Career goals for Flyers captain Claude Giroux

Are you an optimist or a pessimist? Find out by taking the Philly fans quiz.

Other than their top line, the Flyers aren’t getting enough contributions on offense from their forwards. Eric Fisher also revisits the Flyers Hall of Fame ceremony for Eric Lindros (pictured) and John LeClair, cites problems with the penalty killing and examines the Flyers’ upcoming road-heavy schedule.

The Greek God of Wrestling has a more favorable opinion of Battleground than most of the critics. Achilles Heel also reveals the announced matches for SummerSlam, expresses sympathy for Randy Orton and concern for Global Force Wrestling.

Archive for the ‘76ers’ Category

Sixers Notebook: Why make a trade?

Posted by Eric Fisher On February - 6 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

The 76ers are reportedly in the mix for several players as they try to improve through trades before Thursday’s trade deadline (3 p.m.).

The names are familiar. Clippers guard Lou Williams started his career with the Sixers. Grizzlies guard Tyreke Evans played high school basketball here.

But the question that needs to be asked is what is the Sixers’ goal this season. Do they think they could be contenders if they add a guard who can score? Or is the goal simply to make the playoffs? The answer affects what the Sixers should do.

The Sixers enter Tuesday night’s game against the Wizards with a .500 record (25-25). They are tied for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference with the Pistons (26-26), who acquired forward Blake Griffin from the Lakers and have won four straight games.

Williams and Evans should improve the Sixers’ chances of making the playoffs, but they both will become free agents after this season. It might be embarrassing to the organization to miss the playoffs, but would making the playoffs be worth trading for a “rental” player?

On the other hand, if the Sixers believe that adding either Williams or Evans could make them a contender for the Eastern Conference crown – let’s not get carried away by saying championship contender – it would certainly be worth making a trade for one of them.

The decision on whether to make a trade also depends on what the Sixers would have to give up. The Grizzlies reportedly want a first-round pick for Evans. Is it worth a first-round pick to improve the team’s chances of making the playoffs?

Although Evans, 28, is having a terrific season (19.5 points per game), he’s not a great shooter. He likes to drive with the basketball, which makes him a little too similar to Ben Simmons. Williams, a streaky shooter, seems like a better fit for the Sixers. But how much would the Sixers be willing to give up to have Williams for the final 30 games of the season? Would they trade center/forward Richaun Holmes or former first-round pick Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot.

The answer depends on what the Sixers think they’re capable of achieving this season. Or at least it should depend on what the Sixers think they’re capable of achieving.


BACK TO BACK: Joel Embiid played in back-to-back games last weekend for the first time in his career. After helping the Sixers defeat the Heat, 103-97, on Friday with 17 points and 11 rebounds, Embiid scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds against the Pacers on Saturday in the second half of back-to-back games, but the Sixers lost to the Pacers, 100-92.

Now that Joel Embiid has played in consecutive games for the first time in his career, the question is how many times can he do it. The Sixers host the Pelicans and Clippers on Friday and Saturday, respectively. After the All-Star break, the Sixers have a pair of back-to-back games within their first six games.


EMBIID FILE: In addition to playing in back-to-back games, Joel Embiid attended the Super Bowl (of course) and was added to the skill competition during All-Star weekend.


ROLLER COASTER: After winning five out of six games, the Sixers have lost four of their past five. The Sixers seem to go through streaks like this, which is one consequence of being a young team.


SHAKING OFF RUST: JJ Redick’s shooting hasn’t been up to par the last two games. After returning from a leg injury to score 20 points – making 4 of 10 shots, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range – during a loss to the Nets, Redick made just 6 of 23 shots from the field, including 1 of 10 from 3-point range, in his next two games, avoiding a shutout from the field during a loss to the Pacers with a 3-pointer late in the game.


SOMETHING TO PROVE: Not being selected for the All-Star Game, not even as a replacement for injured players, seems to have lit a spark under rookie guard Ben Simmons. Until a 10-point outing against the Pacers on Saturday, Simmons had scored at least 16 points in his previous six games.


NO SHOT: How does Robert Covington only take three shots in 32 minutes, as he did during last week’s loss to the Nets? But Covington made two of three shots, the only time in the past six games that Covington has made more than half of his shots. Maybe that’s why he’s only taking 3 shots.


LOOKAHEAD: The Sixers have five straight home games to take them to the All-Star break. After Tuesday’s game (8 p.m.) against the Wizards, the Sixers host the Pelicans and Clippers on Friday (7 p.m.) and Saturday (7 p.m.), respectively. They will host the Knicks on Monday (7 p.m.) before hosting the Heat on Wednesday (7 p.m.) in their final game before the All-Star Game.

Sixers Notebook: Mid-term grades

Posted by Eric Fisher On January - 22 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

It’s important to remember that the 76ers are still learning. They are a relatively young team, which is one reason they’ve experienced their share of ups and downs during the first half of the season.

Barely past the midpoint of the season, it’s time to assess the Sixers (22-20), who are in the seventh playoff position in the Eastern Conference. Yes, it’s time for mid-term grades. They have many years ahead of them to improve, but these grades provide a snap shot of where the Sixers are right now. (All statistics through Sunday’s games.)

