Your Thursday Morning Roundup

Photo credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Flyers suck.

And to be quite honest, they probably shouldn’t have made the playoffs. But thanks to two wins to end the regular season, they held off a very hot Florida team. Then they got paired with the Penguins, a team Dave Hakstol has never been successful against.

All four games have been blowouts. Three of them were in favor of the Penguins, including last night’s 5-0 result to give Pittsburgh a 3-1 series lead.

The Flyers didn’t have Sean Couturier, who would be named a finalist for the Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward, and it didn’t really matter. Philly started off once again with some quality chances before Pittsburgh scored a couple goals in the first. The Penguins scored two more times in the second and chased Brian Elliott for a second time in the series. “Moose” made 14 saves on 18 shots before giving way to Michal Neuvirth. Riley Sheahan would add another goal in the third.

One positive in this game was Nolan Patrick, who seemed to be the only player that actually wanted to play in a playoff hockey game and win. He filled in for “Coots” on the first line with Giroux and Voracek.

Game 5 is Friday night in Pittsburgh. Couturier’s status for Friday’s game is uncertain. This team is doomed. Package Dave Hakstol and Brian Elliott together and fire them into the sun. But we’d have to fire Hak first. Fans appear to be okay with it:

The Roundup:

At least the Sixers are a fun playoff team! And you can enter to win tickets to Game 5 against the Heat on Tuesday!

And speaking of those Sixers, they’re back in action tonight in Miami for Game 3. Joel Embiid is listed as doubtful for tonight’s game, which is an upgrade from his availability for Game 2. But he’s still reportedly in the process of receiving full clearance to play. So it looks like we’ll be waiting for some time today.

That is unless you trust the newest Sixers insider, John Bolaris!

What a tweet.

Anyways, we got a deep dive of what the Sixers’ analytics team does for head coach Brett Brown:

“One of the greatest assistance factors that I have is using the analytics to rotate a team,” Brown said. “You can talk about how, say, the Hawks make more threes in the corners, or how Joel likes to go to his left shoulder on a jump-hook. But for me it’s: ‘Which groups play well together? Which don’t? How does the other team sub? Historically, how can we exploit that matchup when Olynyk’s at a 5?’ That’s the area I feel has helped us more than anything.”

The analytics team demonstrated to Brown not only how his top three rotations rank among the league’s top 10, but that his No. 1 rotation — Embiid, Simmons, Robert Covington, Dario Saric and Redick — flirts with the top overall spot. Since the Sixers signed Ilyasova and Belinelli, only two of the top 15 rotations project negatively.

If it sounds involved, it is — and it isn’t. Brown and his staff and the commitment to analytics have been the only constants since The Process began in 2013, so he’s learned to speak the language, and he’s learned to ignore the noise.

“It’s up to me not to be drowned by over-information,” Brown said. “I’m at a stage where I see it clearly. Man, it’s huge for me.”

Colin Cowherd is happy the Sixers lost Game 2. He’s still an idiot with a very punchable face.

Tip off is tonight at 7 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia and TNT.

The Phillies fell to Atlanta 7-3 to end their six-game road trip. Vince Velasquez had another strong outing, going six innings and giving up three runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts. He also knocked in the team’s first run of the night in fifth.

But those three runs came from a three-run shot by former spring training Phillie Ryan Flaherty, who would later knock in another run home. He’s been a Phillies killer since his release.

Carlos Santana didn’t start at first base, despite Gabe Kapler saying he’s been “kicking ass.” But he came in late in the game and went 0-for-2 to drop his batting average to .131. Will he be like this for the rest of the season?

In more important news, this also happened:

The Phils return home to start a four-game weekend series with the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight at 7:05 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia. Jake Arrieta will take the mound. It will also be the first Thursday game the team wears the beautiful powder blue throwbacks:

With Brent Celek gone, Zach Ertz now assumes the role as the leader of the tight ends:

“It’s tough, obviously,” Ertz said on Tuesday. “He was the guy that when they brought me in, he was the guy, the veteran tight end in Philadelphia. He was the guy everyone knew about. And he didn’t treat me as a guy who was a competitor to him; he treated me as the guy who could help him further his career, where he didn’t have to take every snap. So it’s tough. That guy has been with me from the beginning, pretty much taught me how to be a pro in Philadelphia.

