No J.J. Redick, no T.J. McConnell, no Jerryd Bayless, and no Markelle Fultz (again, and his free throw form looks bad).
No problem for Ben Simmons and company, as the rookie recorded his fifth triple-double in a 115-101 win over the Chicago Bulls last night at the Wells Fargo Center. Simmons put up 19 points, 17 rebounds, and 14 assists, joining Steve Francis as the only players since 1963-64 to put up that statline as first-year players. Joel Embiid had 22 points and Dario Saric put up 21 points and 10 rebounds.
That wasn’t the only good part about last night for either player. All three will suit up for Team World in the Mtn Dew Kickstart Rising Stars Challenge February 16 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles during All-Star weekend.
As of now, the Sixers are only three games back behind Cleveland for third in the East, and two games ahead of Detroit in the playoff race. They’re also 8-2 in their last 10 games, tied with Golden State for the best record in that span.
They’ll get tested with a four-game road trip that begins out west against the San Antonio Spurs on Friday.
As the week before Super Bowl week continues, Kevin Kinkead looks at five underrated plays in the Eagles’ win over the Vikings.
Even though the team did not practice yesterday, they were required to release an estimated injury report. Dannell Ellerbe (hamstring) would’ve been listed as limited.
Nobody has taken the “next man up” mentality more than Nigel Bradham, who stepped up his play when Jordan Hicks went down with a season ending injury:
Kendricks has responded well to an increased workload and had an amazing game against Minnesota, but the guy who had to make the biggest adjustment was Bradham, who took over the radio headset responsibilities.
“I’ve been on defenses where you lose your MIKE linebacker and things can get crazy,” Jenkins said. “[The other linebackers] aren’t used to making calls, getting everybody lined up, communicating, and also doing their job.
Jenkins said Bradham has taken on the signal-calling responsibilities of the MIKE while playing WIL, except in dime when Jenkins sometimes decides to switch with Bradham.
“He’s having to learn all these different positions, take over that role of being the signal-caller, but he’s also our enforcer,” Jenkins said. “He’s the guy that we look for to get big hits, to fly around, talk some trash, and bring a little juice to the defense. A lot of times it’s hard to juggle all of that. He’s really been kind of the unsung hero of our defense this year.”
Tony Dungy thinks the Eagles will prevail in the Super Bowl:
“I think Nick Foles and this running game and the quick play-action passes, running the ball outside, they’ll give New England some problems,” Dungy said Wednesday on NBC Sports Northwest Rip City Radio. “I just think, and I’m going to wait another week before I say it, but if you asked right now, I think Philly’s a team of destiny this year. They’ve overcome so much and they continue to win. I like Philadelphia in a tight game.”
Kevin also takes down a recent Philly Mag article that was being used for race bait.
Zach Ertz believes reaching the Super Bowl should be the team’s new standard going forward:
“Obviously, Carson’s going to be playing in these situations hopefully for a long time. The expectation here in this organization is that this isn’t going to be a one-time thing in the future. That’s kind of the organizational standard now, I think, is being in this game over and over. That’s what we expect as a team, and I think that’s why they have the players here to kind of have that sustained success.”
Take a look at a 360 view of the National Anthem from Sunday night.
Chris Long is a finalist for the NFLPA’s Byron “Whizzer” White Award.
Fletcher Cox apparently doesn’t watch sports.
Someone made a multi-million dollar bet on the Eagles.
The Phillies might be after Yu Darvish and some other big-league names.
Former Phillie Jim Thome was elected to Baseball’s Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. He’s part of a class that includes Vladimir Guerrero, Trevor Hoffman, and Chipper Jones (also in on his first time).
Owner John Middleton is just like us, losing his mind when the Eagles were crushing the Vikings.
Former Phillie Cole Hamels was at the game last night.
— Andrew Porter (@And_Porter) January 25, 2018
Anthony writes on the Flyers’ recent success, another overtime win over the Detroit Red Wings.
Does Travis Konecny’s recent overtime heroics mean he’s growing as a player in the league?
“Honestly, a play like that is just luck,’’ he said of Tuesday’s game-winner. “Honest to God, I was just coming back in my zone and the puck just happened to come back from the pile in my direction.’’
Yes, but here’s the thing: A month ago Konecny would not have been on the ice in the first minute of overtime; wouldn’t have been there in the final minute of it, either. A shootout? Be real. The most lasting impression he had left in the first 34 games of this season was of pucks sailing high and wide, mind-numbing turnovers from cross-ice neutral-zone passes, of speed without a strategy. A promising game was followed by a maddening one, a dynamic shift followed by a dumb one.
“The learning curve in this league is hard,’’ coach Dave Hakstol said. “And there’s no way around it. Young players have to learn to handle that and work their way through it. There’s no quick way to the top. He’s still a young player. And he’s worked hard. A lot of the stuff you don’t see is what happens behind the scenes with the coaches and the veterans in the back spending time with him. It’s a tough learning curve and there’s still a little ways to go on that curve. But he’s a hell of an important part of our team and he’s added a lot since he’s elevated his game over the last several months.’’
It’s really been a month. And one big elevation. When Hakstol flipped him with Wayne Simmonds on the first and third lines back on Dec. 23, Konecny had scored four times over his first 34 games and accumulated just 10 points. With a similar struggle for much of his rookie season, it was fair to wonder if the 2015 first-round pick had been overvalued. Konecny had rolled up 101 points in his final season in juniors, but the league is full of guys who couldn’t translate such productivity at the NHL level and instead settled into role players, or worse, settled in another country to play their hockey.
Some players were asked what they did with their first check:
"I'm so paid" -Akon
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) January 24, 2018
They’ll take on the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at 7 PM in their final game before the All-Star break.
In college hoops, B.J. Johnson’s 26 and Amar Stukes’ career-high 22 points helped La Salle defeat UMass 87-72.
St. Joe’s overcame a 12-point deficit, but eventually fell to St. Bonaventure 70-67. Nick Robinson and James Demery each had 13 points for the Hawks, but Courtney Green (15 points, 13 rebounds) and LaDarien Griffin (10 points, 11 rebounds) both recorded double-doubles for the Bonnies.
Temple got blown out by Cincinnati 75-42. Quinton Rose and Ernest Aflakpui both set team-highs with seven points.
Tonight, Drexel hosts Elon in CAA play at 7 PM.
In other sports news, former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced up to 175 years in prison.
Michigan State President Lou Ann Simon resigned from her post.
Leeds United unveiled a new crest, and nobody likes it.
Police were called to the University of Kansas men’s basketball dorm after a man tried to give a player some “free-throw advice.” This comes after Udoka Azubuike missed all six of his free throws in the final 3:37 in the Jayhawks’ loss to Oklahoma a couple days ago.
Someone caused $15,000 in damage on the “Field of Dreams” park.
In the news, a pizza delivery driver was shot in Brewerytown.
President Donald Trump said he wants to talk to special counsel Robert Mueller under oath, but would listen to the advice of his lawyers not to.
Joel Taylor of “Storm Chasers” has died at the age of 38.