The 700 Level hosts the first annual Sixers Prediction League

The 700 Level hosts the first annual Sixers Prediction League

At long last, the NBA season is less than a week away, and that means it's time to start making some pre-season predictions for this basketball team of ours. Instead of just oppressively foisting my likely incorrect predictions on you guys, though, I decided to get a consensus from around the Sixers-writing internet community, polling 15 other Philly writers--from sites like LIberty Ballers, Philly.com, Crossing Broad, CBS Philly and several others--to get their takes on some of the most important questions of the Sixers season, from final record to leading scorer to All-Star Weekend participants.

Rather than just get these writers' pre-season predictions and let everyone forget about it once the season tips off, however, I've also added general accountability to the mix by devising a scoring system to test just how accurate everyone's predictions for this team end up being. Hence, the first annual Sixers Prediction League, in which we will mathematically determine which Sixers writer actually knows this team best (and/or can get the luckiest with their shot-in-the-dark numerical guesses).

Below are the 20 questions I asked our league of Sixers writers, with a couple sentences about the most popular (and in some cases the most interesting) answers for each. You can see a complete list of our writers' predictions at the bottom, and before I get started, here are the 15 writers (and their accompanying affiliations) against whom I will be competing in this inaugural season of the SPL:

Derek Bodner (Broad Street Hoops)
Spike Eskin (CBS Philly)
The Evster (700 Level)
Jake Fischer (Liberty Ballers)
Rich Hofmann (Liberty Ballers)
Michael Kaskey-Blomain (Philly.com)
Brandon Lee Gowton (Liberty Ballers)
Michael Levin (Liberty Ballers)
Jeff McMenamin (Philadunkia)
Tom Moore (Philly Burbs)
Sean O'Connor (Liberty Ballers)
Jake Pavorksy (Liberty Ballers)
Kyle Scott (Crossing Broad)
Tom Sunnergren (Hoop76)
Christopher Vito (Delco Times)

(Before you ask--no, we don't have a set prize yet for the winner, though if anyone has an idea appropriate to this upcoming Sixers season, we're certainly listening.)

Anyway, thanks again to all participants, now let's get predicting. If you want to play along at home, feel free to make your own set of predictions, and I'll score you along with all the official participants.

Question #1: How many points will the Sixers lose their first game (against Miami) by?

No consensus answer here, but a pretty consistent range--all members expected the Sixers to lose their home opener by somewhere between 14 and 27 points, with nobody quite bold enough to call a mere single-digit loss (or lord forbid, a Sixers upset).

Question #2: In which game will the Sixers get their first win of the season?

The most popular answers here were Game Five at home against the Washington Wizards and Game Six at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers. A couple people had the Sixers going 0-12 before finally getting a Game 13 win against the Raptors, and our own The Evster predicts the Sixers to go nearly all of November without a win, finally picking one up on the 27th in Game 16 in Orlando.

Question #3: Which game will be the biggest win (in terms of final score margin) of the Sixers' season?

Half the participants guessed the Sixers' biggest win of the year would come against the Bobcats (who Jake Pavorsky of Liberty Ballers calls "maybe the only team in the league in which [the Sixers] could possibly beat rather handily"), with their January 15th date at the WFC rating as the most popular answer. Other popular answers included the team's Jan. 27th home date against the Suns, and a sure-to-be brutal end-of-season game matchup with the Celtics on April 14th.

Question #4: Which game will be the biggest loss (again, score margin) of the Sixers' season?

Less of a consensus here, with a pretty wide range of guesses. Receiving multiple votes, though: 1/18 in Chicago, 2/10 in Golden State and 3/4 in Oklahoma City. Surprisingly, no one took any of the Sixers' three dates against the defending-champ Heat, perhaps figuring Miami would finally get bored with beating up on us.

Question #5: What will the Sixers' final record be?

Unsurprisingly, not a lot of writers had the Sixers going to the playoffs in their predictions--in fact, I was high man with my guess of a 22-60 record. Most guesses fell somewhere in the teens, with Kyle Scott of Crossing Broad and again our own The Evster coming out the most pessimistic (optimistic?) at 10-72. No one had them quite matching the 9-73 Sixers of '72-'73, though most seem to think they'll at least flirt with the futility record for much of the season.

Question #6: Who will lead the Sixers in scoring average, and with how many PPG?

All writers participating agree that Evan Turner will shoulder the brunt of the scoring load for the Sixers this season--though it's worth pointing out Thaddeus Young outscored him by a point and a half per game last season. Everyone also agrees ET will score more than 15 but less than 20 a game, with 15.8 the lowest guess and 19.3 the highest.

Question #7: Who will lead the Sixers in rebounding average, and with how many RPG?

Most participants went Thad Young here, who led the Sixers with 7.5 a game last year, though there was a vocal minority representation for Spencer Hawes as well. Rich Hoffman of Liberty Ballers was the most generous with a prediction of 9.5 board a game for Spence, while his Ballers co-writer MIchael Levin predicted Hawes to lead the team with a paltry 6.7 boards a game.

