Sixers head to Utah for Summer League play

July 6th, 2015 by Sam Shipley | No Comments | Filed in General, NBA, Sixers

The NBA Draft is over and the NBA Free Agency period has begun, which means one thing: Summer League Basketball is here!

For most fans of the NBA Summer League basketball is really nothing to get excited about. However, for Sixers fans Summer League basketball has become, and once again is, one of the more exciting parts of the NBA offseason period. With the state of rebuilding the Sixers are in, any glimpse of the future we can get, no matter how small the glimpse may be, is exciting.

This year the Sixers and their fans have a whole lot to be excited about. Jahlil Okafor, the Sixers top selection in this years NBA Draft, will be on the floor for both Summer Leagues. Okafor is set to be one of the Sixers cornerstones for the future, and getting to see him on the floor tonight wearing his number 8 jersey for the Sixers is very exciting.

Along with Okafor, it will be very intriguing to see the continued development of Jerami Grant, the Sixers second round pick from a year ago. Grant showed promise in his rookie season averaging 6.3 PPG, 3 RPG, and 1.2 APG, playing just over 21 minutes per game. After the All-Star game those numbers rose to 7.1 PPG, 3.1 RPG, and 1.7 APG, playing just under 25 minutes per game.

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ICYMI: Recap of Flyers 2015-16 Promotional Schedule

July 1st, 2015 by Joe Buscemi | No Comments | Filed in Flyers, General, Hockey, TalkSportsPhilly

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Last year was a special year in Flyers history. John LeClair, Eric Lindros, and Eric Deshardins, three members of the “Legion of Doom” era, were inducted into the Flyers hall of fame. If you grew up in the 80’s and 90’s you knew just how nostalgic those ceremonies felt and how well deserved they were. Each of them played a critical role in the success that brought the Flyers to many memorable playoff appearances including the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals.

It looks as though the Flyers are going to keep the party going with a few ceremonies that will have fans feeling quite special this year as well. On October 14th vs. the Blackhawks, the organization will honor Kimmo Timonen’s retirement, which many have phrased as a storybook ending.

Even though he did not hoist the cup with the Flyers, Kimmo went through quite a lot prior to this past season, when he was diagnosed with blood clots in both of his lungs back in August, causing a health scare and uncertainty to his playing days. Kimmo is an example of the phrase “hard work pays off” and nothing is more important than having a positive outlook despite life’s obstacles. I can only imagine the kind of reaction he will get from the fans that night.

The Flyers have also inducted Rod Brind’Amour and Jim Waton into this year’s hall of fame class. Each player was also very much loved during their respective stints with the organization.

“Brindy” was quite an asset to that Legion of Doom team on and off the ice.  He wound up recording 235 goals and 366 assists for a total of 601 points. He ranks 10th overall in goals in Flyers history and 4th overall among centers.

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Jahlil Okafor was the right pick for the Sixers

June 28th, 2015 by Sam Shipley | No Comments | Filed in General, NBA, Sixers

The NBA Draft came and went on Thursday night, and one thing remained the same from the previous two drafts, the Philadelphia 76ers added another cornerstone to their rebuilding process. With the third pick in the NBA Draft the Sixers selected Duke center Jahlil Okafor.

Okafor was selected after Karl-Anthony Towns was selected first overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves, and D’Angelo Russell was taken by the Los Angeles Lakers second overall. There were many who wanted the Sixers to end up with Russell, as he has the potential to be a star guard in the league. However, the Sixers did not land the Ohio State guard, and the team gladly took the 6′ 11″, 272 lb 19 year old center who has tremendous upside.

In what many believe is becoming a guards league in the “new NBA”, Okafor is a old-school big man who has a flurry of low post moves and dominates in the post. There are some who believe Okafor has the footwork and skill-set to be the best true big man to come into the league since Tim Duncan.

One of those believers just happens to be one of Tim Duncan’s teammates and mentors, David Robinson:

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Breaking News: Chris Pronger Traded to Coyotes

June 28th, 2015 by Ryan Waterman | No Comments | Filed in Flyers, General, Hockey

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Mere hours after the NHL Draft came to a close in South Florida, Flyers GM Ron Hextall continued his rebuild of this team. It was announced on late Saturday afternoon that the team has moved the contract of injured defenseman Chris Pronger, and shot-blocking wizard Nicklas Grossma   n to the Arizona Coyotes for 26-year old Sam Gagner, and Arizona’s choice of a 2016 4th round draft pick, or 2017 3rd round pick. This deal has sent some shockwaves through the NHL, in the short time since it was announced. To my knowledge, it is the first time that a current NHL Employee (not on the ice) has been traded.

This deal is significant for a number of reasons. With the trade of Pronger’s contract, his cap hit no longer counts towards the Flyers, allowing them to free up $4.91 Million in cap room. That money will play a HUGE role in the team’s pursuit of a top-flight winger. By moving Grossy, the team also saved an additional $3.5 Million in cap space. Acquiring Gagner also means that the team will absorb his $3.3 Million cap hit, however recent reports have suggested that Ron Hextall and co. are looking to buy-out the 26-year old former top prospect. Buying out his contract, would constitute a payment of one-third of his contract. By buying out his contract, the team would save an additional $2.7 Million, bringing their total savings to about $7.3 Million.

