Mazel Tov, 76ers: Philly holds Cleveland to 79, wins Bynum Bowl easily

Mazel Tov, 76ers: Philly holds Cleveland to 79, wins Bynum Bowl easily

With these Philadelphia 76ers, every day is Rosh Hashanah. The Sixers' maintained their unlikely Atlantic Division lead tonight with a win at the Wells Fargo Center against the Cleveland Cavaliers--yet another of the come-from-behind variety, as the Sixers dogged their way to a 29-14 deficit at the end of the first quarter, only to outscore Cleveland by 30 in the middle two quarters, and holding on for the fourth. Final score: Sixers 94, Cavaliers 79.

Evan Turner was again the team's leading light offensively, and his consistency is starting to scare me a little, you guys. In six games this season, he's scored between 18 and 25 points every time, never shooting lower than 43% from the field. He's rebounded (a season-high ten tonight), he's distributed (five tonight, three or more in all but one), and he's turned the ball over a hell of a lot (six times tonight, now averaging 3.5 a game), but he's brought it each time out. Every time it looks like it's going to turn into the dreaded Bad Evan Turner game, he hits a couple short fadeaways or baseline J's and he's off. We'll talk more about this later, trust.

The two big takeaways from the team at large tonight were that they finally were able to string together a couple solid defensive quarters--Coach Brown largely attributed it to them finally learning to get back in transition, though I think a whole handful of no-calls on Tristan Thompson and Kyrie Irving also helped the Sixers' case a bit--and they shared the ball beautifully. Four Sixers finished the game with four or more assists tonight, and six scored in double figures, showing a togetherness that Coach Brown also trumpeted post-game as a big part of the team win.

Tony Wroten was also a beast, picking up the team's energy with a couple easy scores in the early second quarter, and getting the crowd hyped with his best Carlos Boozer howling at the moon impression on just about about every Sixers make in the second half. He finished with a career high 18 points--it seems like Tony sets a career high just about every night this season--on 7-14 shooting, to go with four dimes (one a beautiful open-court no-look) and just two turnovers, excellent efficiency from Wroten after being installed by Coach Brown tonight as the backup point guard.

I also want to take a second to talk about James Anderson. The Sixers' starting two guard has taken a lot of heat early this season as the one cog in the Sixers' rotation who's not really doing his part, shooting just 6-18 from three. He didn't really turn that around tonight, making just one of three from beyond, but he did a ton of other stuff, hustling down loose balls and rebounds, making the extra pass, running the break and getting out to shooters on defense. He finished with 11 points on 5-7 shooting, with five boards and two assists.

Anderson was also responsible for my favorite play of the night for the Sixers--an offensive rebound got kicked out to him beyond the arc, and rather than jack the trey with two defenders rushing at him, he passed it off to another guy at the line, who continued to kick it around the perimeter until it ended with Darius Morris in the corner, who drove the base line--and found James Anderson again, open for three in the opposite corner. Swish. That's some good shit right there. Team shit.

Also worth noting: Thad put up some numbers (16 and 8), but more importantly, had the block of the year on the Cavs' Dion Waiters:

Oh yeah, and that guy Bynum was there. He was booed early and often and had a pretty mediocre game, scoring four points and grabbing five boards in limited minutes. The second of his two buckets came on a very pretty post move that showed that if the guy can ever get his body right, he still has a lot to offer, but the whole right-body thing might just be a bridge too far for Andrew at the moment. Too sad to really feel all that righteous about.

By the way, the five best Bynum jeers I heard tonight:

5. "BYNUM, YOU CORNY!!"
4. "LET'S GO BOWLING!! *CLAP CLAP CLAP-CLAP-CLAP*"
3. "YOU SUCK, REF! YOU SUCK TOO, BYNUM!!"
2. "ANDREW!! ANDREW!! LUCKY STRIKE!! ANDREW!!"
1. "ANDREW BYNUM, A.K.A. IKE TURNER!!"

Not sure I really understand my #1, but it's always hilarious to compare dudes to Ike Turner. Trump card.

For his part, the Big Human seemed to kinda enjoy the hatorade. Jason Wolf has the pretty telling quotes:

Aw man, Drew, I really would have enjoyed rooting for you. You've got the touch.

Anyway, the now 4-2 Sixers face this Cavaliers team again tomorrow night, this time in Cleveland. Let's hope Evan brings his lucky headband / yarmulke. It looks surprisingly good on him, I'd say.

Nelson Agholor: 'I fell short of my mission' to represent Eagles, family

Nelson Agholor: 'I fell short of my mission' to represent Eagles, family

When the allegations were first made public on June 10, Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholor feared for his football career.

“To be honest with you,” he said, “there were points I thought an opportunity that was given to me to play for this organization and to have the life I have could have been taken from me.”

Agholor last month was accused by an exotic dancer of sexual assault during a visit Agholor made to a gentleman’s club in South Philadelphia in early June.

It wasn’t until about a month later — July 18 — that Agholor was cleared when the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office announced that no charges would be filed against the 23-year-old second-year pro.

On Thursday, after his first practice of training camp, Agholor spoke for the first time about the allegations.

“I put myself in a poor situation, and the most important thing for me was to realize that no matter what’s going on, if I make the right decision, I won’t be there,” he said after an afternoon practice in the Eagles’ indoor bubble.

“I put myself in that position going there, and to be honest with you, as I look at it, at the end of the day, it’s either neutral or negative consequences being in a place like that. So I made the wrong decision being there. …

“It definitely puts me in a position where I truly have to re-center my focus and remind myself who I am. You know? Being associated with anything like that is not who I am as a man. Falling short and even being associated with that, you’ve got to make sure you find yourself again and be yourself. Truly be yourself. And that’s what I’m going to do from here on out.”

