The Evster breaks down the clammiest roster in Sixers history

The Evster breaks down the clammiest roster in Sixers history

There are some things we know for sure about this year's Sixers: Evan Turner will dribble around like a hunchback and shoot stepback jumpers off the side of the backboard. Thaddeus Young will make ridiculous corkscrew layups while occasionally smashing head first into the stanchion under the basket. Kwame Brown will do nothing. Absolutely nothing. Michael Carter-Williams will have so many letters on the back of his jersey. And Spencer Hawes will attempt to play a full season with his entire head firmly implanted inside his own anus.

BUT THE REST OF THE SQUAD?!?!

WHO KNOWS?!?!

Sam Hinkie has put together a hodgepodge of basketball no-names. Hailing from PARTS UNKNOWN, players 5 through 20 will not only be fighting for roster spots, but because of injuries to Nerlens Noel, Jason Richardson and Arnett Moultrie, also competing for actual playing time.

Don't know any of these guys? That's okay, keep reading. Below is everything you need to know about the 2014 NBA Draft Lottery winners.

Guys Who Might Not Suck as Hard as We Think They Suck

Darius Morris, point guard

The former Michigan man left Ann Arbor the second Trey Burke stepped onto campus (smart move, by the way) and is probably best known as the guy who lit up Jrue Holiday for 15 points last year in a win for the Lakers. Orrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, you might remember him from the time he appeared on E!'s Fashion Police with Joan Rivers, Adam Lambert and GILBERT GOTTFRIED.

James Anderson, shooting guard

The Big 12 Player of the Year from Oklahoma State (that's something!) was also a first-team All American in 2010 (along with Evan Turner, John Wall, Demarcus Cousins and your boy, Scottie Reynolds). Since then, Anderson has spent three years with the Spurs, Rockets and Raptors (that's also something!), where he averaged 3.8 points a game (on 39% shooting). Buttttttttttt, you'll be happy to know that back in high school Anderson was a two-time Arkansas state high-jump champion! So if things don't work out this time around, SIXERS FLIGHT SQUAD, BABY!

The last time the Sixers picked up a guy solely because of his leaping ability, they drafted Marko Milic, the Slovenian dude who SHOCKED THE ENTIRE NATION OF SLOVENIA BY dunking over a Honda. I thought the pick was brilliant, but Marko went onto play a grand total of zero games for the Sixers. Today, Milic can be found flipping burgers at the Wendy's on 54th and City Line.

At the moment, Anderson is penciled in as the Sixers starting shooting guard.

Cliff Edwards, power forward

This is not a real person. This is just a picture of a guy that I found online, and then pasted it into this article and gave him a very generic name for a black guy. Still, I feel like Cliff could really help the Sixers out on the offensive glass.

Tony Wroten, junkyard dog

"PLAYER OF THE DAY" according to every beat writer who watched the Sixers' first practice. Coach Brown compared Wroten to a junkyard dog based on his scrappy defense and ability to chase around a basketball while slobbering all over it and ruining everyone's fun. Tony Wronie only averaged 2.6 big ones for the Grizzlies last year, but he does happen to be cousins with Nate Robinson, so there's that. Also his aunt played for the Harlem Globetrotters, which is absolutely incredible. How has ESPN not made a 30 for 30 about the Wrotens? And how friggin' annoying is it when dogs constantly try to rebound for you when you're just trying to get some shots up in the driveway?

Foreign Dudes

Solomon Alabi, center

Here is the least shocking thing you will ever read about the Nigerian-born Alabi: Before taking up basketball at age 15, he played soccer.

Now, this is wonderful, it really is. I love soccer and I love players with good footwork and I totally admit that I would kiss Hakeem Olajuwon right on his hot, wet, dreamy mouth, but every African-born basketball player in the history of this game has put "played soccer up until age 15" on his NBA resumé.