In his three seasons with the Orange & Black, Pronger recorded 15 goals, 77 assists, for a total of 92 points. He was one of the cornerstone of the Flyers franchise, and was a vital part of the team’s magical 2010 Stanley Cup Final run. Unfortunately, Pronger’s hall of fame career came to a devestating end. Initially shutdown in December 2011 as a result of post-concussion syndrome, it was later discovered that he was also suffering from sight issues due to an incident with than Maple Leafs star Mhikail Grabovski, in which Pronger took a stick to the eye.

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Who should the Sixers take with the third pick?

June 26th, 2015 by Sam Shipley | No Comments | Filed in General, NBA, Sixers

With the NBA Draft just three hours away there is a lot of anxiousness in the city of Philadelphia. The Sixers, as everyone knows, are in the midst of the craziest rebuild in NBA history.

It all started by trading away a point guard in Jrue Holiday, who was coming off of his first All Star appearance, for Nerlens Noel and a future first round pick. In that same night the Sixers drafted Michael Carter-Williams.

In last years NBA Draft the Sixers selected Joel Embiid, who some believe has the chance to be the best player in that draft class when all is said and done. They also selected Dario Saric, who we may not see for another two years.

As we all know, Carter-Williams would go on to win the NBA Rookie of the Year award, and was traded in February of this year for a future first round pick. The move shocked many around the NBA for obvious reasons, “Why would the Sixers trade away the Rookie of the Year, especially when they are rebuilding?”.

The answer is simple: Sam Hinkie does not think like the rest of the world.

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2015 NBA Mock Draft

June 25th, 2015 by Ryan Waterman | No Comments | Filed in Basketball, General, Sixers

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In just about seven hours, the next generation of hopefuls will fulfill their dreams, hearing their names called on the biggest stage of all, the NBA Draft. The highly anticipated No.1 overall pick looks to join elite company such as LeBron James, Tim Duncan, and Patrick Ewing, amongst others as franchise changing players. The Minnesota Timberwolves have been on the clock since May 19th, and are widely expected to select Kentucky Wildcats big man Karl-Anthony Towns. However, we know from experience that there is no such thing as a sure thing, until his name is officially called. With that said, Anthony-Towns isn’t the only elite talent in this class. KAT, as he’s known is also joined by Duke big man Jahlil Okafor, and highly touted Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell as the top prospects in this deeply talented draft class. Keeping all of this in mind, let’s get down to business on the real reason why you’re here….the mock draft.

1.) Minnesota Timberwolves: Karl Anthony-Towns (PF/C- Kentucky)

Towns has been viewed as the “overwhelming” favorite to go No.1 overall, ever since his dominant performance during Kentucky’s pursuit of history this past season. Pretty close to the “perfect” big man, Anthony-Towns comes with his fair share of flaws….no matter how minor they may be. At 7’0″, he has the size and he certainly has the skill.  Towns also possesses a great basketball I.Q. This kid has something special, and is just starting to scratch the surface of his true potential.

2.) Sacramento Kings (via L.A. Lakers): Jahlil Okafor (PF/C- Duke)

The Kings acquire this pick in the first draft-day blockbuster.  By shipping all-star center DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins to “Tinseltown”, the Kings set themselves up nicely for the future by acquiring 2014’s 7th overall pick Julius Randle, 2014’s 46th overall pick Jordan Clarkson, the Lakers 2nd overall pick in 2015, and a top 10 protected pick in 2018, amongst other assets. This selection would give the Kings a dynamic duo in the front-court of Randle and Okafor for years to come.  Jahlil is arguably the most polished player in this draft, and stands a legitimate chance of sneaking into the No.1 spot.  However, I just don’t see the T-Wolves passing on a talent like Towns.

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Philly Sports Headlines- Warriors win fourth championship, Phils allow 19 runs

June 19th, 2015 by Kyle Lutz | No Comments | Filed in General, Sports, TalkSportsPhilly

NBA Finals

On Tuesday, the Golden State Warriors beat Lebron James and the Cavaliers in game six of the Finals 105-97 to win their fourth NBA championship, and their first since 1975. Former 76ers’ small forward (2004-12) Andre Iguodala won the Bill Russell Award, for Finals MVP, becoming the first player in league history to win the award despite not starting every game (or a single game in the regular season). In the finals, Iguodala started games 4-6, and well, the graphics below tell you all you need to know, in terms of his impact on the series.

-It was the longest gap between championships in NBA history (40 years). The previous high
-Golden State’s now ranked fourth all-time among NBA teams in championships (4), behind Boston (17), LA (16), Chicago (6), and the Spurs (5).
-Steph Curry is the 1st player since Shaq to win his first MVP award and title in the same season (6th in NBA history). Lebron James became the first player ever to lead both teams in the Finals all three major statistical categories (points per game, assists per game, and rebounds per game). For the series, per game, he averaged: 35.8 points, 8.8 assists, and 13.8 rebounds. Many believe that he should’ve beat Iguodala out for Finals MVP. Surprisingly, Steph Curry didn’t even get a vote (Iguodala had 7 votes, to James’ 4)

Golden State’s 83 combined wins this year (regular season + postseason) are the third most in NBA history, behind only the 1995-96 (87-13) and 1996-97 (84-17) Chicago Bulls, all three of which won the title that year. Besides that fact, what do the three teams have in common? Steve Kerr. Kerr’s Golden State’s head coach, in his first year (67-15), and was a Bulls’ shooting guard from 1993-98, behind Ron Harper. Kerr’s the first rookie NBA coach to win a title since Pat Riley did it in 1982 with Los Angeles. Kerr finished as the runner-up this season in NBA Coach of the Year voting, behind only Atlanta’s Mike Budenholzer (60-22).

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