The Evsters Year-End Best-Of 2012 Sixers Award Thingies

The Evsters Year-End Best-Of 2012 Sixers Award Thingies

The New Year is all about reflecting on the past,
looking forward to the future, and according to my wife: not shaving
your legs until mid March/early April. So seeing that this is the time
for Best Of columns (and because I couldn’t think of a decent thread
for this post), here are my Year-End awards for your hometown Philadorphlia
Seventy Sorxers! 

Reminder: the Sixers are currently
2 games below .500 and have lost 8 of their last 11. Also, sleeping
with a woman whose legs feel like thorn bushes can make you a littttttttle
cranky.

Here we go! 

Best Dog Who Also
Happens to Play Basketball

Nominees: Nick Young, Kwame Brown,
my friend's dog Leroy who once ate a basketball. 

Nick Young plays basketball like an 8-year-old: he shoots the
ball every time he touches it, plays no D, and gets distracted whenever
the ice cream guy comes by.

In his defense though, how could
you not? Those vanilla cones with the chocolate coating? AMAZINGGGGGG,
but they always melt the second you crack the outer shell and then drip
all over your arm causing you to miss most of the 2nd Quarter.
I was once licking the back of my wrists during a Sixers Dream Team
dance performance and locked eyes HARD with one of the dancers. I’m
pretty sure she quit later that evening. 

Kwame? I just feel sorry for that guy at this point. He
deserves an ice cream cone.

And Leroy is amazing except for the fact that
he will gank an ice cream cone RIGHT FROM YOUR WIFE’S HANDS when she’s
not looking. Note: This does NOT help when you’re trying to convince
your wife to let you get a dog. Other things that don’t help: leaving
your socks on the living room floor, forgetting to take the trash out
for three straight weeks, and calling your wife “Thorn Bush Legs McGee.” 

THE WINNER: Nick “RUFF RUFF!” Young

Guy Who Likes
Shooting a Basketball More Than Anyone Else Likes to Do Anything 

Nominees: Nick Young, Maalik Wayns,
My friend's 3-year-old son who seriously never passes me the ball and
is a total selfish piece of shit and also wouldn't give me any of his
mac and cheese the other day when he only ate like half of what was
in his bowl.

Here’s a scouting report on Nick Young that I obtained from a good friend
who works for the Phoenix Suns: 

NICK YOUNG LIKES TO THROW THE
BALL TOWARD THE HOOP. Let him do this becuz he’s a dawggggg. MICHAEL
BEAZ, IF YOU ARE ACTUALLY READING THIS, YOU’RE GUARDING NICK YOUNG
TONIGHT. He’s the guy who will have a shirt that says “YOUNG”
on the back, but not the “Young” who who be running around and trying
hard. I think you guys will get along really well. Also, yes Michael,
you can have an ice cream cone AFTER the game. Keyword there is “AFTER.”

Maalik Wayns at least TRIES to do other things, even though those
things often include “dribbling the ball off his foot” and “getting
his name spelled wrong.” Seriously, are we all okay with the double
A in Maalik and no relation to the Wayans Bros? Before I Googled it,
I wrote Maalik Wayns as “Malik Wayans, Mallik Waynns and Mel Torme’ans.” 

My friend’s 3-year-old son
is the Rodney Buford of basement basketball. I mean, dude, I was open
ALL DAY, and you KEPT SHOOTING? even though you went what, 2 for 30?
And yeah, pretty much every time I try to take a shot I end up hitting
the ceiling, BUT AT LEAST I GIVE IT UP ON THE 2-ON-1 BREAK AND IT’S
A REALLY LOW CEILING.

THE WINNER: RUFF RUFFFFF!!!

Guy Whose Name
is Nick and Who Sucks at Basketball 

Nominees: Nick Young, Nick Foles,
Nick Cannon

The worst thing is, some people actually like Nick Young! They like his crazy hair, his whacky shoes, but
you know what? My Aunt Maxine’s got crazy hair and whacky shoes, but
I’m not penciling her at the Two for 18 minutes a night. Also, she
shoots with two hands and once broke her wrist while carrying groceries.
IN HER DEFENSE THOUGH THEY WERE REALLY HEAVY GROCERIES. 

