What's Up New York: Sixers Kick Off Home-and-Home with Knicks at MSG

What's Up New York: Sixers Kick Off Home-and-Home with Knicks at MSG

The Sixers have gotten off easy at the start of the 2012-13 NBA season,
with only one game in the first five days of the season. It gets real
today, though, with the first of a home-and-home back-to-back with the
New York Knicks, fellow 1-0 leaders of the Atlantic Division. Still no
Bynum, natch, but with the Sixers on pace to go 82-0 in their first
season of the post-Iguodala era, hey, what's the rush?

The
Knicks also scored their one win of the season at home against an
impressive opponent, throttling the Heat 104-84. They did so behind 30
and 10 from all-star forward Carmelo Anthony, but more pressingly,
behind a stunning 19 made threes, one away from the franchise record.
With increasingly ineffective star forward Amar'e Stoudemire out for 6-8
weeks, the team seems built around Melo, three-point shooting, ball
movement and veteran leadership (including four of the six oldest
players in the league—Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby, Kurt Thomas and
RaSHEEEED Wallace), which in a very limited sample size, appears
effective.

Guarding against the three will be an obvious key for
the Sixers tonight, as will finding ways to limit easy looks for Melo.
In past years, that unenviable task would've fallen to departed wing
Andre Iguodala, but with him balling in Denver now, it'll likely be
passed to Dre's replacement at the three, Evan Turner, in Evan's first
real challenge assignment of the season. Whether Evan can get his at the
other end after a slow pre-season and an ineffective season opener will
also be a key—and if you remember, the last time he was in this
building, he had maybe the best game of his pro career, exploding for 24
points and 15 rebounds in a big Sixers win.

Noon-ish tip from
MSG. Speaking of Andre Iguodala, did you guys see that incredible
Nugs-Heat game last night? 'Dre had easily the best game of his
thus-brief Denver career, going for 22 points on 9-15 shooting,
including the biggest shot of the night for the Mile-High club, when he
stuck a pull-up jumper with 15 seconds to go to put the Nuggets up one.
It was totally nullified by a Ray Allen four-point play at the other
end, but...still. Good to see our old friend Iguodala get going, despite the team's 0-3
start.

Pete Mackanin says Odubel Herrera will stay in CF this season — but beyond?

Pete Mackanin says Odubel Herrera will stay in CF this season — but beyond?

A couple of weeks ago in Los Angeles, Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said there was a chance he could look at Odubel Herrera in a corner outfield spot over the final weeks of the season.

Scrub that idea.

“Not this year,” Mackanin said Monday. “If we decide we're going to do that, we'll encourage him to play a corner in winter ball and then in spring training, if that's what we decide to do.

“I thought about doing that. But I don't know if we want to do that now. We’ll just let him get back on track offensively. I won't say it won't happen here or there. But we're not going to make that move right now.

“Let's try to keep his mind as uncluttered as possible right now. It looks a little cluttered.”

The Phillies have thought about moving Herrera to a corner spot because they have a top center field prospect in Roman Quinn. Also, Aaron Altherr is an excellent defender in center.

Quinn seemed to be on target for a call up after the Eastern League playoffs, but that could be in doubt now that he’s on the disabled list with a concussion.

Still, Quinn may be this club’s centerfielder of the future. And behind him is Mickey Moniak, this year’s top draft pick. He’s a ways away. But it’s worth wondering if the Phillies believe Herrera’s future is at a corner outfield spot. Or whether Herrera will be wintertime trade bait.

Mackanin was asked if he believed Herrera’s future would be in a corner spot.

“You know, I'd rather not really even comment on that,” he said. “I don't want him to think that we're not pleased with him. I just want to keep him confident the rest of the season.”

Herrera’s defense in center field has slipped this season.

“He was better last year defensively,” Mackanin said. “He's made a lot of mistakes this year. I think we've all seen that. But that doesn't mean he's not going to play center field anymore. There's another month left to see what happens.”

Herrera was the Phillies’ lone representative in the All-Star Game. He hit .294 with a .378 on-base percentage and a .427 slugging percentage before the All-Star break. Since then, however, he was hitting .252 with a .314 on-base percentage and a .378 slugging percentage entering play Monday night.

Mychal Kendricks may be only starter to play Thursday vs. Jets

Mychal Kendricks may be only starter to play Thursday vs. Jets

Nelson Agholor, a struggling second-year receiver who may or may not be a starter, likely won't play in the Eagles' preseason finale Thursday against the Jets.

Mychal Kendricks, a fifth-year linebacker who's been a regular starter since he was a rookie, likely will.

"There's a chance," head coach Doug Pederson said Monday. "There's a chance he plays because he hasn't played all preseason, and we still want to get him those live reps and get him ready for Cleveland."

Kendricks played Saturday against Indianapolis after missing the first two preseason games with a hamstring injury suffered in training camp earlier this month. He was still in the game in the fourth quarter, when the rest of the starters had exchanged their helmets for baseball caps.

"Why? Because he hasn't played," Pederson said. "He hasn't played and we just want to see him get game and live reps. That's the bottom line."

And just to be sure, Kendricks is still a starter?

"Oh, yeah. He's another one that we'd love to see again this Thursday night in a short role," Pederson said. "But at the same time he hasn't played all preseason. Stephen Tulloch's another one that we need to see play. So there's an opportunity for these two to get some more reps on Thursday."

Tulloch makes sense. He needs all the reps he can get. And he's also a backup. He should have no problem playing Thursday.

As for Kendricks ... he was not available to the media Monday.

Aaron Grymes waived/injured by Eagles

Aaron Grymes waived/injured by Eagles

Aaron Grymes was making a serious push to be on the Eagles' 53-man roster until the cornerback's right shoulder slammed into the ground at Heinz Field after an interception.

Grymes hasn't practiced or played since and the Eagles waived/injured the 25-year-old corner on Monday.

Before coming to the Eagles this spring, Grymes spent three successful seasons in the Canadian Football League and won a Grey Cup as an All-Star for the Edmonton Eskimos in 2015.

There seems to be a decent shot that the Eagles might want to put Grymes on their practice squad.

After the Pittsburgh game, when he had the interception and suffered the injury, Grymes was asked if he would prefer to be on a practice squad or head back to Canada, where he's already a proven star.

“I’ve thought about both of them," Grymes said on Aug. 18. "Both of them are great opportunities. I know that there are teams in Canada that are willing to bring me in and let me play. But then again, you can’t really compare it with this NFL dream I’ve had forever.

"To sign to a practice squad … injuries happen every day, and I think an opportunity could be there. It will be something I sit down with my wife and talk about, sit down with my agent and talk about. We’ll just make the best decision for us from there.”