It's a given at this point. It's not surprising and it's not impressive. Not that I don't appreciate Alabi's versatility, I do, I just wish his Wikipedia page said something about how he grew up idolizing Shawn Kemp or once ate a guy's face off as opposed to "he spent his childhood kicking around a ball in the dirt just like every other person on his entire continent."

Regardless, Alabi did once have 18 rebounds in an NBA game, which is pretty impressive, until you realize that it was against the New Jersey Nets, so read into that however you want.

Tim Ohlbrecht, power forward

Let's hand this one over to NBADraft.net's Simon Dresden who had this to say about the versatile German:

"Seldom seen combination of size, scoring ability and athleticism ... Explosive qathlete for a European player ... (qathlete!) ... RUNS THE FLOOR LIKE A DEER."

Okay Dresden, calm down, just calm down. I've never seen Tim Ohlbrecht get out on the fast break, but I doubt that the 6-11, 109 kg German runs the floor like one of the smoothest, most graceful creatures to ever roam our planet. Also, deers get run over ALL THE TIME. That being said, Ohlbrecht has had a bunch of experience in Germany, playing for teams called, Brose Baskets Bamberg, Telekon Baskets Bonn, Skyliners Frankfurt and TSV Breitengüßbach!  

Also if Simon Dresden still has a job as a professional scout and writer then I don't wanna read anymore of those "The Evster is a dufus!" comments below.

And yes I realize that this just about guarantees someone writing "The Evster is a dufus!" down below.

Mac Koshwal, power forward

Another African!

Why not, Hinkie?! Why not?!

Mac is from the Sudan (RIP Manute) and not only does he not have any NBA experience, he doesn't even have a Wikipedia page. Read that sentence again. This man, who played college basketball at DePaul and recently signed an NBA contract with an actual professional basketball team, does not have a Wikipedia page. Everyone has a Wikipedia page. Jean-Ralphio from Parks and Rec has a Wikipedia page. The guy who stocks the shelves at my local Wawa -- who may or may not know how to put on his own pants -- has like seven different Wikipedia pages. Not Mac, though. Doesn't need one. Does not need one.

What Mac does have is one, pathetic highlight video on his NBADraft.net page from 2006. If my math is correct, that means that the 25-yr-old power forward was only 7 when that video was made. It is seriously the most boring highlight clip you will ever watch. It's just one, stupid, two-handed dunk shown over and over again in slow motion set to some really lame music. And it's not even a great dunk. If anything, the pass that led to the dunk was more impressive. I am telling you, it is not worth watching. But I know you see it sitting there above, only 42 seconds long and you're thinking, "Oh, how lousy could it be? I'm not doing anything for 42 seconds. I could check it out." But I'm telling you. There's no reason to watch it. It's so boring. It's seriously so-- oh, just watch it you know you wanna.

Guys Who You've Probably Heard Of, But Still Need to be Mentioned in this Article Just Because

Khalif Wyatt, bubble butt

Look, I love Bubble Butt as much as you do -- and would be super-excited if he made the team -- but if Khalif Wyatt is playing significant minutes for the Sixers this year then we are in serious trouble bubble.

Royce White, space cadet

I'm sorry. That's not fair of me to write that Royce White is a space cadet. Social Anxiety Disorder is an actual thing and I genuinely like and respect Royce. I just hope he's able to balance his illness and his basketball career so that at some point we'll get to see him slug one of those Sixers Flight Squad guys right in the tits.

Vander Blue, shooting guard

I know what you're thinking, "I know this guy! He played at Marquette! I remember him!" No, you remember his name. The guy you're thinking of is actually Jae Crowder, who was the Big East Player of the Year in 2012, and now plays for the Dallas Mavericks. Vander Blue is just a mediocre basketball player with a semi-interesting haircut. I'm sorry Vander if you're reading this. You're probably a very nice person. Maybe use this as bulletin board material? Love that little dipsy-do squiggly line in your head, though. I really do.

