Imagine being Joel Embiid. Ripped, rich, famous, and with quasi-capable knees. Smokeshow IG model girlfriend. An increasingly public penchant for Chick-fil-A and burgers. And just straight killing off the Nets with your team up 3-1:
Joel, is the series over?
Poor Jared Dudley. Like an overgrown turtle, just plodding around sticking his neck out, only to have it kicked by the proverbial foot of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, who is taking two wins, Shake Shack and DAT ASS from Brooklyn to Philly with him. Sixers by 40.
The Nets are on the brink of elimination.
After a dominating Game 3 win win Ben Simmons crushing, Game 4 was a much different story. To start, it was chippier by a long shot. First off, there was a scrum on one end of the court that saw Jared Dudley and Jimmy Butler both ejected.
But the drama on the court heightened late in the game. After Joe Harris gave the Nets the lead on a lay-up, Mike Scott won the game on a corner 3 for a 112-108 Game 4 victory.
— NBA (@NBA) April 20, 2019
But his IG post after the game should be the team’s motto. Continue Reading
Sports Betting Updates
Dropping the snake emoji on Twitter would have been enough for Lane Johnson to beat Donovan McNabb at the point of attack, but Johnson then jumped on 94WIP with Paul Jolovitz last night to fully pancake the Eagles former franchise quarterback. Johnson, if you haven’t heard, is upset over what he perceives to be McNabb’s unnecessary criticism of Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, which includes this assessment:
I think personally if he can’t get out of the second round in the next two, maybe three years. Really two years to be honest with you, if they can’t get out of the second round, they should look to possibly draft another quarterback because you just don’t know about his durability.
You can read Johnson’s extended response here, but this is the gist, courtesy of WIP’s Eliot Shorr Parks:
This is what I meant — every training camp we have all of these ex-players come and shake our hands, wish us good luck. Then, they just go out and just talk hate. I feel there is a lot of envy, jealously, and I see a lot of fakery. It isn’t just me — a lot of other teammates see it too. You would think the best quarterback in franchise history would try to build up a young man that looks up to him instead of always criticizing him, critiquing him and wishing he would fail so he could be the missing link and feel better himself.
Typically, I’d brush a story like this aside. After all, McNabb isn’t employed by the Eagles and he’s not required to wave pom-poms for his former team. Plus, why should Lane Johnson, or anyone, really, care about what McNabb has to say at this point?
This isn’t the first time an obviously bitter McNabb has made a comment that has a “Hey, everyone. I used to matter!” vibe about it, and this does feel driven by what seems like some periodic need of his to be part of the Philly sports news cycle and have people pay attention to him, as we can see by his response to Johnson’s radio spot:
Deal with it. 😂😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/1jqVAggbHz
— Donovan McNabb (@donovanjmcnabb) April 22, 2019
An awkward misfire? So on-brand.
Easter Sunday. A time to reflect, spend time with loved ones, and if you’re Eagles left tackle Lane Johnson, jump on Twitter to bodybag your team’s former franchise quarterback. What is the deal with Donovan McNabb and Easter Sunday, by the way?
@donovanjmcnabb 🐍 🐍 🐍 🐍 🐍 🐍…and you wonder why nobody respects you when you come back!!!!
— Lane Johnson (@LaneJohnson65) April 22, 2019
Damn, Lane from the top rope! There may be no worse Twitter insult between athletes than the snake emoji. He didn’t even just go ambiguous snake emoji, he doubled down with the comment, too. Nobody respects you when you come back. Exclamation point. Multiple exclamation points.
Maybe there is more to this story, but Johnson is presumably upset with McNabb over recent comments the former quarterback turned bad driver/football analyst made to Zach Gelb of CBS Sports Radio regarding Carson Wentz:
If he can’t get out of the second round they should look to possibly draft another quarterback because you just don’t know about his durability. Staying healthy is very key in this league.
Essentially, McNabb believes the Eagles should look elsewhere at quarterback if Wentz can’t make a deep playoff run over the next two seasons.
The Phillies dropped three of four games to the Rockies this weekend at Coors Field. Let’s get mad. REALLY MAD.
Ready? Here it goes:
It doesn’t matter the Phillies were a strike away from a win on Friday night that would’ve helped secure a series split and a winning week. It doesn’t matter that Odubel Herrera, Scott Kingery, and Jean Segura are each currently on the injured list. This is April, dammit, and their effort this weekend was a total embarrassment. When they lose the division by a game…
Yeah, sorry. I tried. Can’t do it.
I can’t get mad about what I watched this weekend. Blackmon’s Friday night walk-off was a killer, for sure. It’s also true the offense, or what’s currently left of it, was lackluster in all three losses, but if you came for a condemnation, you’re out of luck. The closest thing I can muster right now is some mild disappointment in Cesar Hernandez, who was next-level bad this afternoon.
How bad? Try 0 for 5 at the plate, with six runners left on base and four runners left in scoring position. He also made the game’s last out. On a 3-2 pitch. As the tying run. With Bryce Harper on deck:
Have a day, babe! Have. A. Day.
