The Sixers can basically kill the Washington Wizards' season tonight

The Sixers can basically kill the Washington Wizards' season tonight

Now that their miraculous season-beginning three-game winning streak has come to an end in thudding fashion, we should be able to get back to our normal ways of expecting the worst from this Philadelphia 76ers team at just about every opportunity. Their first opportunity to once again live down to expectations comes tonight against the Washington Wizards, already in their second matchup this year, with the Sixers taking the surprise 109-102 victory five days ago in Washington.

While the Sixers have already exceeded fan hopes for their entire season in the space of three games, the Wizards are in the unfortunate spot of their results thusfar being well, well below expectation, as their franchise and its young core was expected to take the next step towards playoff contention this season, but has instead started 0-3, with injuries (veteran bigs Emeka Okafor and Nene, highly touted rookie forward Otto Porter) and a surprise pre-season deal many dubbed a panic trade (swapping the expiring contract of the injured Okafor with a future draft pick for offensive-minded center Marcin Gortat) further adding to the team's desperation.

If the Sixers win tonight, bringing the Washington record to 0-4, it could be a fairly deadly blow to the team's post-season aspirations, even this early on. After Philly, Washington has the championship-aspirant Nets at home, then goes on a three-game West Coast swing against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs (combined record: 8-3). It's been suggested that if the Wizards lose tonight, Washington coach Randy Wittman might not survive the trip out West.

As in the teams' matchup last week the question for this game is two-fold: Can we contain their explosive young backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal, and can their depleted frontlines handle the post play of our Thaddeus Young and Spencer Hawes? The answers last week were both "Yes for one half, no for the other," with Thad and Spence just getting the last word, but tonight, in a do-or-die matchup with the Sixers' momentum finally slowed a little, it'll be tough to get the edge a second time.

7:00 tip from the WFC. Will the tanking officially commence tonight, or is this team not done playing over their heads? Do we even know which one we're rooting for? Guess we'll find out tonight.

Matt Rhule's first Baylor hires include 4 Temple assistants

Matt Rhule's first Baylor hires include 4 Temple assistants

WACO, Texas -- New Baylor coach Matt Rhule has made some immediate Texas connections by hiring the president of the state's high school coaches who is a former Bears receiver.

Rhule announced his first five hires with the Bears on Friday, three days after being named Baylor's coach. They include four members from his staff at Temple and David Wetzel, the head coach and athletic director the past 13 seasons at Ronald Reagan High School in San Antonio.

Sean Padden will serve as Baylor's director of football operations, similar to his role at Temple the past four years.

Rhule didn't immediately announce the titles and job duties for Wetzel, Francis Brown, Mike Siravo and Evan Cooper. There was also no indication of when the rest of his staff would be completed.

Brown and Siravo were defensive assistants at Temple, and Cooper was director of player personnel for the Owls.

Wetzel, who has coached in the state high school ranks for 25 years, was serving as president of the Texas High School Football Coaches Association. He lettered at Baylor in 1990 and 1991 while playing for Grant Teaff, and also earned a master's degree from the school in 1994. Before Reagan, he was head coach at schools in Killeen and Austin.

Wetzel told the Waco Tribune-Herald that he expects to play a major role in recruiting, but didn't know yet if he'd be coaching offense or defense.

"Given the opportunity, it's really a unique deal," Wetzel told the newspaper. "I feel like it's God's timing for me to be in the right place at the right time."

When Rhule was introduced Wednesday in Waco, he said he had already received about 480 text messages, many from coaches. He also didn't rule out the possibility of some of the current Baylor assistants staying, but said he hadn't had a chance to meet with them. Those assistants were retained from former coach Art Briles' staff with Jim Grobe as acting head coach this season.

Note
Baylor announced Friday that Jalen Pitre, a defensive back from Stafford, Texas, signed a financial aid agreement that will allow him to enroll for the spring 2017 semester after graduating from high school early. Before Rhule was hired, Pitre was the only player verbally committed for Baylor's recruiting class in February. He had 83 tackles, six interceptions and four forced fumbles as a senior.

Dorial Green-Beckham fined by NFL for wearing Yeezy cleats

Dorial Green-Beckham fined by NFL for wearing Yeezy cleats

Dorial Green-Beckham didn't support any charity with his cleats last Sunday.

In reality, he was funding the NFL.

The Eagles' receiver was fined $6,076 by the NFL for wearing Yeezy cleats (Kanye West's shoes), which had no affiliation to a charitable organization or cause, CSNPhilly.com has confirmed. Players around the NFL last weekend wore decorative spikes supporting a charity or cause they felt passionately about as part of the league's My Cleats, My Cause promotion. Green-Beckham was fined because his cleats were unapproved by the league; earlier this season Houston receiver DeAndre Hopkins was fined for wearing Yeezy cleats. 

Green-Beckham told NJ.com’s Eliot Shorr-Parks he was supporting the "Yeezy Foundation." ESPN's Tim McManus first reported the fine on Friday. 

Bradham fined for tackle
Speaking of fines, Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham was hit with a $18,231 fine for his horse-collar tackle last Sunday on Bengals running back Jeremy Hill in the third quarter.

The first-year Eagle finished the game with five total tackles and a forced fumble.