Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen: Last ex-Sixers standing in playoffs

Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen: Last ex-Sixers standing in playoffs

We've talked about how Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen haven't exactly been lighting it up for the Pacers this postseason. Indeed, in their second-round series against the Wizards, ET and Lavoy were ineffective as ever, with Evan scoring just 13 total points (with 14 rebounds and nine assists) across the six games, and Lavoy just playing six minutes of garbage time. Not only have these guys turned out not to be the difference for the Pacers, they're barely even the slightest of factors.

However, as minimal a role as they may currently be playing in these playoffs, it's bigger than the non-existent role of all other ex-Sixers. These playoffs started off as a vertiable cornucopia of ex-Liberty Ballers: Kyle Korver, Shelvin Mack, Elton Brand, Andre Iguodala, Lou Williams, Marreese Speights, Samuel Dalembert, even Lou Amundson was technically on the Bulls. You couldn't throw a rock at any series this postseason without hitting someone who had a bone to pick with Ed Stefanski or Doug Collins.

But with the elimination last night of the Wizards (Andre Miller) and the Clippers (Matt Barnes, Willie Green, Danny Granger), that means the unless you count Thabo Sefolosha--drafted by the Sixers in 2006, but traded that night for Rodney Carney, now on the Oklahoma City Thunder--Evan and Lavoy are the last remaining ex-Sixers in this year's postseason. They might not be helping Indiana's postseason chances much at the moment, but they haven't totally submarined them either.

So if you're still watching this NBA posteason looking for a rooting interest in the Final Four, may as well go Pacers, right? I mean, look at this Lavoy Instagram:

Brett Brown says Ben Simmons will return in January

Brett Brown says Ben Simmons will return in January

Ben Simmons is on track to return to the Sixers in January, Brett Brown told the Philadelphia Inquirer on Friday. 

Previous reports indicated that Simmons, who suffered a Jones fracture in his right foot in the Sixers' final training camp scrimmage on Sept. 30, would be out three months. Friday's news jives with that, but this is the first time the Sixers have given a timetable.

"It's not doom and gloom," Brown said. "Ben is coming back in January. We are still trying to find information on Jerryd (Bayless). Jahlil (Okafor) is still trying to touch the court in his first preseason game."

With long-term ramifications in mind, there had been some speculation that Simmons' camp wanted him to sit all season. 

This is rather encouraging news and it means the Sixers may avoid watching another of their top picks miss his entire first year.

Union offering great deals on field level seats ahead of MLS Cup Playoffs

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Union offering great deals on field level seats ahead of MLS Cup Playoffs

Playoff soccer is returning to Chester for the first time in five years, and while fans prep for the Union’s first postseason games since 2011, there is no shortage of seating options for Union tickets on the primary market.

Perhaps most importantly, fans won’t have to break the bank to be on hand as the Union compete for their first MLS Cup in franchise history. Union field level seats are available for both the team’s final home regular season game against the New York Red Bulls and the Eastern Conference Semifinal on October 30 should they advance past the knockout round.

The team’s official website lists feet-on-the-pitch seating starting from $155 per ticket for this weekend’s game against the Red Bulls. The first-place Red Bulls head to Talen Energy Stadium with a first-round bye secured, but Union head coach Jim Curtin expects them to bring the pressure with them on Sunday. Fans can look on up close – and for relatively cheap - as the Union look to hand the Eastern Conference leaders their final loss of the regular season.

The Union will take on either New York City FC or Toronto FC in the knockout round either next Wednesday or Thursday. Pending a victory on the road, they’ll return to Talen Energy Stadium to host an Eastern Conference Semifinal game on October 30. Field level seating is still widely available for the team’s first home playoff game since 2011 and start from $178 per ticket.

2016 marks the franchise’s second MLS Cup Playoffs berth in its seven-year existence. They clinched a first-round bye in 2011 but fell to the Houston Dynamo by a 3-1 aggregate in the Conference Semifinals. The Union bring a much different vibe into the playoffs this season, however, after a formidable stretch from September on nearly drowned their postseason hopes. The team won its last game on August 27 against Sporting Kansas City, losing four games and drawing in two others since. 

Despite the team’s recent struggles, there is a sense of renewment that will carry them into the MLS Cup Playoffs. Records are cast aside and the slate is wiped clean, beginning a new path on the long and often tumultuous road to a national championship.