Lavoy Allen Sets Rebounding Benchmark in Meaningless Sixers Victory

Lavoy Allen Sets Rebounding Benchmark in Meaningless Sixers Victory

Even down three of their five starters—or at least, three of the five
guys you'd have thought might have started for this team when things
were looking a lot sunnier at season's beginning—you had to feel pretty
good about the Sixers' chances of beating the Charlotte Bobcats tonight.
The game wasn't pretty, and was often a lot closer than it should have
been, but ultimately, the Sixers were able to take care of business,
keeping the 'Cats at arm's length for most of the second half, with Jrue
Holiday basically closing the door on them in the fourth with a couple
key buckets. Evan Turner got off the schneid a little with his 16
points, Spencer Hawes ground out a respectable 17 and 9 game, and
recently signed backup PG Jeremy Pargo impressed is his Sixers debut,
scoring 12 with six dimes in 29 bench minutes.

But tonight was
all about Lavoy Allen. We haven't talked a whole lot about Lavoy on the
Level this season, because his play has been about as expected—solid,
but unremarkable, proving himself worthy of his two-year, six-mil
contract without making the deal look like a huge steal or anything.
Tonight was easily his best game of the season though, as he grabbed an
astounding 22 rebounds–11 offensive, 11 defensive—and added 14 points
and solid post defense as well. The 22 boards nearly doubles Lavoy's
previous career high of 12, and is the most for any Sixer since Samuel
Dalembert grabbed 23 against the Warriors in March of 2009. ("All I did was put my hands up and the ball came to me," Chris Vito reports Lavoy explaining. "I didn't do anything special.")

The
career night is indicative of Lavoy stepping up his efforts—aided by a
season-high 41 minutes of PT—without Thaddeus Young, by far the Sixers'
most productive frontcourt player. The activity is encouraging, and
along with another promising game from Arnett Moultrie—only three
points, but seven rebounds, and good general activity (along with two
fouls drawn, which basically makes him Allen Iverson as far as this
Sixers team is concerned)—Thad's absence hasn't been quite as
devastating thusfar as it could have been.

The next few will be a
lot tougher for the Sixers, as they host the playoff-bound Los Angeles
Clippers (who, despite being a much worse team in the midst of Chris
Paul's recent knee troubles, are still comfortably superior to our
Liberty Ballers), and then head north to visit the Milwaukee Bucks,
Philly's last game before the All-Star Break. Treading water is the name
of the game with Thad out, so winning one of those two would be pretty
huge—though we're keeping our expectations reasonable. For now, as long
as we keep playing games and nobody gets injured or traded, I feel like
we're at least breaking even.

MLB Notes: Nationals place Stephen Drew on DL

usa-stephen-drew-nationals.jpg
USA Today Images

MLB Notes: Nationals place Stephen Drew on DL

CLEVELAND -- Unable to figure out what's making Stephen Drew dizzy, the Washington Nationals placed the veteran infielder on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday.

Drew has played just once in the past week, delivering a walk-off triple to give Washington a win over San Diego on Saturday. Manager Dusty Baker said the 33-year-old Drew has been experiencing vertigo-like symptoms and the team is sending him back to Washington for more medical tests.

"He wasn't getting any better," Baker said before the Nationals concluded their two-game interleague series with the Indians. "He was dizzy. He was kind of worried and didn't know what it was because he's had two concussions, but he hadn't had anything that would have caused another concussion. Whenever you feel woozy and dizzy and don't get any better, that's a pretty good indication that something's wrong."

Drew sat out several days last week because he was feeling ill. He's in his first season with the Nationals, who signed him as a free agent in January (see full story).

Padres: Solarte placed on family leave list
TORONTO -- The San Diego Padres made a few roster moves before Wednesday's game against the Blue Jays, recalling utilityman Alexi Amarista and left-hander Buddy Baumann from Triple-A El Paso.

The newcomers replace outfielder Melvin Upton Jr., who was traded to Toronto on Tuesday, and third baseman Yangervis Solarte, who was placed on the family leave list and will miss from three to seven days.

Solarte is batting .290 with 10 home runs and 40 RBIs.

