Another Day in Paradise: Sixers Take on Magic in Orlando

Another Day in Paradise: Sixers Take on Magic in Orlando

As nice as it was for us to get that big home win over Orlando at the
beginning of the seven-game death march, a lot of it didn't scream
"repeatable success." Shutting down (relatively speaking, anyway) Dwight
Howard with a combination of Tony Battie, Elton Brand and Lavoy Allen
is all well and good, but how many times out of 10 would you bet that
such a strategy would be effective? The answer's not ten, I'll tell you
that much.

We'll find out if the answer is at least "two"
tonight, however, as the Sixers visit the Magic in Orlando. The game
will be something of a preview for a couple of our guys for two weekends
from now, when the NBA world will converge in O-Town for All-Star
Weekend, with Andre Iguodala participating in the game proper and Evan
Turner playing in the Rising Stars challenge. Word on whether or not
Jodie Meeks will be in the three-point contest has yet to come down, but
c'mon—the guy is in the perfect Daequan Cook/James Jones/Quentin
Richardson mold to take this thing. He'll make it. (Correction: Jodie Meeks did not make the Three-Point Contest. Needed room for Joe Johnson. Haters.)

7:00 tip from the Amway Center. The Magic have been kind of good lately,
by the way, beating the Heat, Wolves and Bucks, while the Sixers have
been kinda not good, just barely squeaking by against the Bobcats. It
won't be the easy set-up it was last time, but I still feel like we have
the better team here, so long as Dwight doesn't eat the
Lavoy/Battie/Brand menu alive early on. Time will tell.

Nerlens Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday vs. Pistons

Nerlens Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday vs. Pistons

NEW ORLEANS — Nerlens Noel made another step toward his return from arthroscopic left knee surgery by joining the Sixers in New Orleans for their game against the Pelicans.

Noel arrived on Wednesday with Robert Covington, who is slated to start after missing the last three games with a left knee sprain. Noel is not cleared to play, but Brown doesn’t think it will be long until he suits up. 

“I don’t think far away,” Brown said of Noel’s regular season debut after shootaround.

When asked about the possibility of Noel playing this weekend when the Sixers face the Pistons on Sunday in Detroit, Brown replied, “Maybe.” 

Noel has missed the entire regular season recovering from elective surgery for an inflamed plica in October. He completed the first phase of his rehab in Birmingham, Ala. and has been continuing his work with the Sixers. This trip to New Orleans is the first time he has been with the Sixers on the road. 

“[He is] integrating with the team, studying a lot of tape, scripting with his teammates with the understanding that we have a chance to see him soon,” Brown said. “All that trying to ramp it up where he can go to an NBA court more comfortably.”

Noel spoke out about his displeasure with the Sixers crowded frontcourt at the start of the preseason. He recently stuck with his stance, saying, “I don’t think the roster’s changed.”

Brown is working to keep the team moving forward as a unit while still being aware of and recognizing Noel’s perspective. 

“It does,” Brown said when asked if Noel’s open frustration concerns him as it pertains to team cohesiveness. “But I feel like it’s so much a part of what we try do around here that it’s not like you’re going to blink and you’ve forgotten something that equals camaraderie, that equals team, that equals trying to keep this together, and you’ve left it for a week … 

“It’s a day-to-day focus for me and it’s a very candid conversation with me and the player. The team hears it, the individual hears it, we all understand it … We need to coexist and we need to understand the reality of it all, too. There’s a human side you understand. It’s also pride, it’s competitiveness, it’s do your job, it’s nothing is given, you’ve got to take stuff, draw your own line in the sand, competitors rule the day.”

Last season Noel averaged 11.1 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game. The Sixers will look forward to having him back on the court in that once-crowded frontcourt that is now shorthanded. Jahlil Okafor remained in Philadelphia with gastroenteritis. Ben Simmons still is rehabbing from a right foot fracture. 

"Soon you’re going to see Ben Simmons coming to a team bench where he doesn’t come out with boots and have to push him in some type of wheely apparatus," Brown said. "We’ve dealt with so many injuries trying to find that balance of dealing with their health and so on, and then trying to integrate them back into a team is part of growing a program."

Flyers fans send amazing postcards to their beat writers

Flyers fans send amazing postcards to their beat writers

I like to give Flyers fans a bit of a hard time on occasion, but that's only because I love them.

One beautiful Flyers fan today reminded me of why I love them.

They took the time to send a postcard to CSNPhilly.com's Flyers Insider -- and hater of the woo -- Tim Panaccio with one single word written on it.

"Woo."

Panotch says "Someone wasted a stamp and post card on this," but I say we just generated at least 50 cents in ad revenue from those of you that are reading this right now.

Money and time well spent.

Now, if you're not up on your wooing, Panotch penned a piece on how some fans wooing at games started annoying some of the players. Panotch hates the woo. BUT... and this is an important but... the Flyers are 6-0 since this all started. 

Woo.