Does the Sixers' long-overdue losing season begin tonight against the Rockets?

Does the Sixers' long-overdue losing season begin tonight against the Rockets?

UPDATE: No James Harden or MCW in this one tonight, as Harden is resting with a lingering foot issue and Carter-Williams is sitting with what's called a "left foot arch bruise." Both are listed as day-to-day.

Probably. The Sixers have given us several seasons' worth of unexpected entertainment the first few weeks of the season, with upset wins over...well, everybody they beat, considering there were zero teams to start the season the Sixers would be favored against. But now 3-0 has become 4-2 has become 4-4, and the Sixers are right back where they started the season at .500.

Tonight, the Sixers will likely be the proud owners of a losing record for the first time this season, as they host GM Sam Hinkie's old Houston Rockets squad at the Wells Fargo Center, their last home game for a week. The Rockets are a good team who wants to be better, 5-3 in their first eight games, but still struggling a little bit to figure out their big man rotation (with both prized free-agent signing Dwight Howard and incumbent starting center Omir Asik both demanding redundant big minutes) and to secure their perimeter defense, which has been leaky to a rather dangerous degree thusfar.

Nonetheless, they have Howard, James Harden, and a whole bunch of other good players. They will certainly be favored coming into the WFC tonight, especially after the bad loss the Sixers suffered two nights earlier to the San Antonio Spurs, a dispiriting 24-point defeat that saw the Sixers get disturbingly sloppy towards the end, and which definitely had a distinct Party's Over feel to it.

Still, how many times have we been willing to write the Sixers off already in this still-early season, only to see them give us reason to reconsider? The last time came after the Ballers' 20-point loss to the Warriors on their home floor, when they bounced back to beat the Cavaliers handily two nights later, so perhaps there's a little magic left in these young Sixer bones.

We'll see soon enough. 7:00 tip from the WFC. Tonight we will also meet Rod Baker, who's been a coach at various levels of pro and amateur basketball for about 35 years, and will now be introduced as the new coach of the 87ers, the 76ers' D-League affiliate. If he can lead the Rochester Razorsharks to the Premier Basketball League championship, imagine what he can do with Jerome Randle and Darington Hobson!

Yeah, Joel Embiid is healthy

Yeah, Joel Embiid is healthy

Have any doubts about Joel Embiid's health?

Well take a look at this. 

Working on rips into quick spins with the brodie @joelembiid! #100skills100days #unseenhours @adidashoops

A video posted by Drew Hanlen (@drewhanlen) on

How about now?

Of course, this isn't live NBA action, and it is against 5-11 Drew Hanlen, a skills coach and consultant, but it's impressive nonetheless.

 

Charles Barkley: Sixers can be 'really good, really quickly'

Charles Barkley: Sixers can be 'really good, really quickly'

Charles Barkley is jumping on the Sixers bandwagon.

"I think the Sixers gonna get really good, really quickly, but it all depends on (Joel) Embiid," Barkley said. "They're not gonna win a championship the next couple years, but I think they can really become a perrenial playoff team in the next three years."

Sounds good, right? Not so fast. There are a lot of "ifs" according to Barkley. 

Most of those "ifs" ride on the health of center Joel Embiid. If the big man gets healthy, and the Sixers can resolve the "glutton of big guys," Barkley likes the Sixers chances.

"I think the most important thing they need to figure out is if Joel Embiid is going to be healthy. ... I like (Jahlil) Okafor and I like (Nerlens) Noel, but they gotta figure out if Joel Embiid is going to be healthy. 

"I like Ben Simmons, but that team's got a long way to go," Barkley said.

To hear more of Barkley's thoughts on the Sixers' future, watch the full video above. 

 

 

Sources: Eagles to sign former Villanova LB Don Cherry and former Alabama S Nick Perry

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The Associated Press

Sources: Eagles to sign former Villanova LB Don Cherry and former Alabama S Nick Perry

The Eagles have a serious depth problem at linebacker, and they're looking at a local prospect to try to fix it. 

The team will sign former Villanova linebacker Don Cherry on Sunday, pending a physical, a league source told CSNPhilly.com. ESPN's Adam Caplan first reported the deal.

Cherry, 21, first signed with the Bears after going undrafted in the spring, but was cut by Chicago in June. 

The 6-1, 240-pound Cherry was an All-CAA selection as a sophomore, junior and senior. During his time on the Main Line, he was credited with 331 tackles, 46 1/2 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, seven forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception. 

Even with Cherry, the Eagles are still light in the depth department at linebacker. After starters Mychal Kendricks, Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham, the team has Najee Goode, Deontae Skinner, seventh-rounder Joe Walker and a couple of other undrafted free agents. 

After cutting wideout Jonathan Krause on Friday, the Eagles had three vacancies on their 90-man roster. They're filling another of those openings with former Alabama safety Nick Perry, according to a league source. The perry deal was first reported by Al.com's Matt Zenitz. The 6-1, 211-pound Perry spent last season on the Ravens' practice squad after going undrafted in 2015. 

Eagles training camp kicks off Monday, and the first full-team practice is Thursday.