Inside the Standings: The Phillies' Assault on .500, and Remaining Postseason Chances

Inside the Standings: The Phillies' Assault on .500, and Remaining Postseason Chances

Quite remarkably, the Phillies have gotten their act together recently, and are making a late push toward respectability in the standings. They Fightins are 16-10 since the trade deadline, an even better 7-3 over their last 10. August is on the verge of becoming the club's best month this season -- this with relative unknowns like Kevin Frandsen and Erik Kratz playing huge roles.

The real good news here however is the pace they are on, which is very close to what we set out for them way back at the All-Star break. The Phils have posted a 24-17 record since July 13, which is a strong .585 winning percentage, and has them on track to finish the season at least .500.

A .500 record won't cause much excitement in this town, where we've become accustomed to the Phillies being a perennial World Series favorite. It's more of a bigger picture goal we had in mind for the team. The second-half winning percentage required to reach that mark when projected over a 162-game season equates to around 95 wins, and a trip to the playoffs.

If you believe there is something to be said for carrying momentum into next season, there would be your reason to hope this club is looking at a quick turnaround.

Of course, their winning ways have also inspired some Wild Card talk despite the fact that the Phillies are still 10 games out. I honestly thought we were done with all that stuff over a month ago, but at the time there were a lot more teams out in front. The pack has thinned significantly, with Milwaukee, New York, and Miami all falling behind.

On Monday's edition of Daily News Live, DN's Rich Hofmann outlined one potential miracle scenario for the Phils. If they were to go 28-6 the rest of the way, and the Cardinals went 17-18 over that span, it would force a one-game playoff for the second Wild Card spot. Of course, that presumes a team such as L.A. or Pittsburgh don't hang on to their leads, either.

Personally, that sounds a little ridiculous to me, and I find it hard to entertain it with any seriousness. That doesn't mean I don't think the Phillies have anything to play for though. That .500 mark is well within reach, and if on their way they happen to make a run at the postseason, I think we're all ready for a little excitement.

Best of NBA: Nets end 11-game skid by routing Pelicans

Best of NBA: Nets end 11-game skid by routing Pelicans

NEW ORLEANS -- Brook Lopez and Bojan Bogdanovic scored 23 points apiece and the Brooklyn Nets ended an 11-game losing streak, routing the New Orleans Pelicans 143-114 on Friday night.

Caris Levert added 17 points on 6-of-6 shooting for the Nets, who had seven players in double figures while beating their season high for points by 16. Their 29-point victory was 11 more than their previous largest. They also set season highs for points in the second quarter (37) and points in any quarter with 43 in the third.

Anthony Davis led New Orleans with 22 points and nine rebounds despite leaving in the third quarter with a leg injury. The defeat was a huge comedown for him and the Pelicans a day after he was named a starter for the NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans (see full story).

Warriors top Rockets to win 6th straight
HOUSTON -- Kevin Durant scored 32 points and the Golden State Warriors used a big third quarter to build a huge lead and coast to their sixth straight victory, 125-108 over the Houston Rockets on Friday night.

In a matchup of two of the best teams in the Western Conference and All-Star starting guards Stephen Curry and James Harden, the Rockets fell short. Houston, which entered the game leading the NBA with 667 3-pointers, was just 7 of 35 behind the arc. Harden went 0 for 5 and Eric Gordon, who entered the game leading the NBA with 160 3s, missed all seven attempts.

Clint Capela had 22 points and Harden added 17 points with 11 assists for the Rockets, who are third in the West behind Golden State and San Antonio (see full story).

Kemba Walker scores 32 to lead Hornets past Raptors
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Kemba Walker scored 32 points on 11-of-16 shooting, and the Charlotte Hornets beat the Toronto Raptors 113-78 on Friday night.

Walker, who came in averaging 23 points and looking to earn his first All-Star selection, scored 16 points in the pivotal third quarter, including a four-point play as the Hornets outscored the Raptors 33-15 to build a 25-point lead.

Walker didn't play at all in the fourth quarter after the Hornets stretched their lead to 30. He finished with eight assists.

Frank Kaminsky had a solid night off the bench for the second straight game, scoring 16 points and grabbing eight rebounds.

Kyle Lowry had 24 points and DeMar DeRozan added 23 points for the Raptors, who have lost two straight (see full story). 

Magic pull away for convincing win over Milwaukee
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Elfrid Payton scored 20 points, Jeff Green added 18 points and seven rebounds off the bench, and the Orlando Magic snapped a three-game losing streak by beating the Milwaukee Bucks 112-96 on Friday night.

The Magic, returning home from a 1-5 road trip, played with a small lineup for much of the night and it provided the offense they needed with two of their top scorers out. Orlando had six players in double figures, including starters Aaron Gordon (17), Serge Ibaka (13) and Nikola Vucevic (13).

Orlando shot 46 percent from the field while limiting the Bucks to 41 percent.Jabari Parker led Milwaukee with 25 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo contributed 17 points and 14 rebounds as the Bucks dropped their fourth straight game (see full story). 

Social media reacts to Mo Williams' career as a Sixer

Social media reacts to Mo Williams' career as a Sixer

It has been a crazy week for former Sixer Mo Williams.
 
Williams retired after last season, but was kept on the Cleveland Cavilers' roster in case his salary would be needed as part of a trade, and he has now been moving all across the NBA.
 
Williams, and the $2.2 million in payroll, was involved in the trade with the Atlanta Hawks for Kyle Korver, then traded to Denver before being waived. The Sixers then joined in and picked up Williams and waived him after less than an hour as they re-signed Chasson Randle to a second 10-day contract (see story)
 
Throughout all of this, social media chimed in on the career Williams had as a Sixer.
 

In 2015, before ultimately choosing the Indianapolis Colts, Frank Gore appeared headed to Philadelphia, so, fans settled the debate over who had a better career in Philly with this poll.