But Hernandez’s biggest blunder came during the top of the fourth inning. With his team trailing 1-0, he jogged off the field despite being ruled safe at second base by umpire Joe West on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Rhys Hoskins:
As you can see, the play wasn’t even close, with West also clearly signaling safe right in front of Hernandez, but his attention was seemingly elsewhere as he appeared to be the last person in the stadium to realize what was going on. To be fair, West wasn’t exactly Leslie Nielsen in Naked Gun out there, but it’s still a total boner of a play, one that Gabe Kapler said after the game “can’t happen.”
Making matters worse for Hernandez, Maikel Franco followed with a double, because of course Maikel Franco followed with a double, one that would have tied the game and set up the Phillies to potentially take the lead. As it turns out, that was as close as they would get.
It was a bad play in an awful game by Hernandez, but given the team’s current injury situation, there isn’t much the Phillies can do about it right now. With Segura still at least a week away and Kingery also on the shelf with what looks like a multi-week injury, he’s not coming out of the lineup. So if you want to get mad about Hernandez, that’s fine, I get it, but he’s still a solid player and the team’s best current option.
As for the bigger picture, the first place Phillies head to Citi Field for a three-game set against the Mets with a 12-9 record. Admittedly, this team has shown a proclivity to lose close games in excruciating fashion in the early going, thanks to a stomach-turning cocktail of bad luck, bad defense late in games, and some inconsistent relief pitching, but there’s no reason to get mad over what we’re seeing right now. At least not yet.
The Sixers didn’t put in their best performance on Saturday afternoon.
They lost the turnover battle at a -6 margin. They allowed 13 offensive rebounds while only grabbing 12 themselves. They managed two fewer shots than Brooklyn while hitting just 76% of their free throws and eight of 26 three-pointers. Brett Brown’s team only mustered nine fast break points while finishing the game short-handed after Jimmy Butler’s ejection.
But they hung in there, showed some resilience on the road, and simply made more plays down the stretch, more than a young Nets team that displayed their nascent playoff experience with some inexplicably brutal shot selection and a number of crippling turnovers. The Sixers went on a 16 to 7 run that began at the 4:22 mark in the fourth quarter and took them to the final buzzer.
It was the first truly close game of this series, and Philly was simply better in clutch time scenarios minus their best fourth quarter option in Butler, who was sent to the locker room after what I thought was a total nothing-burger of an altercation. I’d call it a pseudo-melee or faux-donnybrook. Twice the Sixers pulled to within three points and just could not grab the lead until the third effort, as those scenarios played out in this fashion:
- First time: They missed two shots before Boban was whistled for an offensive foul. Brooklyn pushed the lead back to eight.
- Second time: JJ Redick missed an open three and D’Angelo Russell hit one on the other end in a back-breaking six-point swing. At that point, the Sixers were 6-23 from deep (26%).
- Third time: Offensive foul on Joe Harris, Redick misses another three, Sixers get a defensive stop, Embiid dunk, then Brooklyn turnover and Embiid bucket.
Third time was the charm, that six-play stretch of possessions where they got a stop that was book-ended by Brooklyn turnovers. They kept beating down the door and finally went ahead at the 2:54 mark and made more plays en route to a 3-1 series lead.
Joel Embiid didn’t play for the Sixers in Game 3 and is listed as doubtful once again for Game 4, meaning the Nets will catch a break as they attempt to even the series at two games apiece. The big man’s absence didn’t derail the Sixers on Thursday night during a comfortable 131-115 win. Philadelphia scored at least 30 points in all four quarters, giving itself an opportunity to take a commanding series lead this afternoon. Of course, when it comes to sports, we all know that if something happens once, it almost always happens again. That’s why I have concluded, with total conviction, the Sixers are simply a better team without Embiid and are a Game 4 lock.
That’s not how things work. At all. If Embiid does sit out in this one, the Sixers will need to find a way to again overcome the absence of their best player in order to stave off a desperate Nets team on the road, and that’s no small task.
Can they get it done? Let’s get into it.
Here are the LIVE Sixers-Nets odds for Game 4, courtesy of our news odds tool: Continue Reading
Making it better? Image via Twitter.
Video Assistant Referee is coming to the Premier League in 2019-2020. At one level, video review was unavoidable. It came to the National Football League, which couldn’t get a sufficient number of calls right despite having seven people watching the play at all times. World football only employs four people for every match, and two of them spend the vast majority of the match assessing whether a player is offside. The referee in a world football match is usually overmatched, especially given both the speed of the play and the size of the players.
So it’s only right that the primary match official, the referee, be given some help when it is needed. But just as the NFL proved in the NFC Conference Championship game, having video at your disposal doesn’t guarantee that the right call is going to be made.
Manchester City can tell you a little about that. City was knocked out of the Champions League tournament in the quarterfinal by Tottenham Hotspur on a goal that, depending on who you talk to, was either a good goal or never should have counted. And there was VAR in the Champions League this year, and they used it…and still, no one is quite sure.
And guess who City plays in league action this week? Spurs, naturally. We will pick a winner in that one and two other standout Premier League matchups after the jump.