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Your Wednesday Morning Roundup

Chris Jastrzembski - March 13, 2019

Sure the Sixers played, but last night was pretty freaking crazy in the NFL.

It took until a little after midnight, but Le’Veon Bell made his decision to sign with the New York Jets. It’s for four years and $52.5 million, with $35 million guaranteed. That’s less than the Steelers offered him. Which meant the market he expected never really materialized.

The Ravens, who were rumored to also be interested along with the Jets, never made an offer. There you go.

Adam Schefter broke it on the Scott Van Pelt Sportscenter and it was unreal:

Gotta love live TV.

In the other big move of the night, the Giants for some reason traded Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns for a first and a third-round pick, and safety Jabrill Peppers. Their own fans hate the team. I don’t blame them. Dave Gettleman is dumb.

More football later.

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Your Tuesday Morning Roundup

Chris Jastrzembski - March 12, 2019

I can’t believe the Flyers are still in the playoff hunt.

They got even closer last night thanks to a 3-2 win over the lowly Ottawa Senators. Oskar Lindblom, Michael Raffl, and Scott Laughton scored all of Philadelphia’s three goals in the second period. Brian Elliott stopped 20 of 22 shots and held off a late Senators rally. Carter Hart was the backup for the game.

The race for the first wild card got a little tough with Carolina and Pittsburgh now four points up on the second wild card team. But the Flyers are now three points away from a playoff spot:

The Flyers have a tough 13 games to end their season. 12 of them are against teams that are in or around playoff contention, while the other is the Rangers. Chicago is in a similar boat with the Flyers in terms of being on the outside but looking to get in.

Philly’s first game in that stretch of 13 is home against Washington on Thursday. It’ll be the second game of Jake Voracek’s suspension, unless his appeal makes him eligible to play then.

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Your Monday Morning Roundup

Chris Jastrzembski - March 11, 2019

What a difference Joel Embiid can make.

Without him, the Sixers ended their short road trip with a 107-91 loss against the Houston Rockets.

With him back in the lineup, they came back in the second half to beat Indiana 106-89. A long cold streak by the Pacers for most of the third helped as well.

Embiid had a hell of a return with a team-high 33 points and 12 rebounds to go along with a couple of steals. Tobias Harris had 16 points, Ben Simmons, who Kobe Bryant said needs a jumper, scored 15, and Jimmy Butler put up 12. It makes up for the bench, which totaled up just 21 points.

But Embiid’s return will be huge moving toward the playoffs, especially if the Sixers want that #3 seed again. With the win, the Sixers own the tiebreaker over the Pacers. They play Cleveland and Sacramento at home this week before going on the road to play Milwaukee next Sunday.

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Premier League Picks Week 30

Philip Keidel - March 9, 2019

We don’t go in for gimmicks here. The picks haven’t been as successful as I wanted them to be, but they’ve always been premised on sound analysis and on what the data indicated was the most likely thing to happen.

Just for a week, we’re throwing that formula away. It’s been a wild midweek in world football. The Champions League saw two very, very heavy favorites eliminated from the tournament.

Real Madrid had won the Champions League four of the past five seasons and carried a 2-1 lead after the first leg of their round-of-16 tie against Ajax into the Bernabeu. Not only did Real Madrid not advance — Real Madrid got torn apart, losing 4-1 at home and causing the rumor mill to churn about whether manager Santiago Solari can survive this collapse and whether Jose Mourinho may resurface. Tuesday’s defenestration of Los Blancos was perhaps the upset of the season. You know, until Wednesday.

Paris Saint-Germain, of Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria and Dani Alves and Thiago Silva, held a 2-0 lead against an injury-ravaged Manchester United side going into Wednesday’s second leg of their round-of-16 matchup in Paris. But bad things happen when you give up goals like this:

Still, PSG were going through as the match entered extra time. All PSG had to do was avoid doing something else self-destructive and silly.

