Ugh. After a blowout win against the Nets a week ago that brought the Sixers to 40-36, looking like a fairly safe bet to soon secure their first winning season in over half a decade, the Liberty Ballers dropped their next three--the last loss of which, to the Knicks, might have cost them their chance at the sixth seed. (Which we might not even want anyway. BUT STILL.) Now we have but three games remaining, all at home, and two against teams well below .500, needing more victories than losses in order to get that damn above-average mark for the season. (I know, I shouldn't care, but dammit, how hard is it to win 42 games?)
First up tonight: The Toronto Raptors, presumably the easiest out of the bunch. The Raps are a meager 21-57 for the year, kept out of the Eastern basement only by the historically terrible Cavaliers, and a particularly woeful 6-31 on the road. They've played the Sixers tough this season, and actually won the first two matchups, but those were in the Bad Old Days of 2010, and in their one 2011 meeting, the Sixers were able to pull away at the end for an 107-94 victory. Expect Thaddeus Young, ever the shredder of piss-poor defenses, to have another big night, after gashing the Knicks for 25 points off the bench on Wednesday.
7:00 tip from the Wells Fargo Center. “We haven’t shot the ball well,” Collins said of the Sixers, who have indeed shot just 40.6% over their three-game skid. “I told our guys to stop worrying about our shooting. Let’s guard and everything else will take care of itself.” Against the Raptors especially, no doubt. Let's get it done.
CLEVELAND — Chicago Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber's rehab finished just in time for the World Series.
Schwarber will bat fifth and be the designated hitter for the National League champions in Game 1 on Tuesday night against Cleveland's Corey Kluber. Schwarber hasn't played in the majors since tearing ligaments in his left knee on April 7 in a collision with teammate Dexter Fowler.
Dallas Cowboys orthopedic surgeon Dr. Daniel Cooper operated 12 days later to repair torn anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments. He was expected to miss the rest of the season but was cleared to return on Oct. 17.
Schwarber played a pair of games in the Arizona Fall League, going 1 for 6 with a double and two walks, and flew to Cleveland on Monday.
Nerlens Noel has had surgery on his sore left knee, and the Sixers have not disclosed a timetable for the disgruntled center's return.
Noel has been out since the team's first preseason game. He initially had a left groin strain before experiencing soreness in the knee during rehab, and it was discovered he had an inflamed plica.
The team is calling the surgery a "minor elective arthroscopic procedure." It was performed in New York by Dr. Riley J. Williams at the Hospital for Special Surgery.
Noel eventually will travel to Birmingham, Ala. to rehab with associate clinical director Kevin Wilk at Champion Sports Medicine.
The Sixers expect to have a timetable for his return once Noel returns to Philadelphia. According to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Noel is expected to miss three to five weeks.
This has been a rough preseason for Noel, who hasn't hidden his displeasure with his role on the Sixers' jammed frontcourt. The team has until Oct. 31 to extend his rookie contract but, per a report in the Inquirer earlier this month, the two sides have yet to discuss it.