For the Division, Pt. II: Sixers-Celtics at the Wells Fargo Center

For the Division, Pt. II: Sixers-Celtics at the Wells Fargo Center

Well, that game against the Knicks sure sucked. Spencer Hawes looked
legitimately rusty for the first time all season, Bad Evan Turner
appears to have fully taken over for the time being, and Andre Iguodala
again played an excellent first three quarters but came up well short in
the clutch, missing an open layup late in the game that effectively
doomed the team's chances. Not only did the 82-79 loss allow the
suddenly surging Knicks to gain another game on us in the Atlantic, it
also opened the door for the Celtics to take the division lead from us
tonight at the WFC, as the Boys in Green are now just a half-game behind
us in the standings.

It gets worse. With a loss tonight, we
don't just cede lead in the division, we could drop all the way to the
seventh in the standings—in other words, exactly where we were last year
when we got steamrolled by the Miami Heat in the first round. And if
you wanna get really doom and gloom about it, a loss tonight
combined with a Milwaukee win in Charlotte—the latter an all-but-certain
occurrence given the Bobcats' dismal season—would put the Sixers just
3.5 games above water in the Eastern post-season hunt, suddenly fearing
not only for home-court advantage playoffs, but just getting there at
all. Yikes.

So, we must ask: Where have you gone, Good Evan Turner? The
Extraterrestrial all but resurrected our season a little over two weeks
ago against this team in this building, when he went off for 26 points
in three quarters against the Celtics, kicking off a stretch of play
that almost made us believe we might have actually gotten the
second-best player in the 2010 draft after all. But the last four games
have been nearly as bad as that was good, making us worry about ET's
apparently bi-polar nature, on and possibly off the court. Can he get
his form back against the opponent that helped start it all? Lord, are
we hoping so.

8:00 tip from the WFC, in yet another nationally televised contest. San
Antonio coming up next (in San Antonio), and we're catching Boston on
the second night of a back-to-back, so a win tonight is all but
imperative to keep the team afloat in the Atlantic. There's still a good
team in here somewhere, and Coach Collins has 19 games left to figure
out how to locate it.

Matt Rhule's first Baylor hires include 4 Temple assistants

Matt Rhule's first Baylor hires include 4 Temple assistants

WACO, Texas -- New Baylor coach Matt Rhule has made some immediate Texas connections by hiring the president of the state's high school coaches who is a former Bears receiver.

Rhule announced his first five hires with the Bears on Friday, three days after being named Baylor's coach. They include four members from his staff at Temple and David Wetzel, the head coach and athletic director the past 13 seasons at Ronald Reagan High School in San Antonio.

Sean Padden will serve as Baylor's director of football operations, similar to his role at Temple the past four years.

Rhule didn't immediately announce the titles and job duties for Wetzel, Francis Brown, Mike Siravo and Evan Cooper. There was also no indication of when the rest of his staff would be completed.

Brown and Siravo were defensive assistants at Temple, and Cooper was director of player personnel for the Owls.

Wetzel, who has coached in the state high school ranks for 25 years, was serving as president of the Texas High School Football Coaches Association. He lettered at Baylor in 1990 and 1991 while playing for Grant Teaff, and also earned a master's degree from the school in 1994. Before Reagan, he was head coach at schools in Killeen and Austin.

Wetzel told the Waco Tribune-Herald that he expects to play a major role in recruiting, but didn't know yet if he'd be coaching offense or defense.

"Given the opportunity, it's really a unique deal," Wetzel told the newspaper. "I feel like it's God's timing for me to be in the right place at the right time."

When Rhule was introduced Wednesday in Waco, he said he had already received about 480 text messages, many from coaches. He also didn't rule out the possibility of some of the current Baylor assistants staying, but said he hadn't had a chance to meet with them. Those assistants were retained from former coach Art Briles' staff with Jim Grobe as acting head coach this season.

Note
Baylor announced Friday that Jalen Pitre, a defensive back from Stafford, Texas, signed a financial aid agreement that will allow him to enroll for the spring 2017 semester after graduating from high school early. Before Rhule was hired, Pitre was the only player verbally committed for Baylor's recruiting class in February. He had 83 tackles, six interceptions and four forced fumbles as a senior.

Dorial Green-Beckham fined by NFL for wearing Yeezy cleats

Dorial Green-Beckham fined by NFL for wearing Yeezy cleats

Dorial Green-Beckham didn't support any charity with his cleats last Sunday.

In reality, he was funding the NFL.

The Eagles' receiver was fined $6,076 by the NFL for wearing Yeezy cleats (Kanye West's shoes), which had no affiliation to a charitable organization or cause, CSNPhilly.com has confirmed. Players around the NFL last weekend wore decorative spikes supporting a charity or cause they felt passionately about as part of the league's My Cleats, My Cause promotion. Green-Beckham was fined because his cleats were unapproved by the league; earlier this season Houston receiver DeAndre Hopkins was fined for wearing Yeezy cleats. 

Green-Beckham told NJ.com’s Eliot Shorr-Parks he was supporting the "Yeezy Foundation." ESPN's Tim McManus first reported the fine on Friday. 

Bradham fined for tackle
Speaking of fines, Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham was hit with a $18,231 fine for his horse-collar tackle last Sunday on Bengals running back Jeremy Hill in the third quarter.

The first-year Eagle finished the game with five total tackles and a forced fumble.