Nick Foles’s hair is unacceptable. UNACCEPTABLE.

I never thought I’d say this, but I kinda think
that Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon sort of work. I mean, yeah,
I’d much rather see her with a 300-pound defensive lineman who could
WEAR THAT ASS OUT, but if she’s happy with a little tweedle-dork,
then that’s nice for her. 

THE WINNER:  SWAGGALICIOUS

Best Something
About Something Oh Who Cares Let’s Just Talk More Isht on Nick Young

Look, obviously Nick Young is not the WORST basketball
player of all time – clearly that honor goes to Shawn Brads – but
he still sucks really, really hard. His career W-L record (BECAUSE REMEMBER
BASKETBALL IS A TEAM GAME) is 163-258 (and yeah I know he played for
the Wizards so that’s not entirely his fault, but it’s not like
you’re not reading this for actual basketball analysis). In his first
five seasons in the NBA (five seasons when Nick was at the PEAK OF HIS
ATHELTIC PRIME) Dr. Doggington has averaged 1.9 boards a game, 1 assist,
0.5 steals and 0.2 blocks, proving that he sucksssssss. 

At least Shawn Bradley ATTEMPTED to play defense when
dudes were ramming on his neck. Nick Young just “Olé’s” ‘em
on by and then frumps down court and parks himself in the corner to
jack another three … hashtag CLANGGGGGGG.

For the rec (and I can’t believe I just defended
Shawn Bradley in that last paragraph), the worst players in 76er history
are: 

Shawn Brads – BUT HE COULD SWING A GOLF CLUB.

Keith Van Horns – Played in 575 career NBA games despite the fact
that he was born with 37 vaginas.

Maalik Wayns – Sorry, that last line about Keith Van Horn’s
vaginas was totally sexist and obviously made up. He was actually born
with only 11 vaginas.

Best Foghorn Leghorn
Impression by a Blogger Who Will Probably Never Be Asked to Write for
The 700 Level Again 

Now listen here boy, who, now I say, I say WHO, in
the Sixers organization watched Nick Young play basketball the last
5 years and thought, “You know what? We could really use a total gunner
who enjoys shooting 22-foot fade-aways despite the fact that HE’S
NOT GOOD AT BASKETBALL.”

The worst thing is: Nick Young is an above-average
shooter with good size and decent athleticism who does ABSOLUTELY NONE
of the little things that help teams win games. And that makes me sick. 

The Sixers aren’t going anywhere this year with
lame-o dudes like Swaggy P making fans barf all over themselves. His
horrific body language and wanna-be silky-smooth demeanor is insulting
to us all. So Tony DiLeo, in 2013, why not make a few moves that at
least make this team more fun to watch? It’s time for this organization
to drop this bum and pick up a LEGIT smooth baller who is PASSIONATE.
INTENSE. PROUD.

A player who is so captivating that you can’t keep
your eyes off of him no matter how much ice cream is dripping down your
sleeves. 

Yeah, you know who I’m talkin’ about …

Charlie Villanueva. 

Smoothest legs in the biz.

 

The Evster writes a blog called
TV My Wife Watches where he writes about TV his wife watches. You can
follow him on Twitter @TVMWW. Orrrrrrrrrrrrrr you can look at this picture
of Charlie Villanueva lookin’ smoother than a muhhggg.

 


Eagles repeating pattern of digging first-quarter hole in defeats

Eagles repeating pattern of digging first-quarter hole in defeats

It’s a pattern that keeps repeating itself. And it’s not a winning pattern.

Week after week, the Eagles are digging themselves a first-quarter hole. And week after week, they’re too far behind to catch up.

They trailed the Lions 14-0 in the first quarter. They trailed the Redskins 14-0 a minute into the second quarter. They fell behind the Cowboys 10-3 early in the second. The Giants jumped up on them 14-0 just six minutes in. And on Sunday, the Bengals led 10-0 before the first quarter was over.