Joel Embiid: A Embiid is averaging 24 points, 10.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists. He was named an All-Star Game starter and has played in 33 games, which exceeds the 31 he played last season. Barring another injury, Embiid seems destined to join the NBA’s elite.

JJ Redick: A- You couldn’t have expected much more from Redick than the 17.3 points he’s averaging. Redick, shooting 40.5 percent from 3-point range and 94.6 percent from the free-throw line, also provides veteran leadership for this young team.

Ben Simmons: B+ In his first year of NBA action, Simmons is averaging 16.6 points, 8 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game. As the starting point guard, however, Simmons has to do a better job of controlling the tempo and not turning the ball over when the Sixers have a big lead. Controlling the game may come along with experience, but youth isn’t an excuse for shooting 55.6 percent from the free throw line.

T.J. McConnell: B He fills his role wonderfully, providing a little offense (7.8 points) off the bench and ranking second on the team in assists (4.8). It seems as if McConnell, who is shooting 43.2 percent from 3-point range, provides the Sixers with whatever they need on any given night.

Dario Saric (left): B After an adjustment period earlier in the season, Saric is averaging 13.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists. It seems as if he found his footing while Embiid was sidelined with a back injury. Saric took a leading role during Embiid’s absence, and the confidence seems to have stuck with him after Embiid returned.

Robert Covington: B Covington is the opposite of Saric. He started the season on fire, but has tailed off. Covington averages 13.4 points per game, but his shooting has tailed off. He hasn’t seemed comfortable since returning from a back injury. At times, Covington even seems reluctant to shoot, which isn’t his style.

Jerryd Bayless: B- The veteran guard is averaging 8.3 points and trying to provide a veteran presence.

Richaun Holmes: C+ Holmes can provide the Sixers with some advantageous matchups, but 6.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game isn’t enough to raise Holmes’ grade to a “B.”

Timothe Luawawu-Cabarrot: C+ Averaging 6.1 points during the first half of the season doesn’t enable TLC to be rankied much higher than hthi..

Amir Johnson: C The Sixers are only getting 4.9 points and 4.8 rebounds from their “veteran preseance” on the front line.”

Trevor Booker: C Averaging a little more than half of what he averaged before being acquired from the Nets in the Jahlil Okafor trade. Booker is a solid player.

Markelle Fultz: Incomplete His shoulder injury, although Fultz remains sidelined after his shoulder reportedly is better, prevents Fultz from receiving an “F.” With both Redick and Bayless sidelined, Fultz’s shot still isn’t good enough for him to return the lineup. That’s a troubling development.

Justin Anderson, Forkan Korkmaz and James Taylor: Incomplete We haven’t seen enough from any of these players to provide a grade.


Brett Brown: B- Brown continues to keep a positive atmosphere around the team, but the coach must take some of the responsibility when a team frequently blows double-digit leads.


Bryan Colangelo: C+ Colangelo deserves credit for signing JJ Redick. However, he traded up in the draft to select Markelle Fultz with the first overall pick, sending a first-round pick to the Celtics to get them to swap pick. The Celtics were able to draft forward Jayson Tatum, the player they wanted all along, with the third overall pick. Colangelo’s grade is also lowered for failing to trade Jahlil Okafor least winter and spring, when he at least had a little value..


STAR POWER: Joel Embiid was selected as a starter for the NBA All-Star Game. That means he gets placed in a pool with the other “starters,” and then the captains take turns choosing players for their respective sides.


BRAGGING RIGHTS: Perhaps Joel Embiid is beginning to take my advice regarding declaring himself a warrior or the best defensive player of the league. Embiid has put aside the personal bragging … in order to declare that the Sixers are the best defensive team in the NBA. Once again, I’d prefer if the accolades don’t come from Embiid himself.


MEASURING UP: In my previous Sixers Notebook, I suggested that the Atlantic Division-leading Celtics, the second-place Raptors and the Bucks would serve as good measuring sticks for the Sixers. Considering that the Sixers won all three games, the answer must be that they had a terrific week. The Sixers were 0-3 this season against both the Celtics and Raptors before beating both teams last week.


BUCKS COACH STOPS HERE: The 22-point loss to the Sixers on Saturday was apparently the final straw for Bucks head coach Jason Kidd, who was fired on Monday.


BIG LOSS: The Sixers didn’t lose a game last week, but they suffered a major loss when it was discovered that shooting guard JJ Redick has a small crack in the fibular head of his left leg, an injury that is expected to keep him sidelined at least 10-14 days. To make matters worse, Jerryd Bayless is experiencing soreness in the wrist he had repaired last year. The Sixers sure could use Fultz these days to help out.


TOUGH SCHEDULE: After visiting Memphis tonight (Monday) and then hosting the Bulls on Wednesday (7 p.m.), the Sixers go on the road for three games in four nights. Even worse, the road games are in San Antonio (Friday), Oklahoma City (Sunday) and Milwaukee (Monday).

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Chris Long, Lane Johnson lead E-A-G-L-E-S chant