Not to get all sentimental or anything, but can you believe this is
really the last game against a Western Conference opponent that the
Philadelphia 76ers will play all season? As a result of the
lockout-shortened schedule, inter-conference games have been greatly
reduced this year, and so after the Sixers head to San Antonio tonight,
they'll be sticking in the East for the rest of the season. Crazy,
right? Feels like just yesterday we were touring the West for our
season-opening five-game swing, doesn't it?
Anyway, the Sixers' farewell to the Mountain and Pacific time zones
comes with one of the conference's toughest matchups—the San Antonio
Spurs, 19-4 at home for the season. As they were last year and just
about every year in memory before that, the Spurs are again one of the
NBA's best squads this season, weathering age and injury, quietly
retooling and winning the same way they always have—inexplicably, and
repeatedly. Sixers fans will no doubt remember that they've already met
with the Sixers once this season, beating the Ballers in Philly back in
February behind an incredible 37 points and eight assists from Tony
Parker, including a perfect 13-13 from the line.
So, do the Sixers stand a chance the second time around, this time in
the Lone Star State? Well, the Sixers do have the advantage of catching
the Spurs in the third game of a back-to-back-to-back, and coach Gregg
Popovich has never been shy about either yanking veteran starters early
or just not starting them at all in such games—and, indeed, it's been
reported that Hall-of-Fame power forward Tim Duncan might be sitting
this one out, along with injured reserves Gary Neal and Tiago Splitter.
That certainly improves our chances, though if Jrue Holiday and company
can't contain Tony Parker this time around, it won't matter all that
7:00 tip from the AT&T Center. You guys know that Mad Men is over two hours tonight? We might already be into the 1970s by the time this thing is done.
What is there to say about the Philadelphia Phillies?
In doing my usual postgame perusal of the Internet after their 7-2 loss on Wednesday night, I visited Phillies.com to see what kind of "highlights" they could have possibly posted from another crushing defeat at the hands of the Colorado Rockies.
Thankfully, the first thing that caught my eye was a video titled, "Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby."
It was not Larry Andersen in the Phanatic's arms. Nor me.
And that's the Phillies season in a nutshell.
"You gotta question the parenting skills here," John Kruk said on the telecast. And he's right! What kind of parent would raise their kid to be a Philly sports fan?!?
The Phillies now have the worst record in all of baseball. They're 4-20 in their last 24 games. It's their worst start to a season since 1960.
Even the Phanatic doesn't have enough popcorn to mask all the pain.
If you want to read about the upbeat approach Pete Mackanin is taking, go give this a gander.
"In a long season, these things sometimes happen," Mackanin told reporters. "I remember Atlanta, the first half last year, was terrible. They had a real good second half. I believe we just need to get something going. We're going to put something together. I believe that."
That makes one of us.
The future of Villanova basketball just got brighter.
Brandon Slater, a 6-foot-6 wing and highly touted 2018 recruit, told Scout.com on Wednesday night that he has verbally committed to the Wildcats.
He later made the announcement on Twitter.
Among the 2018 recruiting class, Slater, a product of Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Virginia, is ranked in the top 30 by Scout.com and top 50 by ESPN.com. He's slated as a four-star talent by both media outlets.
Per ESPN, Slater had offers from Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Syracuse, USC and Virginia Tech. He is Villanova's first commitment for 2018.
"Going up there it just feels like a second home," Slater said, via Evan Daniels of Scout.com. "It gives me a good vibe. It's nothing like all the other schools. I just feel like a Villanova guy. It feels like PVI. It's already home."
Slater and Villanova head coach Jay Wright expressed their excitement on Twitter.