Question #8: Who will lead the Sixers in assists average, and with how many APG?

Rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams was the obvious choice and got the most guesses, with a range of 5.0 to 7.3 APG. A handful of writers did opt for swingman (and possible primary ball-handler) Evan Turner instead, with Derek Bodner of Broad Street Hoops justifying his prediction by saying that he expected a big mid-season cut in minutes for MCW after he hits the rookie wall.

Question #9: How many times will a Sixer score 30 points in a game this season?

Most writers predicted that the 30-point mark (which has proved something of a bug-a-boo for the Sixers of recent years) will be hit somewhere between one and four times this year, though Jeff McMenamin of Philadunkia went somewhat off the board with his prediction of 32, which was over four times more optimistic than any other answer received. Personally, I'd gladly give that category up to Jeff for the privilege of actually watching that many 30-point scoring nights this year.

Question #10: How many times will a Sixer register a triple-double this season?

One was the most popular guess, with no other guess higher than three or lower than, well, zero. If there's a way for the Sixers to pull off a negative triple-double this year, though, I'm sure they'll make inquiries.

Question #11: Which Sixers will be selected to participate in the Rookie-Sophomore Game at All-Star Weekend?

Nearly everyone thought Michael Carter-Williams would make the Friday night event, with a handful of writers also calling Tony Wroten as a second-year participant, and one particularly self-deluded writer--OK yeah fine it was me--even predicting the just-waived Royce White to participate. Three writers guessed the Sixers to have no participants at all, which would just be depressing.

Question #12: Which Sixers will be selected to participate in any of the Saturday or Sunday events (Skills Challenge, Three-Point Shooutout, Slam Dunk Contest, All-Star Game) at All-Star Weekend?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, 12 out of 16 writers predicted the Sixers to send no representatives to All-Star Saturday or Sunday, though Jake Pavorsky was bold enough to call James Anderson for the three-point contest, Jeff McMenamin predicted Thad Young to make the All-Star team, and both Michael Levin and Kyle Scott had Evan Turner playing in the game proper. I'd be pumped.

Question #13: Which Sixers will make the All-Rookie first and second teams, and which teams will they make?

The most popular guess had Michael Carter-Williams making the All-Rookie second team, though Jake Fischer pegs MCW for first team, and a half-dozen writers say nobody makes anything.

Question #14: Will any Sixer receive votes for MVP, Sixth Man of the Year or Most Improved Player?

Nine yes, seven no, with most of the yesses seeming to believe that Evan Turner might get some MIP votes after his likely stat bump this year. Jake Pavorsky also has Tony Wroten getting a couple of Sixth Man of the Year votes, which would be nice for several reasons.

Question #15: Will Evan Turner end the season on the Sixers' roster?

11 no, 5 yes.

Question #16: Will Thaddeus Young end the season on the Sixers' roster?

13 yes, 3 no.

Question #17: Will Spencer Hawes end the season on the Sixers' roster?

9 no, 7 yes.

Question #18: Will Kwame Brown end the season on the Sixers' roster?

11 no, 5 yes.

Question #19: What slot will the Sixers end up picking in with their own first-round pick?

Hope springs eternal, as the #1 and #2 slots tied here with seven votes a piece. Nobody has them picking out of the top five, and I ended up the most pessimistic by having them picking #5. (Hey, it's an emotional hedge, whatever.)

Question #20: What player will the Sixers select with their own first-round pick?

Surprise, surprise--all seven #1 guesses had the Sixers taking Andrew Wiggins with the first overall pick. Julius Randle came in second with five predictions, Jabari Parker got a couple, and Dante Exum and Aaron Gordon got one each.

--

Good luck to all my fellow SPL participants, and I will see you on the battlefield throughout the season. Keep an eye out for those incoming Michael Carter-Williams three-pointer mortar shells.

(For the morbidly curious, here's the complete list of everyone's predictions.)

Q1: Loss Margin to Heat

Andrew Unterberger 700 Level 19
Spike Eskin CBS Philly 23
Rich Hoffman Liberty Ballers 14
The Evster 700 Level 24
Michael Levin Liberty Ballers 18
Jake Pavorsky Liberty Ballers 16
Kyle Scott Crossing Broad 18
Derek Bodner Broad Street Hoops 21
Jake Fischer Liberty Ballers 27
Tom Sunnergren Hoop76 19
Jeff McMenamin Philadunkia 22
Brandon Lee Gowton Liberty Ballers 26
Tom Moore PhillyBurbs 17
Sean O'Connor Liberty Ballers 19
Christopher Vito Delco Times 26
Michael Kaskey-Blomain Philly.com 16

