After six days, the Sixers have returned to our lives.
They’re back in action tonight as they take on the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Tip off is at 8 PM on TNT, but that might be the best part regarding the schedule of the series. Game 2 is Thursday, while Games 3 and 4 in Philadelphia are at 5 PM and 6 PM respectively. It sucks.
But the play on the hardwood certainly won’t. This is a series that has a ton of history with many of the players and coaches excited to be a part of it.
The Celtics will be a challenge, even without Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving. Terry Rozier has been outstanding as the team’s top point guard since Irving went down earlier this month. They also have Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown as huge contributors.
But defense might be key in this series once again. And it’ll be the Sixers’ d that will be the focal point, especially with Joel Embiid. And similar to the Heat series, there might be some dirty play from guys like Marcus Morris.
I’m excited for this series, and the atmosphere in Boston should be awesome, unlike Miami. A win could place the Sixers officially as an elite team in the league with the young talent they have, granted it’s without two of Boston’s best players. If they lose, it would still be considered a successful season.
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Start your day off with some podcasts! The latest episode of Crossing Broadcast is up, with a familiar voice.
We also have a new episode of Crossing Broad FC for the soccer fans.
And if you’re a radio guy, there’s a new edition of RADIO WARS. What are the real ratings numbers?
The Eagles had a good weekend. Despite having their first pick at 52 at the start of business Friday, Howie Roseman moved up to 49, in front of Dallas, to take a tight end named Dallas Goedert. Even better, the Cowboys just had Jason Witten plan for retirement earlier in the day, and Goedert was named after the Dallas Cowboys. AND David Akers had a field day in Jerry World. Imagine him and Zach Ertz in that offense.
In Day 3, the Eagles took CB Avonte Maddox, DE Josh Sweat, OL Matt Pryor, and OL Jordan Mailata (aka the rugby dude). Pretty much a good haul for such a small selection. They drafted a ton of athletic players in this year’s class.
The Carson Wentz trade became complete with the Browns making picks that probably won’t win them a Super Bowl in the near future.
The team has reportedly lost an important member of their college scouting team:
Only a matter of time. #Eagles losing assistant director of college scouting Michael Bradway to position w/Kansas City, per two league sources.
Bradway, who’s been with Eagles for seven years, teams back up with w/Chiefs GM Brett Veach, who came up thru Eagles scouting chain.
— Geoff Mosher (@GeoffMosherNFL) April 29, 2018
The weekend started with promise for the Phillies. They beat the Braves 7-3 Friday night thanks to another solid outing by Aaron Nola and some offense.
But that was really it. The Braves took Saturday’s game 4-1 and crushed Vince Velasquez on Sunday with a 10-1 beatdown. Jesse Biddle – yes the same Jesse Biddle that was picked by the Phillies in 2010 – came in and pitched two shutout innings and also recorded a hit.
After a good start to the season, the cracks may have begun to show for this team. And things will get a little worse with J.P. Crawford on the 10-day disabled list. Jesmuel Valentin was called up from Lehigh Valley. Expect Scott Kingery to get some more playing time at shortstop.
Meanwhile, Jerad Eickhoff is making progress in his rehab, and putting some pop in his fastball:
Turns out that, in addition to rehabbing his injury, Eickhoff has been working on a small mechanical adjustment in his delivery. Basically, he has worked on speeding up the break of his hands, just being a little more aggressive with that action. That, he believes, could translate into a little more arm speed and an extra tick on his fastball.
“It’s just a slight adjustment,” the pitcher said.
But so far, it agrees with him.
“I’ve thrown five or six bullpens and gotten up and down (in simulated innings) and it feels great,” Eickhoff said. “It seems like there’s a lot of life on the ball, more late life.”
The Phils hope to get things back together beginning tonight in Miami. Jake Arrieta takes the mound for the series opener against the Marlins. First pitch is at 7:10 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia.
The Flyers will pick at 14 and 19 in this year’s NHL Draft after the St. Louis Blues failed to win the draft lottery. Buffalo will have the top pick.
The Hart Trophy finalists were announced. Claude Giroux was not one of them.
This offseason might be the most important for goalie Michal Neuvirth. His hips will be key:
With that, Neuvirth outlined his offseason game plan. He will have arthroscopic surgery on both hips. He’s staying in Philadelphia and then heading to Kelowna, British Columbia, for 10 weeks for training.
Then comes the most significant change, which, considering the player, might not be that big after all. Neuvirth will be switching trainers for the third straight year.
“It’s just not working out for me,” he said. “I know I can play in this league. I know I can be the difference maker. I just got to find a way to stay healthy.”
Neuvirth now turns to sports performance trainer Adam Francilia, who has worked with Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck and Minnesota’s Devan Dubnyk, as perhaps his last resort.
The Union defeated DC United 3-2 for an important three points this weekend. Borek Dočkal scored his first career MLS goal and the eventual game-winner in the 72nd minute. They’re at Toronto FC Friday night.
In other sports news, here’s updated looks at the NBA and NHL playoffs:
Shaquem Griffin will reunite with his brother in Seattle.
In the news, a $12 million Lincoln Drive restoration project begins today.
Michelle Wolf had a controversial speech at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner. I had no idea who she was until I Googled what she did when writing this.
Sprint and T-Mobile are merging.