A lot has happened since the Sixers last met
the Heat way back in November. For instance, the Sixers no longer look
like a wretched basketball team that lost 13 of its first 16 games. Far
from it, actually. The Sixers have grown tremendously in that time span
and are now a near lock for the playoffs with their likely opponent in
the postseason being this very Miami Heat team.
The Big Three hasn't lived up to the hype they built coming in to the
season, but they're without a doubt a dangerous basketball team.
"We can’t change the fact that they have those guys," Lou Williams said.
"I think for the fans it’s a name game. To us it’s a basketball game
played against a good basketball team. Obviously, when they have that
caliber of players it’s always going to be a tough test to get a win,
especially on their home court. But it’ll be good to see where we are,
especially facing one of the top teams in the league."
LeBron James has been scoring in bunches lately too, including a 43
point effort against the Hawks a week ago. Andre Iguodala's knee should
likely be put through a grind on the defensive end this evening if he
finds himself trying to shutdown No. 6.
The Sixers currently own the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference
which would match them up with the Heat in the opening round of the
playoffs. There's a chance Philly could catch Atlanta for the five spot
which would likely match them up against the Orlando Magic, but
personally I think they'll stay at six and play the Heat, which will
make for a very exciting playoff matchup.
As Coach Collins has pointed out, the Sixers have a very tough
remaining road schedule (at Miami, Chicago, Milwaukee, Boston) to finish
out their season, so tonight's game will be a big test for them.
They've shown they can play anyone down to the wire on their homecourt,
but if they want to win a playoff series they're going to need to win on
the road against good teams.
Tip scheduled for 7:30 on CSN.
If healthy, Ryan Howard is expected to start all three games in the Phillies' final series of the season Sept. 2-4 at home against the Mets.
He might also start the entire Braves series.
The Phillies' final six games are all against right-handed starting pitchers: Julio Teheran, Mike Foltynewicz and Josh Collmenter in Atlanta; Robert Gsellman, Bartolo Colon and Noah Syndergaard with the Mets. That could mean six starts for Howard before his time with the Phillies expires.
Howard's batting average has been below .200 for practically the entire season, but he's been much better since the All-Star break, hitting .259/.325/.598 with 11 homers, five doubles and 25 RBIs in 123 plate appearances (see game notes). He went 0 for 6 in his last two starts but homered in each of his two previous starts to reach 23 for the third year in a row.
Here's the Phillies' full lineup Tuesday against Teheran:
1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Roman Quinn, LF
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Ryan Howard, 1B
6. Cameron Rupp, C
7. Freddy Galvis, SS
8. Aaron Altherr, RF
9. Jerad Eickhoff, P
Matt Kemp is out of the Braves' lineup.
1. Ender Inciarte, CF
2. Adonis Garcia, 3B
3. Freddie Freeman, 1B
4. Nick Markakis, RF
5. Tyler Flowers, C
6. Jace Peterson, 2B
7. Dansby Swanson, SS
8. Mallex Smith, LF
9. Julio Teheran, P
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Howie Roseman solidified his hold on Executive of the Year Tuesday when he re-signed guard Darrell Greene to the practice squad and released JaCorey Shepherd from the practice squad. Shepherd was signed on Wednesday when Greene was previously released.
The Eagles were undefeated with Shepherd on the practice squad this year.
But they're also undefeated with Greene on the practice squad.
Roseman did not return messages requesting comment about Shepherd's seven-day stint with the Eagles.
Once Roseman realized he had actually NOT signed Lito Sheppard, the deal was voided.
The Eagles don't play this coming weekend so we were hard-pressed for any actual news.