Q2: First Win

Andrew Unterberger    700 Level    11/15 (vs. Hawks)
Spike Eskin    CBS Philly    11/8 (vs. Cavs)
Rich Hoffman    Liberty Ballers    11/8 (vs. Cavs)
The Evster    700 Level    11/27 (vs. Magic)
Michael Levin    Liberty Ballers    11/15 (vs. Hawks)
Jake Pavorsky    Liberty Ballers    11/6 (vs. Wizards)
Kyle Scott    Crossing Broad    11/1 (vs. Wizards)
Derek Bodner    Broad Street Hoops    11/6 (vs. Wizards)
Jake Fischer    Liberty Ballers    11/20 (vs. Raptors)
Tom Sunnergren    Hoop76    11/20 (vs. Raptors)
Jeff McMenamin    Philadunkia    11/18 (vs. Mavs)
Brandon Lee Gowton    Liberty Ballers    11/8 (vs. Cavs)
Tom Moore    PhillyBurbs    11/6 (vs. Wizards)
Sean O'Connor    Liberty Ballers    11/8 (vs. Cavs)
Christopher Vito    Delco Times    11/6 (vs. Wizards)
Michael Kaskey-Blomain    Philly.com    11/6 (vs. Wizards)

Q3: Biggest Win

Andrew Unterberger    700 Level    1/15 (vs. Bobcats)
Spike Eskin    CBS Philly    2/24 (vs. Bucks)
Rich Hoffman    Liberty Ballers    4/14 (vs. Celtics)
The Evster    700 Level    4/2 (vs. Bobcats)
Michael Levin    Liberty Ballers    1/15 (vs. Bobcats)
Jake Pavorsky    Liberty Ballers    1/15 (vs. Bobcats)
Kyle Scott    Crossing Broad    1/29 (vs. Celtics)
Derek Bodner    Broad Street Hoops    1/27 (vs. Suns)
Jake Fischer    Liberty Ballers    4/12 (vs. Bobcats)
Tom Sunnergren    Hoop76    12/6 (vs. Bobcats)
Jeff McMenamin    Philadunkia    1/27 (vs. Suns)
Brandon Lee Gowton    Liberty Ballers    1/27 (vs. Suns)
Tom Moore    PhillyBurbs    4/14 (vs. Celtics)
Sean O'Connor    Liberty Ballers    1/15 (vs. Bobcats)
Christopher VIto    Delco Times    1/15 (vs. Bobcats)
Michael Kaskey-Blomain    Philly.com    2/5 (vs. Celtics)

Q4: Biggest Loss

Andrew Unterberger    700 Level    1/22 (vs. Knicks)
Spike Eskin    CBS Philly    3/22 (vs. Bulls)
Rich Hoffman    Liberty Ballers    2/10 (vs. Warriors)
The Evster    700 Level    1/1 (vs. Nuggets)
Michael Levin    Liberty Ballers    1/18 (vs. Bulls)
Jake Pavorsky    Liberty Ballers    2/9 (vs. Clippers)
Kyle Scott    Crossing Broad    1/18 (vs. Bulls)
Derek Bodner    Broad Street Hoops    12/16 (vs. Nets)
Jake Fischer    Liberty Ballers    3/27 (vs. Rockets)
Tom Sunnergren    Hoop76    1/18 (vs. Bulls)
Jeff McMenamin    Philadunkia    1/4 (vs. Blazers)
Brandon Lee Gowton    Liberty Ballers    11/14 (vs. Rockets)
Tom Moore    PhillyBurbs    2/10 (vs. Warriors)
Sean O'Connor    Liberty Ballers    2/10 (vs. Warriors)
Christopher Vito    Delco Times    3/4 (vs. Thunder)
Michael Kaskey-Blomain    Philly.com    3/4 (vs. Thunder)

Q5: Final Record

Andrew Unterberger    700 Level    22-60
Spike Eskin    CBS Philly    20-62
Rich Hoffman    Liberty Ballers    17-65
The Evster    700 Level    10-72
Michael Levin    Liberty Ballers    11-71
Jake Pavorsky    Liberty Ballers    11-71
Kyle Scott    Crossing Broad    10-72
Derek Bodner    Broad Street Hoops    16-66
Jake Fischer    Liberty Ballers    13-69
Tom Sunnergren    Hoop76    21-61
Jeff McMenamin    Philadunkia    15-67
Brandon Lee Gowton    Liberty Ballers    20-62
Tom Moore    PhillyBurbs    18-64
Sean O'Connor    Liberty Ballers    15-67
Christopher Vito    Delco Times    14-68
Michael Kaskey-Blomain    Philly.com    15-67

Q6: Scoring Leader

Andrew Unterberger    700 Level    Evan Turner (17.8)
Spike Eskin    CBS Philly    Evan Turner (17.6)
Rich Hoffman    Liberty Ballers    Evan Turner (17.8)
The Evster    700 Level    Evan Turner (18.2)
Michael Levin    Liberty Ballers    Evan Turner (18.8)
Jake Pavorsky    Liberty Ballers    Evan Turner (15.8)
Kyle Scott    Crossing Broad    Evan Turner (16.2)
Derek Bodner    Broad Street Hoops    Evan Turner (18.0)
Jake Fischer    Liberty Ballers    Evan Turner (19.6)
Tom Sunnergren    Hoop76    Evan Turner (17.0)
Jeff McMenamin    Philadunkia    Evan Turner (19.3)
Brandon Lee Gowton    Liberty Ballers    Evan Turner (18.3)
Tom Moore    PhillyBurbs    Evan Turner (17.3)
Sean O'Connor    Liberty Ballers    Evan Turner (18.0)
Christopher Vito    Delco Times    Evan Turner (18.3)
Michael Kaskey-Blomain    Philly.com    Evan Turner (17.5)

