Archive for June, 2015

Jahlil Okafor was the right pick for the Sixers

June 28th, 2015 by Sam Shipley | Comments Off on Jahlil Okafor was the right pick for the Sixers | 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 | Comments Off on Breaking News: Chris Pronger Traded to Coyotes | 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 | Comments Off on Who should the Sixers take with the third pick? | 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 | Comments Off on 2015 NBA Mock Draft | 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 | Comments Off on Philly Sports Headlines- Warriors win fourth championship, Phils allow 19 runs | 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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Phillies 2015 Draft Review

June 16th, 2015 by Joe Buscemi | Comments Off on Phillies 2015 Draft Review | Filed in Baseball, General, MLB, Phillies


Some draft classes are full of prospects that bloom into phenoms such as Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Trout.  That was not the case for this year’s draft, which was a good thing for the Phillies who had the tenth pick in the first round. Typically speaking the tenth pick is a slightly above average player with potential to improve, unlike the first five picks who are expected to make an immediate impact. This allowed the Phillies to have the opportunity to land a player with just as much talent as those drafted between four and nine.

The Phillies wound up drafting Cornelius Randolph, a highly touted short stop from Griffin High School (Georgia). According to Griffin has produced a pair of big league infielders in Jeff Treadway (retired, drafted by Expos in 1981) and Tim Beckham (Current SS/2B for TB Rays), and many analyst believe Randolph could be the third in recent years.

It has been reported that he is Griffin High School’s best prospect since Beckham and is portrayed as more of an impact hitter than Beckham has turned out to be. He has the tools to hit for power and average and can spread the ball throughout the entire field. He finished his senior year with an average of .528, an OBP of .605 and had twenty stolen bases. Despite those stats coming from a high school level, which do not mean a lot in comparison to pro level ball, he still shows signs of a well-rounded player with the potential to do a lot of the damage in the future. Randolph is the kind of player the Phillies lineup has lacked in recent years.  He would be quite the difference maker if he is able to maintain his skills at the major league level.

For now we’ll have to wait and see how Randolph pans out as he begins his journey to eventually being a starter for the Phillies. What do you Phillies fans thing about the Phils drafting Randolph? Sound off your opinion in our comments section below or on twitter @Joey_Boosh & @talksportsphila!

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Reality Check: Examining the Phillies Trade Market for Cole Hamels

June 11th, 2015 by Ryan Waterman | Comments Off on Reality Check: Examining the Phillies Trade Market for Cole Hamels | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

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We’re a little over two months into the season, and the Phillies are cellar dwellers as expected. With July 31st slowly approaching, it is widely believed that the Phils are expected to be amongst the most active sellers in baseball. This team currently holds some attractive assets, although the majority are a little bit past their expiration date, to put it nicely. Among the most attractive options, Cole Hamels is the head of the class. The 31-year old southpaw has been viewed as one of baseball’s elite pitchers. He’s been the anchor of the Phillies rotation for his entire Major League career. However, as the Phillies chances of winning became almost miniscule, so did “Hollywood”s chances of ending his career in red pinstripes. Over the span of the next seven days, I will take an in-depth look at the trade market for the Phillies most desirable assets, beginning tonight with our ace Cole Hamels.

Last July was when Hamels really “hit the market”. It became painfully obvious that the Phillies were going through a rebuild, yet GM Reuben Amaro Jr has refused to believe that. He has insisted that the team can still compete, despite not having the means necessary to do so. As a result, the team hung on to Hamels. That move led experts to believe that Hamels would be on the move in the offseason. Amaro dropped the ball in that aspect, as well. This issue has been strung along for going on 11 months now, and there are no signs of it ending soon. It has been reported many times this season, that the Red Sox (rumored to be long interested in Hamels) were not willing to include either of their top prospects in Blake Swihart and Mookie Betts. The focus then turned to the young arms in Boston’s farm system. Henry Owens and Eduardo Rodriguez, the top pitchers down in the farm, immediately sprung to mind. However, nothing has materialized with the Red Sox, and recent reports have suggested that they’re almost out of the race for Cole.

Next up on the list of interested suitors are the St Louis Cardinals. The Cards were dealt a devastating blow earlier this season, when they lost star ace Adam Wainwright to a torn Achilles. St Louis has survived just fine during life without “Waino”. The emergence of Michael Wacha as their ace of the future has been of significant help to the NL Central leaders. They’ve also gotten solid production out of veteran John Lackey, and young upstart Carlos Martinez. Jaime Garcia has even provided excellent production in his handful of starts off of injury. That leaves one open spot in the rotation, which could be utilized for Hamels. Early on in the season, the Cardinals seemed like an almost longshot for Cole. Even with the injury to Wainwright, the St Louis still doesn’t look like an optimal landing spot.

That brings me to the overwhelming favorite, the Los Angeles Dodgers. Los Angeles seems like an almost no-brainer to land Hamels. Coming into the season, they were working with an assumed three-headed monster of Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and Hyun-Jin Ryu. Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson were slated to fill out the rotation, on the backend. Unfortunately, season-ending injuries to Ryu and McCarthy have left the Dodgers rotation in turmoil. LA has relied on spot start names like Mike Bolsinger and Carlos Frias to bring some stability to a shaky staff. While they have filled in admirably, significant regression is expected. With the Dodgers favored to represent the NL in the “Fall Classic”, they will likely need another good pitcher to offset the shakiness on the backend. Back in November it was widely suspected that Amaro wouldn’t settle for anything less than one of the Dodgers “big three” in their prospect system (Joc Pederson, Julio Urias, and Corey Seager). But, the Dodgers “balked” at Reuben’s request. It has proved to pay off for LA, as Pederson has burst onto the scene, playing his way to becoming the favorite for NL Rookie of The Year, and Seager is making a major case to take over the keystone for the struggling Jimmy Rollins. Meanwhile, Urias is expected to crack the Dodgers rotation at the beginning of 2016.


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