“Even a couple years back, when the playing time began to increase in my way, he let me kind of take on a leadership role. He wasn’t overbearing by any means. He kind of let me lead in my own way. Even though he was the leader of the room, per se, he let me lead and slowly earn more of a leadership role in our room. He kind of set me up for this moment. I owe a lot of my success to Brent, the way he was a dominant blocking tight end, I was able to learn from that for a lot of years. I’m extremely thankful for him.”

Corey Clement will give Rowan University’s commencement speech.

There are plenty of quality cornerbacks the Eagles can take in the NFL Draft.

The NFL regular season schedule gets released tonight at 8 PM. But there will definitely be some leaks before then. We had one a few weeks ago with the Thursday night season opener between the Birds and Vikings. We also know the primetime games will start earlier:

Want to enjoy the Eagles winning the Super Bowl (which did indeed happen) and a concert at the same time? Well the Mann Center and The Philadelphia Orchestra are making your wishes come true!

Former Neumann-Goretti standout and current Kentucky point guard Quade Green could be transferring back home. To…La Salle?

Ashley Howard may be picking up his first big win without even coaching a game. Green was passed up for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander this season and has plenty of talented competition behind him.

In other sports news, LeBron James took matters into his own hands against the Pacers with 46 points and 12 rebounds to give the Cavs a 100-97 game two win. After the game, he was asked a seemingly controversial question about the death of Erin Popovich, the wife of Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.:

We later learned that reporter Allie LaForce had notified James before the interview began.

Elsewhere, Donovan Mitchell helped the Jazz tie their series against the Thunder, and Houston breezed past Minnesota for a 2-0 series lead.

In the Stanley Cup playoffs, San Jose completed a sweep of the Anaheim Ducks and will face Vegas in the semifinals. Nashville and Tampa Bay also won their respective Game 4 matchups to take 3-1 series leads.

The New York Knicks will interview TNT analyst Kenny Smith for their head coaching job. Lol.

We have a final matchup for The Worst of Philadelphia.

In the news, the FAA has ordered fan blade inspections after Tuesday’s jet engine explosion.

Theta Tau, a Syracuse University professional fraternity, is suspended after a pretty bad video involving the frat got released. They’re the damn engineering fraternity. Thank God I’m not in one. They suck.

Colombia is thinking about using drones to combat cocaine production. Take it away Rick James…

Kinkead: speaking of Colombia and cocaine, I recommended watching “Narcos” on Netflix

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12 Responses

  1. I came home with 7 T-shirts, no one else in my row showed up. Just like the team!!!

  2. I don’t blame Matt Read for getting a dumb penalty to start this whole debacle. Reader’s gonna Read. I blame Dave Hakstol for having his FOURTH LINE on the ice in the first 3 minutes of the game! FUCK YOU HAKSTOL. You refuse to adapt, you refuse to improvise, and every time they pan to show your dumb fuck facial expression after the other team scores I want to throw a hatchet through my TV. FIRE HAK

  3. Anything on Missanelli getting stomped in the ratings against Marks? We need a Radio Wars post!

    1. Mikey Miss should bring back ” the brothers hockey report”. It was ratings gold

  4. Meat locker was awesome today, bo.

    Some guy called up and put his wife on and Cuz said you gotta let him have a tv tonight at your rehearsal dinner. she said ok! cuz is 4 for 4 philly, bo.

  5. Im not a huge Hakstol fan, but this roster is average. The GM needs to answer for the veteran stiffs he has assembled.

    1. The coach has failed to make in game and between game adjustments since he started here. He also continues to play slop when he has had other players healthy scratched and potential talent in the AHL. He’s also the hand picked coach of the GM, there is youth with some talent in the AHL and he should demand they get called up. He should be saying you hired me to coach here now give me the tools to win I’m not playing this slop you mistakenly signed or traded for because we can’t be competitive with them and they aren’t a part of the future. Well at least a qualified coach would be saying that.

  6. The actual question to Lebron wasn’t controversial at all, the controversy is that people think the reporter blindsided him with it, which Lebron has stated on his own twitter via video wasn’t true.

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