Q7: Rebound Leader

Andrew Unterberger    700 Level    Thaddeus Young (7.5)
Spike Eskin    CBS Philly    Spencer Hawes (8.1)
Rich Hoffman    Liberty Ballers    Spencer Hawes (9.5)
The Evster    700 Level    Thaddeus Young (7.2)
Michael Levin    Liberty Ballers    Spencer Hawes (6.7)
Jake Pavorsky    Liberty Ballers    Thaddeus Young (8.2)
Kyle Scott    Crossing Broad    Spencer Hawes (7.4)
Derek Bodner    Broad Street Hoops    Thaddeus Young (7.5)
Jake Fischer    Liberty Ballers    Thaddeus Young (8.9)
Tom Sunnergren    Hoop76    Thaddeus Young (7.8)
Jeff McMenamin    Philadunkia    Thaddeus Young (8.7)
Brandon Lee Gowton    Liberty Ballers    Thaddeus Young (8.1)
Tom Moore    PhillyBurbs    Spencer Hawes (8.4)
Sean O'Connor    Liberty Ballers    Spencer Hawes (8.5)
Christopher Vito    Delco Times    Thaddeus Young (7.9)
Michael Kaskey-Blomain    Philly.com    Thaddeus Young (7.8)

Q8: Assist Leader

Andrew Unterberger    700 Level    Michael Carter-Williams (6.2)
Spike Eskin    CBS Philly    Michael Carter-Williams (5.1)
Rich Hoffman    Liberty Ballers    Michael Carter-Williams (5.0)
The Evster    700 Level    Evan Turner (4.6)
Michael Levin    Liberty Ballers    Michael Carter-Williams (6.8)
Jake Pavorsky    Liberty Ballers    Michael Carter-Williams (6.2)
Kyle Scott    Crossing Broad    Michael Carter-Williams (3.4)
Derek Bodner    Broad Street Hoops    Evan Turner (4.7)
Jake Fischer    Liberty Ballers    Michael Carter-Williams (6.8)
Tom Sunnergren    Hoop76    Evan Turner (5.0)
Jeff McMenamin    Philadunkia    Evan Turner (5.4)
Brandon Lee Gowton    Liberty Ballers    Michael Carter-Williams (7.3)
Tom Moore    PhillyBurbs    Michael Carter-Williams (5.5)
Sean O'Connor    Liberty Ballers    Michael Carter-Williams (5.8)
Christopher Vito    Delco Times    Michael Carter-Williams (5.4)
Michael Kaskey-Blomain    Philly.com    Michael Carter-Williams (5.6)

Q9: 30-Point Games

Andrew Unterberger    700 Level    3
Spike Eskin    CBS Philly    3
Rich Hoffman    Liberty Ballers    4
The Evster    700 Level    1
Michael Levin    Liberty Ballers    4
Jake Pavorsky    Liberty Ballers    1
Kyle Scott    Crossing Broad    4
Derek Bodner    Broad Street Hoops    1
Jake Fischer    Liberty Ballers    6
Tom Sunnergren    Hoop76    2
Jeff McMenamin    Philadunkia    32
Brandon Lee Gowton    Liberty Ballers    2
Tom Moore    PhillyBurbs    7
Sean O'Connor    Liberty Ballers    4
Christopher Vito    Delco Times    0
Michael Kaskey-Blomain    Philly.com    3

Q10: Triple-Doubles

Andrew Unterberger    700 Level    1
Spike Eskin    CBS Philly    1
Rich Hoffman    Liberty Ballers    2
The Evster    700 Level    0
Michael Levin    Liberty Ballers    2
Jake Pavorsky    Liberty Ballers    0
Kyle Scott    Crossing Broad    1
Derek Bodner    Broad Street Hoops    2
Jake Fischer    Liberty Ballers    2
Tom Sunnergren    Hoop76    1
Jeff McMenamin    Philadunkia    1
Brandon Lee Gowton    Liberty Ballers    1
Tom Moore    PhillyBurbs    1
Sean O'Connor    Liberty Ballers    3
Christopher Vito    Delco Times    0
Michael Kaskey-Blomain    Philly.com    0

