London’s calling. She wants Brett Brown fired.
Despite a very strong first quarter and-a-half, the Sixers fell to the Boston Celtics 114-103 at the O2 Arena. How strong was that start? They led by 22 points midway through the second quarter.
After looking at their losses from this season, this was the fifth time since the home loss to Golden State on November 18 that the team blew a lead of 15 or more points.
The games, per basketball-reference.com:
- November 18: vs. Golden State (led by 24, lost by 8)
- December 19: vs. Sacramento (led by 16, lost by 6)
- December 21: vs. Toronto (led by 22, lost by 5)
- December 28: at Portland (led by 18, lost by 4)
- January 11: vs. Boston [in London] (led by 22, lost by 11)
The team is 7-11 since the start of December, but they recently went on a four-game winning streak prior to Thursday’s loss. And the defeat should be a concern for Brett Brown. His failure to make adjustments in the half, when he was only leading by nine, makes no sense. Even if he did make adjustments, they were either bad adjustments or the team never executed them.
I think the calls to fire Brown are a little premature. I would give him until the end of this season and evaluate him and see where to go. The only possible candidate I would take over Brett Brown right now might be David Fizdale, who was let go by Memphis earlier in the season. He should be a candidate for a couple jobs come offseason.
The Sixers are off until Monday when they host the Toronto Raptors in a Martin Luther King Day matinee. Until then, go enjoy some Ben Simmons-inspired beer. Maybe a game in Australia could be in the mix in the future?
Check out our live Crossing Broadcast at Carlino’s from last night.
Speaking of London, the Eagles will play the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in mid-October.
Back across the pond on American soil, the Eagles released their final injury report for Saturday’s playoff game against the Atlanta Falcons. Middle linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and cornerback Sidney Jones are both questionable with hamstring injuries. Ellerbe said he expects to play.
Maybe the bye week did help the Eagles:
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) January 11, 2018
Jay Ajayi said he compares his “Jay Train” persona to that of Brian Dawkins and his legendary “Weapon X” ego:
“It just kind of became my persona on the field where – I’m kind of a nice guy off the field, real chill. But when I’m on the field I turn into the Jay Train and become kind of violent, physical. You know, you can be violent on the field; it’s legal a little bit, because it’s football. That’s kind of where I can go with that persona and use it to be physical, be a dog on the field. Just use all those emotions to run and make plays for the team.”
It’s almost like he’s Bruce Banner transforming into the Hulk … or, better yet, like a certain former Eagles safety turning into his alter-ego, Weapon X.
“I mean, I think certain guys are just like that. You’ve been seeing those videos we’ve been putting out this week with [Brian] Dawkins. Those videos are intense,” Ajayi said. “You kind of see that Weapon X alter-ego in those videos. When you speak to B-Dawk around the building, he’s cool, calm. That’s not the guy you see in those videos. That guy, he’ll take anyone’s head off. It doesn’t matter who it is. That’s Weapon X in those videos.
“I think some guys, that’s just how you try to get in your zone where everything is instinct and you’re just out there playing football. For me, it’s the Jay Train. And I use that and just go into an ultra-competitive mode and I’d get mad at my own mom if she was out there. It’s just how I am, I guess. You get in that ultra-competitive mode and you just want to do anything to succeed.”
Even if he’s in Atlanta, former Eagle Hugh Douglas will still be rooting for the Birds.
Yesterday was the 37th anniversary of the Eagles beating the Dallas Cowboys to win the NFC Championship game back in 1981. Wilbert Montgomery had a legendary performance, and years later became a mentor for wide receiver Torrey Smith:
“I definitely was not a running back, but he was a guy you could talk to about anything,” Smith said this week. “Whether it was football, if I was struggling mentally, or with family, or whatever –- real life stuff. He was someone I could lean on.”
Despite having a god-awful start to training camp, Patrick Robinson is considered a steal for one former NFL agent:
The Eagles never imagined Robinson would have such a big defensive impact when he was given a one-year deal at his $775,000 league minimum salary following an injury plagued 2016 season that led to the Colts releasing him. There was some concern whether Robinson would survive roster cutdowns because of a slow start in training camp after the Eagles made a preseason trade with the Bills for cornerback Ronald Darby, a 2015 second-round pick. Robinson received more extensive playing time than anticipated because Darby dislocated his right ankle in the season opener, which sidelined him for eight games. Robinson was on the field for 68.9 percent of Philadelphia’s defensive snaps (710 of 1,031 plays). He excelled in covering slot wide receivers. Robinson led the Eagles with four interceptions and graded out as PFF’s fourth-best cornerback this season.
Quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo might not be back next year, even if he doesn’t leave for a head coaching gig.
Birds-Birds is set for Saturday at 4:35 p.m. on NBC.
Sixers all-star voting update: Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are in the top three in their respective categories:
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) January 11, 2018
There’s also this:
— Sixers News (19-20) (@SixersNews0719) January 11, 2018
The Flyers get back to playing games this weekend after their bye week. They’ll open up the second half of the regular season Saturday in New Jersey against the Devils. You can take a look at how some of their top prospects are doing.
Can pitcher Tom Eshelman win a starting job with the big club in Spring training?
“My mentality has always been to make the big-league roster,” said Eshelman, one of nine minor-league pitchers the team hosted this week for its annual Prospect Education Program. “But I just have to focus on what I’m trying to do as far as getting better, and hopefully if everything falls into place I’ll have an opportunity.”
One local college hoops game last night, as Drexel fell to Delaware 72-66 in a CAA battle. Tramaine Isabell led the Dragons with 15 points.
This weekend, Penn will host Cornell tonight at 8 PM. Saturday features La Salle visiting Duquesne at 12:30 on NBCSN, Temple hosting Memphis at 2 PM on CBS Sports Network, Drexel hosting Hofstra at 4 PM, Penn hosting Columbia at 7 PM, and top-ranked Villanova at Madison Square Garden to take on St. John’s at 8 PM. St. Joe’s is at UMass Sunday for a 5 PM tip on NBCSN.
In other sports news, Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell might retire if he gets franchise tagged again.
The Cavs got destroyed by the Raptors, and Coach LeBron returned:
Coach James? 👀 pic.twitter.com/BJW8e2etW8
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) January 12, 2018
Get ready to hear this song millions of times during the Winter Olympics:
Alabama’s QBs are boys:
Tired of people not appreciating the fact that if this man led us to the National Championship. And for all the fans that are against Jalen, you against me too. You either WITH US or AGAINST US. Love you 2 🐐#BigBroLittleBro @JalenHurts pic.twitter.com/ExjHAB7yHh
— Tua Tagovailoa (@Tuaamann_) January 11, 2018
— Jalen Hurts (@JalenHurts) January 11, 2018
The U.S. Army has filed a trademark claim against the Vegas Golden Knights. The team had an unbelievable response:
Indeed, the two entities have been coexisting without any issues for over a year (along with several other Golden Knights trademark owners) and we are not aware of a single complaint from anyone attending our games that they were expecting to see the parachute team and not a professional hockey game.
In the news, a person was shot while trying to stop a robbery in North Philly.
Facebook is changing your news feed for more “meaningful interactions.”