Spurs in 5 games, eliminated the Pelicans in 5 games, and then survived against the Rockets in 7 games.

Cavaliers: The Cavaliers have been the LeBron James show during the postseason. James is averaging 34.3 points, 9.2 rebounds and 8.8 assists during the playoffs. The only other Cavalier in double figures in scoring is center Kevin Love (13.9 points, 10 rebounds),  but Love missed the end of the Eastern Conference Finals with a concussion, and he remains in concussion protocol. Kyle Korver (9.8 points),  George Hill (9.7) and J.R. Smith (8.5) are also threats to score, and Jeff Green (8.3) was impressive as a replacement for Love in the lineup, but the Cavaliers are incredibly dependent on James. The question is whether they can continue to succeed while being so dependent on James. Another question is how the Cavaliers are going to defend the versatile Warriors.

Warriors: With Stephen Curry (24.8 points per game in the playoffs) hobbled for part of the playoffs by a sprained MCL, Kevin Durant (29) has become the Warriors’ leading scorer. Klay Thompson (20.5) rounds out the Big Three, which makes the Warriors so difficult to defend. Center Draymond Green (11.1 points, 11.6 rebounds, 8.1 assists) provides versatility and attitude, and he could also see extensive time guard LeBron James if Andre Iguodala (bone bruise) remains sidelined beyond Game 1 of the final. Kevon Looney has also been a valuable defender. Guard Shaun Livingston is a valuable player off the bench.

Analysis: James has incredible determination and pride. But he will need plenty of help to get past the Warriors and win another NBA Championship. But Curry, Durant and Curry form an amazing trio. It will be difficult for James to overcome the Warriors’ top trio. Warriors in 5

Fryin’ Bryan over burners

Posted by Eric Fisher On May - 30 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

Many media members and fans have expressed frustration, at times, at having to read between the lines when Bryan Colangelo discusses the 76ers.

Apparently, all anyone needed to get an honest opinion from the Sixers’ president of basketball operations was to go on Twitter.

According to Ben Detrick of The Ringer, Colangelo may have operated as many as five Twitter accounts without revealing his identity. Detrick asked the Sixers about two accounts on Tues., May 22. Within hours, according to Detrick, the other three Twitter accounts were changed to “private” within hours of his inquiry. That’s either an amazing coincidence or Colangelo, or someone he knows, operated those accounts.

The accounts’ histories included criticism of Sixers players, coaching decisions, and former general manager Sam Hinkie. There also appears to be information that would be known only by someone close to the team.

The Sixers released a statement saying they are investigating the allegations. “An online media outlet filed a story linking multiple social media accounts to 76ers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo. The allegations are serious and we have commenced an independent investigation into the matter,” the Sixers’ statement said. “We will report the results of that investigation as soon as it is concluded.”

Colangelo issued a statement of his own through the Sixers.

“Like many of my colleagues in sports, I have used social media as a means to keep up with the news,” the statement said. “While I have never posted anything whatsoever on social media, I have used the @Phila1234567 Twitter account referenced in this story to monitor our industry and other current events. This storyline is disturbing to me on many levels, as I am not familiar with any of the other accounts that have been brought to my attention, nor do I know who is behind them or what their motives may be in using them.”

Either someone is going to great lengths to frame Colangelo, including following his son’s high school coach and college basketball team on Twitter, or the Sixers have a major problem.

Some of the tweets were critical of Sixers center Joel Embiid. There were also tweets, which seemed to echo the Sixers’ company line, that were critical of Markelle Fultz. Obviously, it would be problematic for Colangelo to retain his current position if he criticized players on the team. The tweets also contained criticism of former Sixers Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel.

Having an executive tweet out criticism of his own players may cause free agents to become hesitant before signing with the Sixers. The biggest free-agent fish, of course, is LeBron James.

The timing of the story is also inconvenient because the NBA Draft is less than a month away. Would the Sixers let Colangelo make their draft picks with a cloud hanging over his head? Will Colangelo even make it to the NBA Draft as a Sixers executive?

Those are just some of the many unanswered questions surrounding this bizarre story.

Maurice Cheeks enters Hall of Fame