Hollis Thompson, future D-Leaguer

Who cares about Hollis Thompson, let's talk about former Eagles defensive tackle Hollis Thomas, who can currently be seen dressed up like a genie in a local commercial for Videon Dodge Chrysler Jeep and Ram. If you haven't seen the spot, it's incredible. Hollis wears the shaftiest, sorriest genie outfit and tries to sling minivans by sprinkling genie dust all over the place. It is honestly bizarre. Unfortunately, the clip is not online, so I couldn't embed it here, but feel free to check out my Twitter convo with Hollis yesterday wherein I tried to track down a link to the vid.


He lied. It's not on YouTube anywhere.

Still would love to get a Rammer, though.

Go Sixers?

Follow The Evster @TVMWW.

NBA Playoffs: Westbrook, Thunder push Warriors to brink of elimination

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NBA Playoffs: Westbrook, Thunder push Warriors to brink of elimination

BOX SCORE

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Suddenly, these Golden State Warriors who have been compared all season to the Chicago Bulls dynasty of the 1990s are on the brink of elimination.

Russell Westbrook had 36 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Warriors 118-94 on Tuesday night to take a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Finals. Golden State, which won a league record 73 games in the regular season, lost consecutive games for the first time this season.

The Warriors must win Game 5 on Thursday in Oakland to keep their season alive.

"We all have to bounce back," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "The good news is, we go home. Obviously we play well at home. The idea now is to go home and get one win. Do that, and we put some pressure on them and we'll see what happens."

Klay Thompson led Golden State with 26 points, but two-time league MVP Stephen Curry was limited to 19 points on 6-for-20 shooting. Curry's shooting performance was so uncharacteristic that reporters asked if he was hurt.

"He's not injured," Kerr said. "He's coming back from the knee, but he's not injured. He just had a lousy night. It happens, even to the best players in the world."

The Warriors lost consecutive playoff games by at least 20 points for the first time since Games 2 and 3 of the 1972 Western Conference semifinals against the Milwaukee Bucks. Golden State's Draymond Green, who was fined for kicking Steven Adams in the groin in Game 3, finished with six points, 11 rebounds and six turnovers.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma City got a boost from an unlikely source. Andre Roberson, a player the Warriors have ignored at times during the series, scored a career-high 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.

Kevin Durant added 26 points and 11 rebounds and Serge Ibaka added 17 points and seven rebounds.

As for Westbrook, it was his first triple-double of the playoffs after posting 18 in the regular season. It was his fifth career playoff triple-double.

"I play every game like it's my last, regardless of who's in front of me," he said. "That's my job, and my job is to worry about my team, and that's all I do."

The Thunder know they have to close. Nine teams have rallied from 3-1 deficits to win.

"I think we're in a good place, but like I said, this game is over," Westbrook said. "We've got to move on to the next game. Every game is different."

The Thunder led 30-26 at the end of the first quarter, then gained control in the second. In the most unlikely of connections, Adams threw a bullet pass to Roberson near the basket for a dunk that gave the Thunder a 56-43 lead with just over four minutes left in the first half.

Oklahoma City finished with a flurry and led 72-53 at halftime. The Thunder matched the most points they have scored in a first half in franchise playoff history, a mark they set the previous game against the Warriors. It also matched the most points Golden State has allowed in a half this season for the second straight game.

Westbrook had 21 points, nine assists and five rebounds in the first half, and Durant had 18 points and six boards.

Thompson tried to keep the Warriors in it, scoring 19 points in just over seven minutes to start the third quarter. But the Thunder maintained their composure, led 94-82 at the end of the period and remained in control in the fourth.

"This is a tough situation to be in, but the series isn't over," Curry said.

Quotable
Kerr, on the pressure of trying to win a title after setting the regular-season wins record: "We had a tremendous regular season, our guys competed every single night and did something no one has ever done and they're proud of that. But in the playoffs, everybody starts 0-0. So there's no extra pressure, whether you're talking about defending our title or trying to back up the regular season."