If football games began at the start of the second quarter? This would be a different season. The Eagles would be 7-4-1.

The Eagles has actually outscored their opponents in the second, third and fourth quarters.

But the first quarter has been fatal.

The Eagles have been outscored by 32 points in the first quarter – 65 to 33. That’s their fourth-worst first-quarter scoring margin in the last 25 years, behind only three other nightmarish seasons – 1998 (minus-52), 2005 (minus-51) and 2012 (minus-75).

It’s also fourth-worst of any NFL team this year, ahead of only the Jets (minus-36), Broncos (minus-37) and Dolphins (minus-56).

Some teams – like the Broncos and Dolphins – have enough firepower to fight from behind.

The Eagles don’t.

They’re 4-0 when leading after the first quarter, 1-1 when tied after the first quarter and 0-6 when trailing after the first quarter.

At 0-6, they share the second-worst record in the NFL when trailing after 15 minutes with the Jaguars and 49ers. The Browns are 0-8 when trailing after the first quarter.

Last time the Eagles didn’t win a game all year when trailing after the first quarter was 1998. Before that 1977.

“It’s tough, especially in this league, to dig yourself a hole,” Carson Wentz said. “Whether the defense is struggling or the offense giving them points with turnovers and different things, it’s been a variation of a lot of those things. 

“It’s tough to dig yourself a hole against anybody, especially against good teams. So we’ve got to avoid that and we’ve got to come out swinging a little better early in games.”

The last time the Eagles won after trailing following the first quarter was the Dallas game last year, when they trailed 7-0 and won 33-27 in overtime.

What does it say about a team when it’s allowed twice as many points as it’s scored in the first quarter?

It sure seems like the Eagles several times this year simply haven’t been ready to play.

“The start to games, it's a mindset,” head coach Doug Pederson said. “It's truly a mindset. It's one of those things where as a team you want to come out and you want to kind of make the first punch, so to speak, or swing first. 

“We did it against Green Bay. We went down and scored, we matched touchdown for touchdown there. And we've done it throughout the course of the season. We've got to be a little more consistent offensively, too. That can also help. And then defensively it's just a matter of working to get off the field.

“It kind of sets the tone for the rest of the game if you can do that early in a football game.”

The Eagles have scored just three first-quarter touchdowns all year (only the Broncos have fewer) and haven’t scored more than seven points in any of their 12 first quarters.

They’ve allowed nine first-quarter touchdowns, and only one team has allowed more – the Dolphins with 10.

Wentz has completed 67 percent of his first-quarter passes but with just one TD pass and four interceptions.

Incredibly, the Eagles have only five plays all year of more than 20 yards in the first quarter – just one in the last four games. Only the Saints, Jaguars and Broncos have fewer.

Why are the Eagles so bad early in games?

“There is no other answer than to execute one play at a time,” offensive coordinator Frank Reich said. “There's no magic formula. I think we've had good energy at practice. I like the way we practice. I feel like we are putting together good plans.

“We're showing flashes of being a good football team. We need to be more consistent. We need to make more big plays. It's hard to sustain 14-play drives. We've missed a few plays here and there. We just all – coaches, players together – need to make it work one play at a time.”

The only teams to outscore the Eagles in the second half are the Cowboys (13-10), Seahawks (10-8) and Packers (13-3).

When a team has outscored its opponents by 61 points in the second, third and fourth quarters combined and it’s 5-7, the focus has to be on the first quarter.

That means preparation. That means being mentally and physically ready. 

“Yeah, I do look at all of that, and that's part of my job is the (pregame) schedule and all,” Pederson said. “But these guys are in a great frame of mind on game day. They're loose; they're energetic; they're ready to go. They're focused. 

“You see it in pregame. It's been unfortunate, but it's something we've got to focus in on a little bit more … and try to strike first.”

The Eagles will try to end their three-game losing streak at 1 p.m. Sunday when they face the Redskins at the Linc.

The Redskins, 6-5-1 but with a two-game losing streak, beat the Eagles 27-20 in Landover, Md., in October.

