Robert Covington is a go for Friday night.
The Sixers’ 3 and D wing was cleared to play after missing two games with a lower back injury suffered while diving into the Cleveland crowd on Saturday night.
“Feeling good,” Covington said. “The last few days I’ve done a lot of rehab and acupuncture stuff. My back today, it felt really great.
“I did a lot of movement, lot of stuff that opened up my back, so I felt really good.”
That wasn’t the only back injury to discuss after Thursday’s practice.
Joel Embiid was held out Sunday night with spasms, but played Tuesday and dropped 28 points in an overtime win.
“My back was a little tight, just gotta keep working on it,” Embiid added. “But it feels fine. A two-for-one.”
Thursday also happened to be Covington’s 27th birthday, and Embiid was asked what he got his teammate to mark the special occasion.
“Uhhh, nothing,” Embiid replied.
The Sixers will have everyone available for tomorrow night’s nationally televised game against the Thunder, save for Markelle Fultz and Justin Anderson, as the former rehabs his shoulder and the latter recovers from shin splints.
— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) December 14, 2017
It’s all fun and games, unless you’re trying to kick someone’s ass on the court.
That’s the explanation from Joel Embiid after he was asked about this Instagram exchange with Karl-Anthony Towns after practice on Thursday afternoon:
An NBA 2K18 update yet again leaked jerseys today, this time the fourth uniforms for all of the teams. Our buddy Conrad Burry quickly aggregated all of the screenshots before they were removed.
These are the real uniforms.
The jerseys are not white. Rather, they are more of a parchment color. I’ve seen better images, and they are downright incredible. For my money, the best of the lot, which is saying quite a bit seeing as though all three of the Sixers current uniforms, including the red uniform which they’ll debut tomorrow night against the Thunder, are already comprised of heated materials resembling a number of FLAMES.
The font is believed to be a custom font to match the printing on the Declaration of Independence. The Sixers will debut this uniform next Thursday against the Raptors as part of their first Spirt of 76 night, which comes with a special court and other similar flair.
I like these the best. Need it.
Joel Embiid just knows how to do it. Not just on the court, but on social media as well.
After dropping 28 points in an overtime win against Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night, the beloved big man took to Instagram with a modest post. KAT pounced with a comment and Embiid clapped back beautifully:
Never change, Joel.
Courtesy of John Clark via NFL Films, here’s Jay Ajayi portending Carson Wentz’s ACL tear:
On play Carson Wentz tore ACL, Jay Ajayi yelled out “He’s gotta stop doing that”
Carson let sideline know he got hurt, patted his left leg several times
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) December 14, 2017
I think every Eagles fan was saying the same thing after watching that play unfold.
Wentz had his ACL surgery yesterday morning.
If the Phillies want Manny Machado, it looks like they will need to go get him—and get him now.
Earlier in the week, some questioned why the team would trade some of its top prospects in a deal to acquire the 25-year-old superstar when they could keep their prospects by simply outbidding competitors a year from now. The fault in that logic is that they aren’t just competing against themselves. As it turns out, other teams are interested in a generational talent yet to reach his prime. Go figure.
It’s nice to see the Phillies are interested, but of course they are. Who wouldn’t be? It’s hard to get a read on how aggressive they plan to be. With the Ruben Amaro Jr. regime, this was a no-brainer. The conversations between Amaro and Orioles general manager Dan Duquette would have went something like this:
Amaro: We want Manny Machado.
Duquette: Give us everything.
With Matt Klentak in charge, who knows? We’ve seen him attempt (with some success) to acquire veteran talent with the hope of later flipping it for prospects. We’ve seen him exert patience in overseeing this rebuild. But the thing we don’t know about Klentak is the thing we never got to find out about Sam Hinkie—can he find ways to close deals that bring premium free agents into the fold and get a team into contention? How aggressive, how desperate will he be when he really wants something? What’s more, if a deal for Machado requires prospects like Scott Kingery, or Sixto Sanchez, should he do it?
I wouldn’t. Signing Machado would create serious buzz. The Phillies instantly become relevant by adding a player who has the potential to pop 35-40 homers a year and play consistent Gold Glove defense. It’s an enticing thought. Nobody wants the Phillies to make a splash, take the next step, and get back to the postseason more than I do, but parting with either of the two would be a tough pill to swallow—Sanchez, in particular. This isn’t Kyle Drabek—the kid has a chance to be a dominant starting pitcher at the Major League level—and soon. In two years, when the Phillies are theoretically in contention, would you rather have an infielder posting an .805 OPS (Machado’s career average), or a 22-year-old ace throwing in the triple-digits who’s under team control? Keep in mind that the team can add significant offensive pieces elsewhere. It’s hard to show restraint in this situation, but arms are harder to find than bats.