They couldn’t even manage that:

Defending in soccer isn’t easy, but there is one thing you should never, ever do, and that’s to turn your back on the ball. PSG’s Presnel Kimpembe made that high school error, and the penalty that ensued knocked PSG right out of the Champions League.

This is a long way to go to explain what the first two picks are this week, but soon enough all will be clear. Onto this week’s winners:

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Your Friday Morning Roundup

Chris Jastrzembski - March 8, 2019

Bryce Harper is coming.

He’ll play his first game as a Phillie tomorrow as the Phils take on the Blue Jays in Florida. For the second straight day, he hit a home run in a simulated game. He’s ready.

Bryce has already been introduced to the Philly media and gone through the introductory interview gauntlet with The Fanatic being his recent stop. What he said previously he said again, and is now looking at places in and around Philadelphia. Haddonfield is the only location that’s not near Center City.

The Phillies are now the bad boys in baseball. Harper doesn’t need you asking him about backtracking on Mike Trout comments. He’s good. Trout’s gonna come to Philly anyways.

Meanwhile, MLB is now requiring teams to submit their lineups to the commissioner’s office for betting purposes before releasing them publicly.

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Eytan Shander is Going National

Kevin Kinkead - March 7, 2019

Eytan Shander is about to have the weirdest shift in the history of broadcasting.

Well, actually, that’s not true. Traffic anchor Bob Kelly used to work a wicked split-shift at CBS 3, but Shander is now taking on a new 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. gig to go along with his new 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. South Jersey gig with Harry Mayes, which debuts on April 1st.

Eytan:

Overnights are a bitch. I would know.

I did 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. for 18 months way back in the day, then I would do 1 a.m. to 9 a.m. shifts at channel 3 because the news never stops! Gotta get that traffic and weather on TV, plus all of the car accidents and other random stories, like the city of Philadelphia losing track of $30 million dollars. 

More from Eytan after the jump:

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Your Thursday Morning Roundup

Chris Jastrzembski - March 7, 2019

After winning Tuesday night at home against the Magic, the Sixers appeared to have an easier opponent with the Bulls.

That wasn’t the case.

Despite Jimmy Butler‘s 22 points and a pretty good James Ennis dunk, the Sixers lost a 10 point lead in the 4th and collapsed on the final possession of the game in a 108-107 loss to Chicago:

The defense (Mike Scott) was pretty awful. It looked like Butler knew that wouldn’t have worked:

But we can’t blame Brett Brown on that right? It also didn’t help Zach LaVine torched the Sixers with 39 points and Robin Lopez scored 19. The team could never pull away at any point in the game. They need their centers back.

They got Jonah Bolden back in place of Justin Patton, but going with Bolden, Amir Johnson, and Mike Scott isn’t the best center trio.

There’s no word on if Joel Embiid will be in Houston for Friday night’s game against the Rockets. But it’d be great to have him!

Elsewhere, Marc Zumoff can do everything.

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Your Wednesday Morning Roundup

Chris Jastrzembski - March 6, 2019

The Sixers only had two true centers for last night’s game against the Magic: Amir Johnson and Justin Patton. Not the best duo to go with. But you had Mike Scott who could slide in at the 5.

Thanks to JJ Redick’s 26 points and double-doubles from Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons, the Sixers got a 114-106 win over Orlando. That’s Markelle Fultz‘s new team.

When it came to crunch time, Jimmy Butler showed up. He had a couple of big buckets along with a steal and assist on a Mike Scott three to seal the win for a short-handed Sixer squad.

Speaking of Embiid, he won’t play tonight in the second half of a back-to-back in Chicago against the Bulls. But there’s a chance he meets the team in Houston and be ready to play on Friday. That’d be a big game to get him back. But while we wait for him, he wasn’t happy with Real Madrid yesterday:

The Sixers are still a half-game behind Indiana for third in the Eastern Conference. Indiana beat the Bulls last night. Now, it’ll be the Sixers playing Chicago tonight at 8 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia and somehow on ESPN.

In non-game news, check out the Sixers Youth Foundation Gala silent auction for some cool gifts.

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