Q11: Rookie-Sophomore Game

Andrew Unterberger    700 Level    Michael Carter-Williams, Tony Wroten, Royce White
Spike Eskin    CBS Philly    Michael Carter-Williams
Rich Hoffman    Liberty Ballers    Michael Carter-Williams, Tony Wroten
The Evster    700 Level    None
Michael Levin    Liberty Ballers    Michael Carter-Williams
Jake Pavorsky    Liberty Ballers    Michael Carter-Williams
Kyle Scott    Crossing Broad    None
Derek Bodner    Broad Street Hoops    Michael Carter-Williams
Jake Fischer    Liberty Ballers    Michael Carter-Williams, Tony Wroten
Tom Sunnergren    Hoop76    Michael Carter-Williams
Jeff McMenamin    Philadunkia    Michael Carter-Williams
Brandon Lee Gowton    Liberty Ballers    Michael Carter-Williams
Tom Moore    PhillyBurbs    Michael Carter-Williams
Sean O'Connor    Liberty Ballers    Michael Carter-Williams, Tony Wroten
Christopher Vito    Delco Times    None
Michael Kaskey-Blomain    Philly.com    Michael Carter-Williams

Q12: All-Star Saturday/Sunday

Andrew Unterberger    700 Level    None
Spike Eskin    CBS Philly    None
Rich Hoffman    Liberty Ballers    None
The Evster    700 Level    None
Michael Levin    Liberty Ballers    Evan Turner
Jake Pavorsky    Liberty Ballers    James Anderson
Kyle Scott    Crossing Broad    Evan Turner
Derek Bodner    Broad Street Hoops    None
Jake Fischer    Liberty Ballers    None
Tom Sunnergren    Hoop76    None
Jeff McMenamin    Philadunkia    Thaddeus Young
Brandon Lee Gowton    Liberty Ballers    None
Tom Moore    PhillyBurbs    None
Sean O'Connor    Liberty Ballers    None
Christopher Vito    Delco Times    None
Michael Kaskey-Blomain    Philly.com    None

Q13: All-Rookie Team

Andrew Unterberger    700 Level    Michael Carter-Williams (Second)
Spike Eskin    CBS Philly    Michael Carter-Williams (Second)
Rich Hoffman    Liberty Ballers    Michael Carter-Williams (Second)
The Evster    700 Level    None
Michael Levin    Liberty Ballers    Michael Carter-Williams (Second)
Jake Pavorsky    Liberty Ballers    Michael Carter-Williams (Second)
Kyle Scott    Crossing Broad    None
Derek Bodner    Broad Street Hoops    None
Jake Fischer    Liberty Ballers    Michael Carter-Williams (First)
Tom Sunnergren    Hoop76    Michael Carter-Williams (Second)
Jeff McMenamin    Philadunkia    None
Brandon Lee Gowton    Liberty Ballers    None
Tom Moore    PhillyBurbs    Michael Carter-Williams (Second)
Sean O'Connor    Liberty Ballers    Michael Carter-Williams (Second)
Christopher Vito    Delco Times    None
Michael Kaskey-Blomain    Philly.com    None

Q14: End-of-Year Voting

Andrew Unterberger    700 Level    Yes
Spike Eskin    CBS Philly    Yes
Rich Hoffman    Liberty Ballers    Yes
The Evster    700 Level    No
Michael Levin    Liberty Ballers    Yes
Jake Pavorsky    Liberty Ballers    Yes
Kyle Scott    Crossing Broad    No
Derek Bodner    Broad Street Hoops    Yes
Jake Fischer    Liberty Ballers    Yes
Tom Sunnergren    Hoop76    Yes
Jeff McMenamin    Philadunkia    No
Brandon Lee Gowton    Liberty Ballers    No
Tom Moore    PhillyBurbs    No
Sean O'Connor    Liberty Ballers    Yes
Christopher Vito    Delco Times    No
Michael Kaskey-Blomain    Philly.com    No

Q15: Evan Turner

Andrew Unterberger    700 Level    Yes
Spike Eskin    CBS Philly    No
Rich Hoffman    Liberty Ballers    No
The Evster    700 Level    Yes
Michael Levin    Liberty Ballers    Yes
Jake Pavorsky    Liberty Ballers    No
Kyle Scott    Crossing Broad    Yes
Derek Bodner    Broad Street Hoops    No
Jake Fischer    Liberty Ballers    No
Tom Sunnergren    Hoop76    No
Jeff McMenamin    Philadunkia    No
Brandon Lee Gowton    Liberty Ballers    No
Tom Moore    PhillyBurbs    No
Sean O'Connor    Liberty Ballers    Yes
Christopher Vito    Delco Times    No
Michael Kaskey-Blomain    Philly.com    No

Q16: Thaddeus Young

Andrew Unterberger    700 Level    Yes
Spike Eskin    CBS Philly    Yes
Rich Hoffman    Liberty Ballers    Yes
The Evster    700 Level    Yes
Michael Levin    Liberty Ballers    Yes
Jake Pavorsky    Liberty Ballers    No
Kyle Scott    Crossing Broad    Yes
Derek Bodner    Broad Street Hoops    Yes
Jake Fischer    Liberty Ballers    Yes
Tom Sunnergren    Hoop76    No
Jeff McMenamin    Philadunkia    Yes
Brandon Lee Gowton    Liberty Ballers    Yes
Tom Moore    PhillyBurbs    Yes
Sean O'Connor    Liberty Ballers    No
Christopher Vito    Delco Times    Yes
Michael Kaskey-Blomain    Philly.com    Yes