And who’s to say a deal involving Kingery and Sanchez would be enough to even get it done? Given the volume of teams in play that have reportedly made strong offers, it seems virtually impossible that either player would be left out of any potential deal. The White Sox, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, are reportedly willing to part ways with one of their top prospects in Michael Kopech or Lucas Giolito, both of which are two of the most coveted in the game. Other reports indicate the Cardinals have made a strong offer, and, unsurprisingly, the Yankees are involved.
The Phillies have done well to rebuild their system and use it to their advantage to swing the big dick when the deal is right—but if it involves Sanchez, then this isn’t that deal.
As you know by now, eSports are the future.
That’s according to frequent Crossing Broad commenter and loyal reader, “ESPORTS ARE THE FUTURE.”
Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment leads the Philadelphia charge on the gaming front and they’re at it again this morning, unveiling the “76ers Gaming Club” as the name of the sister team that will compete in the NBA 2k League that begins play in 2018. The Sixers are one of 17 NBA franchises that will participate in the inaugural campaign, which is structured a lot like an actual pro basketball season.
From the press release:
The first stage of player qualifying for the NBA 2K League will take place online from Jan. 1 to Jan. 31, 2018. Interested participants must win 50 games in NBA 2K18’s 5-on-5 Pro-Am mode on a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. Players who meet this requirement and have submitted an online application by Jan. 31, 2018, can be invited to the next round of tryouts in February. In the highly-anticipated NBA 2K League’s first-ever draft, teams will have the opportunity to select their own players who will live and train in-market during the season.
There you go. This is the opportunity to realize your dreams.
The branding and logo is consistent with the league design, which is red, blue, and rather straightforward. The Sixers incorporated Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell and shortened “gaming club” to “GC,” like the abbreviation attached to a soccer club.
A.C. Milan / U.C. Sampdoria / Fulham F.C. / SS Lazio / CSKA Moscow / etc
Sounds very Euro, yeah?
More from the release:
“We are excited to unveil 76ers GC’s new brand identity as we welcome another dynamic sports property to the Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment family,” said Chris Heck, Philadelphia 76ers President of Business Operations. “Working alongside the NBA 2K League, we developed a brand identity that pays homage to the revolutionary origins of this city, speaks to the new Philadelphia fan and exemplifies the edge of the esports audience.”
If you’re keeping track, HBSE now owns an NBA 2k League team, an Overwatch team, and eSports franchise “Team Dignitas.” That’s in addition to the Sixers, Devils, Prudential Center, Crystal Palace, and two minor league teams.
As for me, I’ve never played NBA 2k, but I did enjoy a lot of success with Detlef Schrempf in NBA Jam.
I promise I’m not trolling the graduates, students and inevitable supporters of such fine institutions as Temple, St. Joe’s, La Salle and Penn, because believe me, if I were going to do that, I would’ve posted about how Villanova became the number one team in the country in the midst of our mourning of Carson Wentz’s injury on Monday. But I didn’t, because truth be told, that news did little to ease the sting of an all-too-familiar feeling of being a Philly fan.
72 hours has passed now and Villanova just beat the ever living piss out of Temple, so let’s talk about their continuned dominance of all things basketball in and around the Philly area.
Tell me what these numbers represent:
No, those are not some interstellar code to unmars the genome of a speciel being (I made up two words in that sentence)– they are the scores of Villanova’s four games against Big 5 opponents this season. If you want to do math, that’s 348-250. Villanova has now won – chuckles – 22 straight Big 5 games. You can throw in a win against national runner-up Gonzaga in the middle of the provincial beatdown this year, and it all means that Villanova is 11-0 and, once again, the number one team in the country.
ESPN’s announcers, who don’t often get to see Nova due to their standing as FOX’s premier college basketball team which sees every single one of its games televised on national TV, were effusive in their praise. Specifically, the following quotes in between verbally fellating Jalen Brunson as he dominated his fallback school: Villanova has “ownership of [college] basketball in this city” and that there is “no better coach in the country [than Jay Wright].”
All things we knew by now, but it’s always good to be reminded of true greatness.