Playing for Pride: Sixers Look to Salvage a Little Bit of Dignity in Game Four

Playing for Pride: Sixers Look to Salvage a Little Bit of Dignity in Game Four

In my preview for this series, I said something along the lines of "Stranger things have happened" when addressing the possibility of a Sixers upset in this series. Well, after the Heat handily won the first three games of this series, this qualification no longer applies--if the Sixers won the remaining four games o fthis series to stun the Big Three and the country at large, it would be the strangest thing that has ever happened--in teh NBA at least, and possibly in all of humanity. Needless to say, the Sixers are not going to win this series. What the boys are playing for now--besides not wanting that "I'm so disappointed in you" look from Grampa Collins for quitting--is pride, plain and simple. Can our starless group of young, slightly ill-fitting parts take one game from this potentially burgeoning NBA superpower?

Counting the regular season, the Sixers are now a rsounding 0-6 against the Heat this season--the only team in the Eastern Conference that the Sixers posted an 0-fer against--and simply can not seem to outplay this team for 48 consecutive minutes. Too much size, too much defensive intesntiy, too much talent, and the Sixers just can't hang for an entire game. Every single thing needs to go right for our boys for them to even have a chance, and the Liberty Ballers have been shooting themselves in the foot all series with missed layups, free throws and short-range jumpers, unable to capitalize on the few opportunities they have been given.

Perhaps the player with the most to prove today will be Andre Iguodala. With a combined 19 points for the series on 28% shooting, Iguodala has been absolutely miserable from the field, fuel for the fire of all the haters who say that no matter what else he's doing on the court, 'Dre is overpaid and over-rated for his inability to score consistently. We could certainly use some ball-in-basket from Andre today, but then again, stirring his hero complex might not be the best thing for this team either, since no one can shoot us out of a game quicker than 'Dre either. Another lackluster performance shooting the ball from AI9 today, we're all certainly going to be remembering it as the trade deadline approaches next season.

1:00 tip from the Wells Fargo Center, very possibly the last of the season. Let's hope our young guys have taken everything they can from this experience--Jrue, Evan and Jodie especially--and continue to grow today, so even if they do get swept, the games won't have been a complete waste. It's tough to take such small consolations, but considering that this was a team that started 3-13 and looked to be headed for a season of non-stop misery, we should probably be thankful to be playing for anything at all at this time of year. And hey, it's not over yet--their chances for a win today might not be fantastic, but in this case, stranger things have indeed happened.

Instant Replay: Coyotes 5, Flyers 4

Associated Press

Instant Replay: Coyotes 5, Flyers 4


Two bizarre goals less than two minutes apart ruined a special night for the Flyers on Thursday at Wells Fargo Center.
Martin Hanzal scored a tie-breaking goal simultaneously while teammate Jakob Chychrun was being pounded in a fight with Brayden Schenn during a 2-2 game.
Then, rookie defenseman Ivan Provorov tackled Brad Richardson, who fell into goalie Steve Mason for a shorthanded goal that counted after review for interference.
That’s one way of losing as hockey game, 5-4.
Notable goals
Brandon Manning, who has been outstanding on both sides of the puck, tried an ill-advised clearing pass up the high slot and it was picked off by pinching defenseman Oliver Edkman-Larsson for a quick turnaround shot to make it a 2-0 lead.
Goalie report
A huge save on Anthony Duclair in the first period by Mason after a turnover from Andrew MacDonald. Mason didn’t look great on the fifth goal. Rushes to the net were a problem in front of him.
Power play
The Flyers scored three against Buffalo. In this one, they had five scattered shots over their first three power plays. That's not going to get it done. But they did get it done on their fifth power play with Schenn diving with his stick extended hit the ice as he tipped Shayne Gostisbehere’s point shot home to tie the game, 2-2. The Flyers were 2 for 8 on the power play.
Power-play points
Claude Giroux leads with six overall.
Penalty kill
There was no Boyd Gordon in this one to take PK draws. That went to Pierre-Edouard Bellemare. Roman Lyubimov had a nice shorthanded move for a possible scoring chance but couldn’t complete it.
Big hit
You've got to like Sean Couturier upending Duclair during the opening minutes of play along the left boards. Duclair later had a fine assist on Jamie McGinn’s goal that gave the 'Yotes a 1-0 lead.
Ryan White had a goal that made it 5-3 late in the game.
Third line
The new third line with Nick Cousins centering Schenn and Dale Weise scored in the second period. All three picked up a point with Cousins banging home the Schenn rebound to make it a 2-1 game.
Chychrun lost to Schenn, who had sent Michael Stone to the boards hard with a legal shoulder check. Stone still assisted on Hanzal's goal that began the madness that saw Arizona get two quickies.
Injured: Forwards Scott Laughton (knee) and Michael Raffl (abdominal pull), defenseman Michael Del Zotto (knee). Healthy: forward Gordon and defenseman Nick Schultz.
Up next
The Flyers will practice Friday at Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J., and host the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

Report: Sixers exec Jason Wiley led meeting on national anthem issue

Report: Sixers exec Jason Wiley led meeting on national anthem issue

The Sixers' meeting on Thursday to address the national anthem situation on opening night was led by VP of Content and Integrated Marketing Jason Wiley, John Gonzalez reported.

Wiley and team executives decided not to have Sevyn Streeter perform the national anthem because she wore a "We Matter" shirt, according to the report. The team had concerns Streeter would have further protests. 

A member of the Sixers' dance team performed in her place.

Wiley helped book Streeter, according to the report, and had previously worked for Bad Boy Records and had music industry contacts.

CBS3 reported Thursday that Streeter had signed a contract that barred her from making a political statement during the performance (see story).

The Sixers discussed the incident and are considering options on how to address it (see story).

“I think the team, not only do we want to speak up on the matter that happened yesterday, but I feel like we’re now starting to push, like it’s not just about saying something, it’s about making a difference,” Nik Stauskas said. “It’s about going out there and doing something. So we don’t really know what we’re going to do yet, but I know a lot of guys on this team are eager to go out there and make a difference one way or another.”