Important Likely Playoff Matchup: Sixers at Pacers

Important Likely Playoff Matchup: Sixers at Pacers

The hot Sixers face their latest test this evening in Indianapolis when they take on a Pacers team that they could very easily see in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Only one game separates Doug Collins' squad (25-17) and the Pacers (24-16) between the 4th and 5th seeds in the East.

The Pacers were without Danny Granger when the two teams met at the Wells Fargo Center earlier in the season when the Sixers got the win on January 9th. That was the game, you may recall, in which the Sixers got a "hot tip" that Indiana was focusing on shutting down their second unit. That didn't work real well.

The Night Shift isn't exactly what it used to be with Evan Turner taking the step into the starting lineup, but Nik, Lou, Thad and co. are still a boss of a bench for other teams to handle.

Tonight also marks the long-awaited return of Spencer Hawes to the lineup. Honestly, it's hard to vividly remember this Sixers team with Hawes. They've been through so much since then it seems. They were the talk of the NBA, then they fell into an awful lull, and now they're red hot over their last three contests. Hawes return tonight against a formidable playoff foe should be a very good barometer.

As for the looming trade deadline, Rod Thorn told Sixers beat writer Dennis Deitch today that there is a better than 50% chance that they make a deal before the deadline. Granted, it likely won't be a blockbuster. Two names Deitch throws out are long swingmen Reggie Williams and Corey Brewer.

The Sixers are looking for their 4th-straight win. Tip off shortly after 7:00 pm on CSN.

Tim Tebow shows power in baseball tryout but clearly still needs work

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The Associated Press

Tim Tebow shows power in baseball tryout but clearly still needs work

LOS ANGELES -- Tim Tebow has taken his first big swing at a baseball career, showing off a powerful bat and a few areas of needed improvement in a workout for dozens of major league scouts.

The Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback worked out at the University of Southern California's Dedeaux Field on Tuesday. Scouts and reporters tracked, timed and recorded his every move.

Tebow's 255-pound muscled physique and 6.70-ish time in the 60-yard dash were impressive. So was a series of long homers into the trees and off the scoreboard.

The 29-year-old outfield hopeful also showed he still needs baseball seasoning. Former big-leaguers David Aardsma and Chad Smith repeatedly fooled him with off-speed pitches later in the hitting drills.

Tebow's representative would like to see him in instructional league play starting in September.

Eagles claim DT Bruce Gaston off waivers

Eagles claim DT Bruce Gaston off waivers

The Eagles' roster now stands at the max of 75, as the team claimed defensive tackle Bruce Gaston off waivers on Tuesday from Chargers. 

The roster, which had to be cut to 75 by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, must be at 53 by 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Gaston has played for the Dolphins, Cardinals, Packers and Bears since entering the NFL in 2014. He's also spent time with the Patriots, Vikings and most recently the Chargers.

The 6-foot-2, 310-pounder had eight total tackles and a sack in seven games for the Bears last season, his last NFL game action.

Gaston, 24, played collegiately at Purdue.

The Eagles take on the Jets at Lincoln Financial Field on Thursday (7 p.m./NBC10) in their preseason finale before opening the regular season on Sept. 11 at home against the Browns.

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson talks protesting anthem, Myke Tavarres doesn't

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson talks protesting anthem, Myke Tavarres doesn't

A day after flip-flopping on whether or not he planned to stand or sit during the national anthem, Myke Tavarres had nothing to say about this complex issue.

Tavarres, a rookie undrafted linebacker with the Eagles, told ESPN on Monday he planned to emulate 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and sit during the playing of the national anthem Thursday night prior to the Eagles’ preseason game against the Jets at the Linc.

Tavarres said he wanted to draw attention to racial inequality and social injustice with the demonstration.

"We’ve got an issue in this country in this day and age, and I feel like somebody needs to step up and we all need to step up,” Tavarres told ESPN.

But within a couple hours, Tavarres had changed his mind.

“Myke plans on standing for the national anthem,” his agent said in a statement. “Myke does not want to be a distraction to the Philadelphia Eagles organization. Myke's goal is and will always be to make the Eagles’ 53-man roster and help the team win a Super Bowl.”

Kaepernick, who four years ago led the 49ers to the Super Bowl, spoke for 18½ minutes about his decision to sit during the Star-Spangled Banner.

Tavarres said at his locker after practice Tuesday he had nothing more to say.

“I made a statement through my agent last night,” he said. “If you have any other questions, please talk to him.”

Head coach Doug Pederson said he did not talk individually to Tavarres, a fringe prospect who is unlikely to survive this weekend’s roster cuts.

But he did discuss the broader issue in a meeting with the full team and said he believes his players should stand during the anthem.

“Listen, I can appreciate everybody's opinions and I respect everybody's opinions,” Pederson said.

“But at the same time, I feel that [the national anthem] is important and it's obviously out of respect for the men and women of our country that sacrifice in order for us to coach and play this great game.

“So I get it. I understand it. But at the same time, I encourage everybody to stand.”