“I think it just comes down to being focus and locking in,” Wentz said. “You’ve seen us. There’ve been games where we’ve come out and we’re rolling right away.

"We just have to find a way to maintain that and be consistent with that. The goal is to come out swinging right away.”

Flyers-Oilers 5 things: Winning streak meets Connor McDavid

Flyers-Oilers 5 things: Winning streak meets Connor McDavid

Flyers (15-10-3) vs. Oilers (14-10-4)
7 p.m. on CSN and CSNPhilly.com, Pregame Live at 6:30

The hottest team in the NHL will meet the hottest young star on Thursday night when the Flyers host the Edmonton Oilers at the Wells Fargo Center.

Here are five things you need to know for the matchup:

1. McDavid and Co.
The Flyers are going for their seventh consecutive victory, which would tie their longest winning streak since Dec. 2-15, 2011, when they also won seven in a row.

In order to do so, they’ll have to slow down transcendent talent Connor McDavid and the prolific but streaky Oilers.

McDavid, a generational player, has thus far lived up to all the hype surrounding him as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft. In just his second NHL season — and first with a healthy start after an injured-shortened rookie year (45 games) — the 19-year-old leads all of hockey in points with 36, while no other player has yet to eclipse 30.

His 25 assists also rank atop the NHL, while his 11 goals are among the top 22 and his plus-8 rating is tied for ninth best between all centers.

“He’s one of the best players in the world,” Pierre-Edouard Bellemare said Wednesday. “It’s tough not to be excited when playing against a guy who plays like this. He competes every second he is on the ice.”

And he has help.

Linemates Leon Draisaitl (11 goals, 11 assists) and Milan Lucic (eight goals, 12 assists) can do damage, as can Jordan Eberle (eight goals, 13 assists).

2. Defense wins games
The Flyers are playing better and cleaner in front of their goaltender — who has been great (see below) — and the results are showing.

The orange and black have gone five straight games of allowing two or fewer goals.

Why were they so up and down before this run? Well, they had surrendered two or fewer goals in just five of their previous 23 games.

“That’s unbelievable for us,” Wayne Simmonds said after Tuesday’s 3-2 win over the Panthers. “At the beginning of the year, to say we’d have five straight without giving up more than two would be a stretch.
 
“We’ve locked it down defensively and Mase has played unbelievable. We’ve been pretty good as five-man units.”

3. Mase the man
A confident Steve Mason is a dangerous Steve Mason.

Right now, Mason has the net and is gaining steam by the game.

Over his past five outings, the 28-year-old is 5-0-0 with a 1.74 goals-against average and .947 save percentage.

Just as impressive, since Nov. 12, Mason is 8-3-1 with a 2.11 goals-against average and .930 save percentage.

“I've said it numerous times, I want to be playing lots of hockey,” Mason said Tuesday. “This is a position that I'm used to being in and where I'm most comfortable. So just have to keep continuing to put my work in and whenever [head coach Dave Hakstol] calls my name, be ready."

4. Keep an eye on ...
Flyers: You always have to watch Simmonds, but especially now with the winger coming off back-to-back two-goal games. Simmonds leads the NHL with eight power-play goals and is second in man-advantage points (13) to only teammate Claude Giroux (14).

Oilers: With all the attention zeroed in on McDavid, we’ll go with the 21-year-old Draisaitl, who has seven goals in his last nine games and 14 points in his past 12. The No. 3 overall pick in 2014 is an intelligent playmaker capable of hurting you.

5. This and that
• Mason is 8-4-0 with just a 3.49 goals-against average and .872 save percentage in 13 career games against Edmonton.

• Oilers goalie Jonas Gustavsson will make his fourth start of the season. He’s 1-1-1 on the year with 84 saves on 91 shots faced, but is 0-4-1 lifetime against the Flyers with a 3.57 goals-against average and .865 save percentage.

• The Flyers are fourth in the NHL in goals per game (3.11), while Edmonton is seventh (2.93).

• The Oilers have lost 10 of their last 15 games (5-7-3).