A Story About Control: Game Three of Sixers-Celtics at WFC

A Story About Control: Game Three of Sixers-Celtics at WFC

It's a little amazing that even after dropping Game One -- a game that by all accounts, the Sixers could and (more arguably) should have won -- we were still able to leave Boston with a series split. The Sixers now have the chance to take control of the series with their two games at the WFC -- where they remain, incredibly, one of only three remaining teams (and the only one in the East) in the playoffs to be undefeated at home. It should be a difficult task, but not an impossible one, as the Sixers won their two games against Boston in Philly with minimal resistance, though both were against a tired, reeling Boston team were likely a lot less fired up than they should be tonight and on Friday.

What's it gonna take? Well, your guess is good as mine, really, since nothing about the first two games of this series have made all that much sense to me, but let's key on two positive trends from Games One and Two that we'd like to see continue in the City of Brotherly Love. First, that Paul Pierce remains thoroughly in check -- a combination of injuries and beastly Andre Iguodala defense have held The Truth to a combined 21 points on 25% shooting thusfar, a key weapon neutralized for the Celtics. Second, that Lavoy Allen continues to get in and get his, averaging 11 points and seven rebounds a game off the bench in this series and being the Sixers' most consistent post scrapper. (Lavoy has a 20.6 PER for the playoffs entire, by the way, by far the team's highest efficiency rating.)

As far as the smaller number of minutes Elton Brand and Thad Young have seen over the past couple games of the series, Doug Collins stressed he's going to put the guys who give his team the best chance to win on that given night on the floor. Elton and Thad have been banged up while Lavoy and co. have really stepped up.

"EB is a great teammate and so is Thad," Coach Collins said before tonight's game. "EB's has had a little bit of problems with that shoulder. Thad had a little bit of a sore ankle. I think anybody who would ever think I'm not going to play the guys that give us the best guys on a particular night doesn't know me very well. Or if anybody would have thought I don't play younger players… the end of game the other day we had Lavoy Allen on the floor guarding Kevin Garnett."

Time for Lavoy to man up once again, this time in front of his faithful Philly fans.

7:00 tip from Philly. It might've taken a round to do it, but hopefully the city is convinced that the team is really worth supporting this time, and will come out in droves for our first home game of the second round. Strength in numbers, we can get it right, one time. Go Sixers.


One other quote worth noting from the pre game. Coach Collins was asked a question about his commentator days:

Best of NHL: Penguins beat Panthers in Sidney Crosby's debut

Best of NHL: Penguins beat Panthers in Sidney Crosby's debut

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby scored in his season debut as the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied to beat the Florida Panthers 3-2 on Tuesday night.

Crosby, who scored on a power play, missed the team's first six games with a concussion. Carl Hagelin and Eric Fehr also scored for the Penguins, who extended a seven-game unbeaten streak against the Panthers.

Marc-Andre Fleury, who has started the first seven games of the season for Pittsburgh, stopped 20 shots. Matt Murray, who backstopped the Penguins to a Stanley Cup in June, served as the backup to Fleury after missing the first six games with a broken hand.

Reilly Smith scored a power-play goal and Mark Pysyk also scored for the Panthers, who have lost 11 of 12 against the Penguins in Pittsburgh.

James Reimer made 19 saves in his second start of the season (see full recap).

Kings top Blue Jackets in overtime
LOS ANGELES -- Alec Martinez scored 1:14 into overtime, and the Los Angeles Kings rallied to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 Tuesday night for their third straight victory.

Drew Doughty scored the tying goal with 5:57 left in regulation for the Kings, who won their third straight overtime game after an 0-3-0 start to the season. Captain Anze Kopitar also scored, and third-string goalie Peter Budaj stopped 19 shots in his third consecutive win.

Cam Atkinson scored a tiebreaking power-play goal late in the second period, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 27 saves for Columbus. Brandon Saad also scored for the Jackets, who had won two straight after an 0-2-0 start.

Martinez ended it by putting a rebound into an open net for the defenseman's second goal of the season (see full recap).

Lightning strike for seven goals in win
TORONTO -- Steven Stamkos matched a career-high with four points -- two goals and two assists -- and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-3 on Tuesday night.

Frederik Andersen gave up seven goals on only 24 shots, the third time in five starts he has allowed at least five goals and fourth time he's allowed four or more. The 27-year-old has an .851 save percentage so far this season.

Alex Killorn, Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov and Jonathan Drouin added goals for Tampa Bay, while Ben Bishop made 40 saves.

William Nylander, James van Riemsdyk and Auston Matthews scored for the Maple Leafs, who outshot the Lightning 43-24 (see full recap).

Report: Eagles make inquiry about Bears WR Alshon Jeffery

Report: Eagles make inquiry about Bears WR Alshon Jeffery

The Eagles could be looking for a bigger name outside.

In need of a deep threat — and reportedly in talks about a trade for 49ers wideout Torrey Smith — the Eagles are interested in Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and attempting to make a move for the 2013 Pro Bowler, according to a report Tuesday night by Benjamin Allbright of Mile High Sports Radio.

We followed up with Allbright, who clarified the Eagles simply made an inquiry.

Jeffery, much more of a do-it-all, dynamic wide receiver than the one-dimensional Smith, is 26 years old and can become a free agent at season's end. He'll warrant good money, but would make the Eagles better in more ways than one compared to Smith.

The 6-foot-3, 218-pounder put up 89 catches for 1,421 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013, followed by 85 catches, 1,133 yards receiving and 10 scores in 2014.

This season, he has 520 yards receiving and has yet to find the end zone playing for the quarterback-challenged Bears, who are 1-6 and more than likely thinking about next season.