Q17: Spencer Hawes

Andrew Unterberger    700 Level    No
Spike Eskin    CBS Philly    No
Rich Hoffman    Liberty Ballers    No
The Evster    700 Level    Yes
Michael Levin    Liberty Ballers    No
Jake Pavorsky    Liberty Ballers    Yes
Kyle Scott    Crossing Broad    No
Derek Bodner    Broad Street Hoops    No
Jake Fischer    Liberty Ballers    Yes
Tom Sunnergren    Hoop76    No
Jeff McMenamin    Philadunkia    Yes
Brandon Lee Gowton    Liberty Ballers    No
Tom Moore    PhillyBurbs    Yes
Sean O'Connor    Liberty Ballers    No
Christopher Vito    Delco Times    Yes
Michael Kaskey-Blomain    Philly.com    Yes

Q18: Kwame Brown

Andrew Unterberger    700 Level    No
Spike Eskin    CBS Philly    No
Rich Hoffman    Liberty Ballers    Yes
The Evster    700 Level    No
Michael Levin    Liberty Ballers    No
Jake Pavorsky    Liberty Ballers    Yes
Kyle Scott    Crossing Broad    No
Derek Bodner    Broad Street Hoops    No
Jake Fischer    Liberty Ballers    Yes
Tom Sunnergren    Hoop76    No
Jeff McMenamin    Philadunkia    Yes
Brandon Lee Gowton    Liberty Ballers    No
Tom Moore    PhillyBurbs    No
Sean O'Connor    Liberty Ballers    No
Christopher Vito    Delco Times    No
Michael Kaskey-Blomain    Philly.com    Yes

Q19: Draft Slot

Andrew Unterberger    700 Level    5
Spike Eskin    CBS Philly    1
Rich Hoffman    Liberty Ballers    1
The Evster    700 Level    2
Michael Levin    Liberty Ballers    1
Jake Pavorsky    Liberty Ballers    1
Kyle Scott    Crossing Broad    1
Derek Bodner    Broad Street Hoops    3
Jake Fischer    Liberty Ballers    1
Tom Sunnergren    Hoop76    2
Jeff McMenamin    Philadunkia    1
Brandon Lee Gowton    Liberty Ballers    2
Tom Moore    PhillyBurbs    2
Sean O'Connor    Liberty Ballers    2
Christopher Vito    Delco Times    2
Michael Kaskey-Blomain    Philly.com    2

Q20: Draft Pick

Andrew Unterberger    700 Level    Aaron Gordon
Spike Eskin    CBS Philly    Andrew Wiggins
Rich Hoffman    Liberty Ballers    Andrew Wiggins
The Evster    700 Level    Jabari Parker
Michael Levin    Liberty Ballers    Andrew Wiggins
Jake Pavorsky    Liberty Ballers    Andrew Wiggins
Kyle Scott    Crossing Broad    Andrew Wiggins
Derek Bodner    Broad Street Hoops    Julius Randle
Jake Fischer    Liberty Ballers    Andrew Wiggins
Tom Sunnergren    Hoop76    Julius Randle
Jeff McMenamin    Philadunkia    Andrew Wiggins
Brandon Lee Gowton    Liberty Ballers    Julius Randle
Tom Moore    PhillyBurbs    Julius Randle
Sean O'Connor    Liberty Ballers    Dante Exum
Christopher VIto    Delco Times    Julius Randle
Michael Kaskey-Blomain    Philly.com    Jabari Parker

Phillies-Rockies 5 things: Hellickson good to go; Franco sits again

Phillies-Rockies 5 things: Hellickson good to go; Franco sits again

Phillies (15-28) vs. Rockies (30-17)
7:05 p.m. on CSN; streaming live on CSNPhilly.com and the NBC Sports App

The Phillies' nightmarish skid continued Tuesday as they dropped a second straight game to a Rockies rookie starting pitcher.

They've been outscored 16-3 in the first two games of this four-game series against a Colorado club that has the best record in the NL and more road wins (17) than the Phillies have total wins.

Let's take a look at Game 3:

1. Hellickson good to go
The Phillies got a scare last Friday night when Jeremy Hellickson hurt his lower back during his seventh-inning at-bat, but they avoided disaster when it was diagnosed as mere stiffness as opposed to something more serious like a strained oblique.

Hellickson said that night and again the next morning that he felt fine and wouldn't miss a start. The Phillies are thankful for that given the inefficiencies of their rotation, which has just 16 quality starts in 43 games, third-fewest in the majors.

Hellickson (5-1, 3.44) was locked in last weekend against a weak Pirates lineup but this is much more of a challenge. Don't expect him to set down 16 of 17 batters the way he did in Pittsburgh.