This is Amarista's fourth stint with the Padres this season. The six-year veteran is batting .239 with no homers and seven RBIs in 45 games.

Baumann joins the Padres for the second time. He made his major league debut with 1-3 of an inning against San Francisco on July 16, retiring Brandon Crawford on one pitch.

NHL Notes: Predators sign Calle Jarnkrok to 6-year, $12 million contract

NHL Notes: Predators sign Calle Jarnkrok to 6-year, $12 million contract

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Nashville Predators have signed forward Calle Jarnkrok to a six-year, $12 million contract through 2021-22.

Under the deal announced by the Predators on Wednesday, Jarnkrok will earn $1.7 million this season rising to $2.2 million in both 2019-20 and 2020-2021 before dipping to $2 million in the final year.

The 24-year-old Jarnkrok played in 71 games last season and scored a career-high 16 goals with 30 points. The native of Gavle, Sweden, was second on the team with four game-winning goals last season.

The 51st pick overall by Detroit in the 2010 entry draft, Jarnkrok was traded to Nashville on March 5, 2014, and was a restricted free agent.

The Predators also promised on Twitter the announcement of another signing later Wednesday.

Hurricanes: Head coach Bill Peters extended 3 years
RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes signed coach Bill Peters to a contract extension through the 2018-19 season, general manager Ron Francis said Wednesday.

Peters has a record of 65-72-27 in two seasons while leading the Hurricanes' rebuilding project. They finished this season sixth in the Metropolitan Division with a 35-31-16 record, but earned 86 points -- their most since 2010-11, and a 15-point improvement from Peters' first year.

"We knew it wasn't going to be a quick turnaround," Peters said. "It takes time. ... I just like the direction we're headed in, and we're headed in that direction for a long period of time."

The Hurricanes used three rookies in the rotation on defense, and mounted a last-gasp -- but ultimately unsuccessful -- push for their first playoff appearance since 2009 by earning points in 12 of the 14 games that came after trading captain and franchise face Eric Staal to the New York Rangers.

Terms of Peters' extension were not disclosed. Peters was entering the final year of a three-year contract he signed in June 2014, when he was hired to take over for the fired Kirk Muller.

"You've got a head coach heading into the last year of his deal," Francis said. "It's important that if you like him and you want to have him around, you get this done."

The Hurricanes have reached the playoffs just once since winning the Stanley Cup in 2006. Carolina's seven-year postseason drought is the longest among Eastern Conference teams.

"Professionally, it's the right thing for me, and I want to see this thing through, and I want to get in the playoffs, and I want to get on a run," Peters said.

NFL Notes: Panthers sign former Eagles S Kurt Coleman to 3-year extension

NFL Notes: Panthers sign former Eagles S Kurt Coleman to 3-year extension

SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- The Carolina Panthers have signed safety Kurt Coleman to a three-year contract extension through the 2019 season.

Coleman led the Panthers and finished tied for third in the NFL with career-high seven interceptions in his first season in Carolina last year. He contributed to a team that ranked sixth in the NFL in total defense and led the NFL in interceptions (24), takeaways (39) and points off turnovers (148).

The 28-year-old Coleman finished third on the team with 103 tackles. Financial details were not released Wednesday.

Coleman called the contract a blessing, saying "when you go through situations you want what's best for your family and what's best for the team, and I'm really excited. I'm fortunate to be a part of this team for three more years."

Jets: Bernard Pierce signed; Zac Stacy waived
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets are signing running back Bernard Pierce and waiving running back Zac Stacy, who failed his physical after missing the last half of last season with a broken left ankle.

Pierce ran for just 11 yards on six carries in seven games last season with Jacksonville after spending his first three NFL seasons with Baltimore. He ran for a career-best 532 yards as a rookie with the Ravens in 2012 after being a third-round pick out of Temple.

Pierce was released by Baltimore in March 2015, when he was charged with drunken driving. He was claimed off waivers by Jacksonville the next day.

The NFL announced in May that Pierce will be suspended for the first two games of this season, likely stemming from the DUI arrest.

Stacy ran for 89 yards in eight games for the Jets last season, but he was lost for the rest of the season in November when he broke his ankle on a kickoff return.