Stat lines
According to Thunder Public Relations, the last team to score 72 or more points in the first half of two straight playoff games was the 1987 Los Angeles Lakers.

Tip-ins
Warriors: Curry went 1 for 7 in the first quarter, and made just 1 of 4 3-point attempts. ... Thompson committed his third foul with 7:55 left in the second quarter, and C Andrew Bogut committed his third about two minutes later. ... Curry made a 3-pointer for his 48th consecutive playoff game, extending his NBA record. ... The Warriors were 12-0 this season the game after a loss.

Thunder: Westbrook had five points, six assists and three rebounds in the first quarter. ... Oklahoma City forced 13 turnovers in the first half. ... The Thunder improved to 19-0 this season when Westbrook gets a triple-double. ... The Thunder outrebounded the Warriors 56-40 and outscored them 31-19 from the free throw line.

NHL Playoffs: Penguins fight off Lightning to force Game 7

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NHL Playoffs: Penguins fight off Lightning to force Game 7

BOX SCORE

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Pittsburgh Penguins made good on Evgeni Malkin's pledge to force Game 7 in the Eastern Conference final.

Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist, and Phil Kessel, Kris Letang, Bryan Rust and Nick Bonino also scored Tuesday night in a 5-2 victory that evened the best-of-seven series with the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-3.

Game 7 is Thursday night, with the Penguins hoping to reach the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2009 and the Lightning looking to advance to the Cup Final for the second straight year.

"I just told them to embrace the moment. It's a great opportunity for us. These are the type of circumstances to where you have an opportunity to write your own story," Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan.

"They had a certain mindset going into this tonight: `We're going to leave it all out there and do everything we can to bring this back to Pittsburgh,'" Sullivan added. "And, certainly that's what they did."

Malkin was the most demonstrative of the players expressing confidence the Penguins could take the series back to Pittsburgh, saying he believed in himself, his teammates and that they could return home for a seventh game "for sure."

Crosby stepped up with his third game-winning goal of the series. The Penguins captain assisted on Kessel's 5-on-3 power-play goal in the opening period and later skated around Tampa Bay defenseman Anton Stralman into the clear before sending a wrist shot between goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy's legs for a 3-0 lead in the final minute of the second period.

"We know the circumstances. It makes you go out there with a mindset of playing desperate," Crosby said. "I think we had confidence in the whole group. I think everyone played great.

"Everyone contributed in their own way. In a big game like this you, don't do anything special, just do your job. I think that's gotten us this far."

Rookie goaltender Matt Murray returned to the lineup after being replaced as the starter for Game 5 by Marc-Andre Fleury, but his 10th playoff victory did not come without a bit of suspense.

Brian Boyle scored twice in the third period for Tampa Bay, with one of the goals bouncing off Kessel before getting past Murray, who finished with 28 saves. The second score drew the Lightning within one goal with 7:17 remaining.

Instead of flinching, the young goalie who turns 22 on Wednesday retained his composure down the stretch to help the Penguins avoid relinquishing a third-period lead for the second straight game.

"I just think it's part of his DNA. He has a calming influence. He doesn't get rattled if he lets a goal in. He continues to compete," Sullivan said.

"That's usually an attribute that takes years to acquire. And to have it at such a young age is impressive. I think one of his biggest strengths is just his ability to stay in the moment."

Rust's breakaway goal at 17:52 of the third gave Pittsburgh breathing room, and Bonino added an empty-netter to finish it off.

"We had a great chance tonight and just tip-toed around a little bit," Boyle said. "We were tentative and weren't aggressive."

Kessel's goal was his team-leading ninth of the playoffs. Crosby had the primary assist, his first point since delivering game-winners in Games 2 and 3, and Malkin also had an assist to extend his point streak to four games after a slow start in the series.

The Lightning had an apparent goal by Jonathan Drouin waived off a little more than five minutes into the game, when Sullivan successfully challenged that the young Tampa Bay winger was offside on the play before tapping in a rebound off Ondrej Palat's shot that bounced off Murray's pads.