The Phillies are 8-1 when Hellickson pitches this season and 7-27 when anyone else does. The only loss in a Hellickson start came against the Cubs on May 2, the first of a three-start skid in which Hellickson allowed 12 runs in 13⅔ innings. Of those 12 runs, 11 scored via home runs. He allowed seven homers in those three starts after giving up just two in his first five.

The Rockies present a lot of challenges and one of them is that they've been the second-best team in the majors this season against changeups, which is Hellickson's go-to pitch. Only the Marlins (.312) have a higher batting average vs. changeups than the Rockies (.286).

(For reference, the Phillies are 28th in baseball against changeups with a .201 batting average.)

Then again, not all changeups are the same, and Hellickson did limit the Marlins to one run on seven hits over six innings when he faced them April 27.

Current Rockies are just 10 for 56 (.179) off Hellickson. Ian Desmond has the only homer (2 for 5, HR, double).

2. Blackmon the Destroyer
Charlie Blackmon, good lord.

The guy has seven home runs in his last five games at Citizens Bank Park. Over that span — Aug. 12, 2016 through last night — Blackmon has more homers at CBP than any Phillie.

Think about how ridiculous that is. Aaron Altherr and Ryan Howard are next with six homers in 15 and 17 games, respectively. Then comes Freddy Galvis with five in 26 games.

3. Fading fast
At 15-28, the Phillies are on pace to finish 57-105. They've dropped 19 of 23 and now have the second-worst record in the majors, ahead of only the 16-31 Padres.

The offense has been completely devoid of life lately. It's not like these guys are going out and playing with zero energy, but when you don't hit it's always going to seem like that.

Since May 12, the Phillies are 2-9. They've hit .225/.273/.345 as a team for the second-worst OBP and OPS, ahead of only the Mariners.

They've been middle of the pack with runners in scoring position over that span, but they have just 89 plate appearances with RISP, which is seventh-fewest in baseball.

A lot of this can be attributed to the top of the order. Cesar Hernandez is 9 for 54 (.167) with no extra-base hits over his last 14 games. And that vaunted 1-2 in the Phillies' order — a duo which hit close to .350 in April — is down to .282.

4. Scouting Chatwood
The Phillies face 27-year-old right-hander Tyler Chatwood (3-6, 5.09).

He was the Rockies' best starting pitcher last season when he went 12-9 with a 3.87 ERA in 158 innings. He walked 70 and those control issues have continued this season — 27 walks in 53 innings.

He's been especially wild lately, walking 19 in 21⅔ innings this month. 

Chatwood averages 95 mph with his fastball and sinker and 88-90 with his slider and changeup. He also throws a high-70s curveball.

He faced the Phillies twice last year and went 0-2, allowing 10 runs (eight earned) in nine innings. Interestingly, though, no active Phillie has an extra-base hit against him.

Hopefully, the Phils will be able to make Chatwood work tonight and take advantage of their opportunities with men on base. They stranded the bases loaded three times last night.

5. Franco sits again
Maikel Franco and Cameron Rupp are sitting again. Pete Mackanin wants the extremely inconsistent, wild-swinging Franco to sit back and watch for a few days to regroup. He also wants to see some more of Andrew Knapp after a rough defensive week from Cameron Rupp.

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Aaron Altherr, LF
4. Tommy Joseph, 1B
5. Andres Blanco, 3B
6. Odubel Herrera, CF
7. Andrew Knapp, C
8. Michael Saunders, RF
9. Jeremy Hellickson, P

Bringing fun back: Counting down the 10 best Eagles touchdown celebrations

Bringing fun back: Counting down the 10 best Eagles touchdown celebrations

Up until Tuesday afternoon, many fans assumed NFL stood for No Fun League. And with often-excessive fines for celebrations such as this and that, it's easy to see why.

In a letter from Commissioner Roger Goodell, though, the NFL finally wants its players to have "more room to have fun."

Yes, there will still be no twerking -- sorry, Antonio Brown -- as the league will still flag "offensive demonstrations," but we might actually get back to the good old days. And of course, I wish we could enjoy the creativity of guys like Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco on a weekly basis.

But the Eagles have had plenty of fun on the field in years past and we're all hoping to see more from Carson Wentz, Jordan Matthews and the rest of the new wide receiving corps in months to come. Until then, let's count down the (entirely objective) 10 best Eagles dances and celebrations of all-time:

10. Shady's got moves...
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LeSean McCoy danced plenty and although he didn't change it up very often, the guy had his signature celebration.

9. ...And Donovan too?


Well, let's not give Donovan McNabb too much credit here. His moonwalk pales in comparison to Michael Jackson and I'm still unsure of who he was imitating with his air guitar in Dallas. Hey, at least he tried...

8. Rip it down, Terrell Owens (October 24, 2004)
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Alright, can we stop bringing pain to Browns fans?

T.O. absolutely torched Cleveland in this one when the teams faced off in 2004, catching four balls for 109 yards and two touchdowns. And to cap it off, he brought Browns fans down just a bit more, ripping off their sign that read "T. Akes O. Ne To Know One."