Agholor declined to talk specifically about what happened at the strip club that day in June, but he did say the first few days, especially after the allegations came out, were very difficult for him and his family.

“Tough. Tough,” he said. “For a few days I sat back and I was in shock. But after a while I had to realize, I put myself in that position and all I can do is grow and find ways to get closer to my family and get closer to the people that had my back and just continue to grow and also train because I couldn’t let it defeat me twice.

“If I had just sat around moping, I wouldn’t be prepared to perform today. So I continued to train, stay with my family and get myself ready.”

Agholor said after the allegations came out, he returned home to Tampa to reconnect with his family and start the process of deciding exactly what kind of changes he had to make in his life to be the person he wanted to be.

“My parents were disappointed,” he said. “But they also understand that the best I could do is respond the right way. The actions were the actions. But what was I going to do after that from here on out?

“[Becoming] closer to my younger brother, taking care of my little sister, being there every day, being there for my family, making the right decisions. And they were proud of the way I responded.”

Agholor, the 20th pick in last year’s draft, had a disappointing rookie year, with just 23 catches for 283 yards and one touchdown.

So even before these allegations were made public, a lot of Eagles fans were disappointed in Agholor.

Now he has more to overcome to win the fans back. Because even though there won’t be any charges against Agholor, his reputation has definitely taken a major hit.

“At the end of the day, what I did gives everybody enough to say, ‘Hey, man, you did something wrong,’” he said. “At the end of the day, they have every right to do that.

“But as a man, I’ve got to do stuff from here on out to show who I am as a person and the type of man I’ll be.

“You never wish for negative things to happen to you, but they say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And I swear I feel way stronger. I do.”

It’s hard to imagine anybody coming across more genuine in such circumstances than Agholor Thursday.

His voice shook as he spoke of the faith that Chip Kelly, Doug Pederson, Howie Roseman and Jeff Lurie had in him and how he let them down.

“I fell short of my mission and I understand I should have done a better job,” he said. “From here on out, I have an obligation to do the right thing and to be the right person for this organization.

“What’s going to change? Understanding that every day I have an opportunity to take care of the life I have and to be a good person.

“I made a [poor] decision. I wish I didn’t. But at the end of the day, I have to make a conscious effort every day when I wake up to feed myself the right stuff and be around the right people and make the right decisions and hold myself accountable. So that’s what I’m going to do.”

Secret Service at DNC enjoy some magic at Eagles training camp

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Philadelphia Eagles on Instagram

Secret Service at DNC enjoy some magic at Eagles training camp

Long snapper Jon Dorenbos took a break from Hollywood to return to Philadelphia to kick off Eagles training camp on Thursday. But that didn't stop him from showing off his magic yet again.

It wasn't a national audience on America's Got Talent this time but rather an intimate audience inside the Eagles facility at the NovaCare Complex.

A number of Secret Service officers who are in town working the Democratic National Convention visited the Birds during some down time and Dorenbos did something not many people can do. He got one past them.

You can watch the trick below. You can also catch Dorenbos yet again during the semi-finals of America's Got Talent in the coming weeks.

Nigel Bradham expects name to be cleared, apologizes for distraction

Nigel Bradham expects name to be cleared, apologizes for distraction

Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham, who was recently arrested for his involvement in an assault of a Miami hotel worker, was back on the practice field for the team's first full-squad practice of training camp on Thursday afternoon in the bubble.

The 26-year-old declined to give his side of the story, citing the ongoing police investigation, but said several times that he “most definitely” expects his name to be cleared.

“I can’t really speak on that part because it’s ongoing,” Bradham said when asked if he made a mistake, “but I am confident my name will be cleared.”

The alleged assault on the Miami beach reportedly stemmed from the length of time it took 50-year-old hotel worker Jean Courtois to bring Bradham’s group of six an umbrella for which they had already paid.

The arrest report obtained by NBC claims Bradham punched Courtois without being provoked. Several reports, meanwhile, have claimed Courtois provoked the attack by hitting Bradham’s girlfriend. Courtois told NJ.com the attack was unprovoked

Bradham disagreed on Thursday: “How many times you’ve heard my name, going around doing something to somebody? That makes no sense.”

Bradham also declined to say whether or not he’ll be filing counter-charges against Courtois.

On Tuesday night, the day before reporting to his first training camp with the Eagles, Bradham had a conversation with head coach Doug Pederson. Pederson said the conversation was “great” and said he didn’t foresee a scenario where Bradham will be cut from the team because of this. Bradham, on Thursday, admitted he was and is worried about discipline that might stem from the incident.

“I just pretty much told [Pederson] what happened,” Bradham said. “Like I said, I can’t really put it out in the public yet because it’s still an ongoing investigation. But we had a heart-to-heart conversation about everything and we’re pretty much on the same page about what things I need to do. And I also apologized for being a distraction to the team and everything like that.”

Bradham said this is the first time he has ever been arrested – he was charged with marijuana possession in 2013. While he continually declined to disclose the specifics of this incident, he did express remorse that anything like this happened at all.

“Most definitely,” Bradham said. “You don’t want that to be part of your legacy at any time throughout your career and it’s my first year here. I just started and I definitely didn’t want to start out with that being in the news and everything.”

The Eagles signed Bradham to a two-year, $7 million ($4.5M guaranteed) deal this offseason and plugged him in as the team’s starting strongside linebacker. It was a natural fit because he had his best season playing under Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz in 2014.

Now, before he has even played a game for the Eagles, his name has been at least somewhat tarnished.

“Your first impression is everything, especially to the fans,” he said. “It’s just unfortunate for me that I didn’t get the chance to play, at least let them see me play before they get an opinion about me.”