Sullivan announced the decision to go back to Murray following Tuesday's morning skate.

Murray started the first four games of the series. Fleury replaced him during the third period of Game 4, then made his first start in nearly two months in Game 5, which Tampa Bay won 4-3 in overtime.

Before Game 5, Fleury had not started a game since March 31, when he suffered a concussion.

Tampa Bay entered the game determined to not come out flat in Game 6 of the conference final for the second straight year.

The Lightning beat the New York Rangers on the road to go up 3-2 in that series, but were badly outplayed at home the next game and had to return to Madison Square Garden to finish the series.

Now, they'll have to win on the road again to make the third Stanley Cup appearance in franchise history.

"I know we can. I've got confidence in this group. We believe we can do that," Tampa Bay's Ryan Callahan said. "We've had success on the road in the playoffs. We've had success in their building already. It's going to be a good one."

Notes
The Penguins were 1 for 3 on the power play and are 4 for 19 in the series. The Lightning were 0 for 1, dropping to 2 for 12. ... Malkin was penalized in the first period for slashing Tampa Bay Bay's Ryan Callahan in what appeared to be retaliation for the Lightning forward whacking him across the wrist with his stick. ... Murray improved to 4-0 following a loss. He's 10-4 overall in the playoffs.

Best of MLB: Jackie Bradley Jr. extends hitting streak to 28 games

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Best of MLB: Jackie Bradley Jr. extends hitting streak to 28 games

BOSTON -- David Price scattered five hits over seven innings and Jackie Bradley Jr. had a pair of hits to extend his streak to 28 games as the Boston Red Sox beat the Colorado Rockies 8-3 on Tuesday night.

David Ortiz had a two-run double and a two-run single, and Dustin Pedroia added three hits to help Boston win its third straight game. Price (7-1) allowed three runs, walking one and striking out six to earn his third consecutive win.

Colorado lost for the fifth time in six games.

Jorge De La Rosa (1-4) made his first start after spending almost a month on the disabled list with a left groin strain. He gave up two runs in the first, two more in the second and left with one out in the fourth with two on and one run already in (see full recap).

Polanco, Pirates crush Diamondbacks
PITTSBURGH -- Gregory Polanco hit a three-run homer and drove in a career-best five runs as the Pittsburgh Pirates rolled by the Arizona Diamondbacks 12-1 on Tuesday night.

Polanco's shot to the concourse in right-center field off Shelby Miller (1-6) in the first inning gave Pittsburgh an early boost. Francisco Liriano (4-3) scattered two hits in 5 2/3 innings and added an RBI single as the Pirates improved to 6-2 during a 10-game homestand.

After a short adjustment period, Polanco has thrived batting third in the lineup, hitting .317 (20 of 63) with three home runs and 13 RBIs in 15 games. The Pirates spread their 17 hits among 11 batters.

Miller's recent recovery from a miserable start with the Diamondbacks took a step backward. Less than a year removed from an All-Star appearance with Atlanta, Miller's ERA ballooned to 7.09 after surrendering six runs in five innings (see full recap).

Strasburg strikes out 11 in Nationals' win
WASHINGTON -- Stephen Strasburg remained unbeaten with an 11-strikeout performance, and the Washington Nationals hit three of their season-high five home runs off struggling Matt Harvey in a 7-4 victory over the New York Mets on Tuesday night.

Strasburg (8-0) gave up two runs and four hits over 6 2/3 innings in defeating Harvey and the Mets for the second time in six days. Strasburg has five games this season with at least 10 strikeouts and 26 over his seven-year career.

Harvey (3-7) stumbled through a third straight ineffective start, allowing five runs and eight hits over five rocky innings. The right-hander has yielded 16 earned runs and 31 hits over his last three outings.

Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon hit successive solo shots to put Washington ahead in the fourth inning, and Daniel Murphy added a two-run drive off his former teammate in the fifth for a 5-1 lead (see full recap).