Clever? Yes. Smart to mock one of the best wide receivers of the generation? Probably not.

7. Freddie Mitchell: The People's Champ


This one didn't happen in the end zone, but Aaron Rodgers, I think Fred-Ex wants his celebration back.

Although the wide receiver is best known for his catch on 4th and 26 against the Packers, Mitchell once called himself "The People's Champ" and after snagging a long bomb from McNabb against the Cowboys, he showed off his own championship belt.

6. Mike Bartrum doing his thing (September 26, 2004)
Before Jon Dorenbos, there was Mike Bartrum. The guy was a stud -- he played seven seasons with the Birds and not only could he long snap, but he could also catch passes as a tight end.

We don't have a video of this one, however, according to Larry O'Rourke of the Allentown Morning Call, Bartrum caught a touchdown in Detroit in 2004 and was then flagged 15 yards after what O'Rourke termed a "jubilant long snap."

Apparently, this was an elaborate plan by Bartrum's two young sons and the long-snapper told the media afterwards, "No more celebrating.... I don't think coach Reid was too happy. He didn't really say anything. Just that he wasn't happy."

I wonder how Doug Pederson would react if Dorenbos breaks out an end-zone magic trick this season.

5. Fred Barnett's Backflop (December 2, 1990)
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Now, I don't think Barnett's celebration was the highlight of this play. I mean, wow, Randall Cunningham was absolutely amazing on this one.

With the Eagles backed up inside their own five-yard line, the quarterback somehow ducked under a Bills defender and then hucked a pass 70 yards down the field. Let's pray Carson has some Randall in him somewhere because the guy was a wizard in green and white.

But let's get to Fred Barnett. He runs into the end zone untouched for the score, stumbles to the back, and then proceeds to do some kind of backflop while shooting the ball into the stands. I'm not entirely sure what was going on with this one, yet Cunningham's work pushes his teammate up this list.

4. Vai Sikahema boxes with the goalpost (November 22, 1992)


The current NBC10 anchor didn't last long on the field with the Eagles, but maybe he could have had a career as a professional boxer. Vai showed his skills off after returning an 87-yard punt vs. the Giants as the Birds blew out their division rivals 40-20 in the Meadowlands.

It wasn't much and I wouldn't necessarily recommend stepping into the ring against Floyd Mayweather anytime soon, but who knows? The multi-talented Sikahema might not fare all that badly (yes, he would).

3. Koy Detmer gives the Patriots the "Whuppin' Stick"(December 19, 1999)
Yes, you read right. We're actually discussing the same Koy Detmer that once backed up Eagles backup Doug Pederson and spent most of his time in Philadelphia as the holder for David Akers.

With the game in hand and the Birds' season going down the drain, Detmer stepped in as the third-stringer against the Pats in 1999, tossing three touchdown passes in a 24-9 victory. Afterwards, he told reporters that his hilarious touchdown dance was known as the "whuppin' stick."

It's not like he hadn't done the dance before — Detmer "whipped it" the year prior against Green Bay — but as he stepped toward the sidelines, he flipped his arm back and forth in a raunchy fashion that I still think might get flagged under today's rules. Andy Reid later said of the celebration, "[Detmer's] a beauty, but he's definitely not a dancer."

2. DeSean's "Nestea Plunge" (December 12, 2010)
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You remember the old commercial where the construction working dying of thirst does a backflop onto a carpet and somehow lands in a pool of water? Well, that were before my time and still doesn't make much sense to me.

But they became relevant again once more in December 2010 when DeSean broke loose for a 91-yard game-breaking score in Dallas. With no one around him, Jackson got to the goal line, turned around with no one covering him and took the plunge right for paydirt.

In the moment, it was awesome just to watch D-Jax mock the Cowboys, yet that was a huge play in a crucial game for the Eagles that season. The Birds took a 27-20 lead that they would never relinquish, and the win wound up being just enough to give them the 2010 NFC East crown.

1. T.O. mocks Ray Lewis to his face (October 31, 2004)
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I don't think anyone would ever dare try to replicate soon-to-be Hall of Famer Ray Lewis' infamous "Squirrel Dance" — except maybe T.O. Owens never feared an opponent, so would it surprise anyone that he'd rip off the 6-foot-1, 240-pound linebacker's own intro dance with Lewis just a couple of paces away? Not a bit.

With the Birds leading Baltimore 9-3 midway through the 4th quarter of their 2004 matchup, Owens eluded a trio of Ravens defenders to slip into the end zone and give the Eagles some breathing room. And just as he had planned, T.O. scooped up a piece of grass and got right into the motions. Although this one was not original, it definitely took some guts and certainly earns its spot at the top of this list.

Not-so Honorable Mention: Brent Celek is Captain Morgan
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There is not much to be said here. Brent, let's stick to blocking and maybe the occasional spike. Or at least watch a few ads and practice some more before trying again.