Hits by Phillies in 3 of their last 4 games

The Greek god of wrestling continues his Thanksgiving tradition of listing people and things for which wrestling fans should be thankful. (Yes, he includes himself on the list.) Achilles Heel also reviews an eventful Survivor Series (including the first WWE appearance by Sting!), highlights two wrestlers vastly underappreciated by WWE and tells you the new venue for Ring of Honor’s January event in Philadelphia.

As Sam Ficken celebrated the game-winning kick in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, he symbolized the perseverance and dedication necessary to overcome incredible odds, both for himself and for Penn State’s football program.

The Eagles are in first place in the NFC East midway through their season, but Gordon Glantz points out the statistics demonstrate that they need to reduce their turnovers — while creating more turnovers — and improve their red-zone efficiency in order to continue their success.

Archive for the ‘76ers’ Category

Time to end ‘Process’

Posted by Eric Fisher On May - 18 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Fisher column logo2The 76ers are on the clock.

No, not in the draft. The Celtics and Lakers select before the Sixers in next month’s NBA Draft.

The Sixers are on the clock in terms of being a competitive basketball team. Being competitive means winning basketball games.

Being competitive also means “The Process” is over. I hesitate to invoke the term “The Process” because it invariably leads to a debate with the zombies who worship Sam Hinkie and think he deserves a statue for making a trade that allowed the Sixers to switch picks with the Kings and move up two spots in this year’s draft.

The Sixers have the Lakers’ first-round pick next year and the Kings’ first-round pick in 2019, so, of course, the process of improving never truly ends. If the process isn’t over, though, the portion of the process in which the Sixers are prime contenders for the top draft pick should be over.

This is the fourth straight year in which the Sixers will have one of the top three draft choices. Although it’s good to have high draft choices, the only way the Sixers should be in this position again next year is if they make a huge jump in the draft lottery.

The wins should come close to matching the losses next season. There was a lot of excitement surrounding the Sixers this season, but they finished with a 28-54 record. That’s as many games as they won in the previous two seasons combined, but it’s still not a reason to celebrate.

Sixers fans have endured some awful basketball during the past four seasons. In those four seasons, including this year’s 28-win “achievement,” the Sixers only won eight more games than the Warriors won this season.

The rebuilding, or the process, or whatever you want to call it has gone on long enough. Promise and potential shouldn’t be enough next season. It’s time to start seeing results. Real results.

The Sixers need to be in contention for a playoff berth next season. That means they need to be in mathematical contention in late March or early April rather than in theoretical contention in January, as was the case this past season.

It doesn’t matter who is injured. The Sixers have been drafting high enough for long enough that they should approach .500. Their fortunes should not depend upon the health of one player (Joel Embiid).

Please don’t tell me to be patient. The Sixers used up a lifetime of patience as they tanked for three straight seasons. They asked for patience as Nerlens Noel sat out for a full season. They asked for patience as Embiid sat out for two seasons. They asked for patience last season as Ben Simmons, the top overall pick in last year’s NBA Draft, remained sidelined for the entire season.

I have as much tolerance for additional requests to be patient with the Sixers as I do for telemarketers calling during dinner to try to get me to switch electricity suppliers. If the Sixers’ first-round selection next month doesn’t play next season, a special prosecutor should be appointed to investigate the Sixers organization and its medical staff.

There aren’t any more acceptable excuses. The Sixers need to compete for a playoff berth next season. Although the Hinkiebots will never admit it, a failure to be in playoff contention next season would indicate that the “The Process” is a failure.

It shouldn’t take five years of rebuilding just to return to playoff contention. The Process, however, isn’t about merely making the playoffs. It’s supposed to be about winning a championship.

But you can’t win a championship if you can’t make the playoffs.

The Sixers need to at least make a serious run at the playoffs next season.

The clock is running out on “The Process.”

3rd pick might be charm

Posted by Eric Fisher On May - 16 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

There are no guarantees in the NBA Draft. There isn’t a guarantee that Markelle Fultz or Lonzo Ball, presumed to be the top two picks in the NBA Draft, will be better than the player the Sixers select with the third overall pick.

The Sixers will select third, barring a trade, because of the outcome of Tuesday night’s NBA Draft lottery. The Sixers dropped to fifth, but exercised their right to switch first-round picks with the Kings, who jumped up from eighth to third in the lottery. You can thank exiled former Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie for that swap of picks.

But the Sixers’ hopes of securing two picks among the top six did not come to fruition. The Lakers moved up one spot to No. 2, behind the Celtics, who have the Nets’ first pick. If the Lakers had dropped below No. 3, their draft pick would have been conveyed to the Sixers. Instead, it was the Suns who dropped out of the top three, moving back from No. 2 to No. 4.

So three of the NBA’s storied franchises will have the top three picks in the draft for the second straight year. Last year, of course, the Sixers  selected Ben Simmons first overall. The Lakers selected Brandon Ingram second, and the Celtics took Jaylen Brown third. This year the order is reversed, with the Celtics, who earned the top seed in the Eastern Conference and have advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals, having the first overall pick.

The Sixers will have the No. 3 selection for the third time in four years. In 2014 they selected Joel Embiid, who represented the Sixers at Tuesday’s draft lottery. In 2015 they selected Jahlil Okafor.

Whom will they select this year at No. 3? Options include Kansas swingman Josh Jackson, Duke small forward Jayson Tatum and Kentucky guards Malik Monk and De’Aaron Fox.

There is also the possibility that the guard-heavy Celtics select Tatum, leaving the Sixers with either Ball or Fultz, depending on which player the Lakers select. There is also the possibility that the Celtics would trade the No. 1 pick and move back a few slots if they were certain they could get Tatum there.

The Sixers need a shooter, and there are plenty of shooters available in this year’s draft. They didn’t get one of their top scenarios — the first and fourth picks or two of the top six, but there’s no reasons the Sixers shouldn’t emerge from this year’s draft with a talented player who can be a large part of their future.

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1 year ago: NBA Draft lottery