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Burrrrn: Sixers Get Absolutely Scorched By Heat In Game 2

Burrrrn: Sixers Get Absolutely Scorched By Heat In Game 2

29 points. That's what LeBron James managed in the Heat's victory last night over the Sixers, a much better performance than his Game One effort on Saturday. But much more concerningly, that's also what the Sixers' entire starting lineup for the Sixers managed combined, with Jrue Holiday being the only of the five to reach double digits. They also shot 11-35 and had as many turnovers as assists (10 each). Now, one of the Sixers' strengths all year has been our bench, but if our starting lineup is that awful, it doesn't matter if we have Julius Erving and Charles Barkley coming off the pine. Meanwhile, the Heat's big three went for 64 points—nearly pacing the Sixers' entire team—as the Heat cruised to an easy 94-73 victory.

After the Sixers missed so many shots at the rim and from close range on Saturday, I thought for sure things would be different this time around. It was different, all right—it was a whole lot worse, actually, as just about everyone on the team took turn missing layups and open jumpers in the first few quarters. (The team somehow went 0-11 for the game on shots from between three and nine feet, which is just....wow.) Thaddeus Young, so deadly in Game One, was the worst culprit this time around, leaving nearly everything that left his hands just a half-inch short. His performance in the box score looks all right—8-20 for 18, with six boards—but most of that 18 came in garbage time, and before that, he was missing hooks, finger-rolls and jumpers left and right, killing the Sixers' momentum (whatever momentum they had) and neutralizing the one legitimate threat that the team had against the Heat.

Defensively, the Sixers' performance was actually not terrible. Dwyane Wade, already suffering from a migraine, was more or less taken out of the game, shooting just 4-11 for 14 points and turning the ball over five times, and the Sixers did a good job of making the supporting cast take shots, where they only went 11-29 (and 2-12 from three). But LeBron was making crazy shots, and Bosh remained dangerously close to unstoppable, draining or banking nearly ever jumper he took, going 9-13 for 21 points. The parade to the free throw line the Heat took in game one was slowed this time out, but they still took 29 free throws, nine more than the Sixers, and converted relatively consistently, making 23 of them.

The one positive to take from this game (and believe me, there's only the one) is that for maybe the first time all year, Evan Turner looked like a legitimate threat at shooting guard. Not to say that this was his best game of the year—he's had better, certainly—but in terms of just playing the two-guard position, I can't remember a game where Evan looked better-suited to the role. It was simple, really—he caught, he shot, he made. Evan was 6-10 from the field, and all six makes were from 16 feet out or further, including three from behind the three-point line. Each time he had an open shot, he made it—a feat which would hardly land him in the MVP discussion, since that's sort of what two-guards are supposed to do, but it's something that Turner has struggled with doing consistently all season, as everyone claimed he was still learning to play without the ball. For him to convert like that, in a big game where absolutely no one else on the team was hitting anything—it's a good sign, no doubt.

So what now? Well, it's hard to point out obvious adjustments that the Sixers should make to counter this Heat team, since as no less an authority than Coach Collins himself pointed out, if they're not screwing themselves up, they're just way better than we are. "If they’re playing great, they’re a better team," Dougie admitted. "OK? If they’re playing on top of their game, they’re a better team. I mean, they won 58, we won 41. That doesn’t mean that we aren’t  going to play and compete and fight. But when they come out tonight and defend  the way they did … it’s going to be very difficult for us to beat them." Honest, but not terribly encouraging. The one adjustment I would maybe like to see the Sixers make for next game is to get more PT for Jodie Meeks, whose minutes were justifiably purloined by Evan Turner last night, but who could have done more good things for this team than Lou Williams, who has now shot a combined 4-18 in the series to date. What about a lineup of Evan, Jodie and 'Dre, with Evan playing the point? It's worth a shot, I think.

Of course, the Sixers might not have any choice but to get a little experimental for the two games in Philadelphia, as it's now fairly clear that this team is going to have a lot of trouble beating the Heat straight up. I'd appreciate it if there weren't any more games as embarrassing as this, but it's hard to act too surprised by last night's result—when the Heat are playing to the maximum of their potential, really, there's no reason why they shouldn't win every game against non-elite competition by at least 20 points. As Collins says, that doesn't mean we're supposed to close up shop games in advance, but it does continue to demonstrate just how far away the Sixers are from being on the Heat's level—and how, in all likelihood, they'll continue to be this far away, as long as management believes that building around expensive, miscast supporting players like Elton Brand and Andre Iguodala is the surest recipe for team success.

Game three from Philadelphia at 8:00 on Thursday. Hopefully we can still salvage a little dignity out of this mess, even if an actual W is looking like a little bit of a stretch at this point.

CSNPhilly Internship - Advertising/Sales

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CSNPhilly Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned

Requirements

1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

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Malcolm Jenkins not concerned about status of Eagles' banged-up secondary

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Malcolm Jenkins not concerned about status of Eagles' banged-up secondary

It was Oct. 31, 2010 -- Halloween evening in New Orleans. Steelers vs. Saints at the Superdome in a Sunday night national TV game.

It was nearly seven years ago, but Malcolm Jenkins remembers it clearly.

Because this week reminds him of that week.

Because that night the Saints played with six defensive backs. And on Wednesday, the Eagles practiced with six defensive backs.

With cornerback Ronald Darby out indefinitely with an ankle injury and safeties Corey Graham and Rodney McLeod and corner/safety Jaylen Watkins all out of practice with hamstring injuries, the only other defensive backs healthy enough to practice Wednesday -- four days before the Eagles' home opener vs. the Giants -- were cornerbacks Jalen Mills, Rasul Douglas, Dexter McDougle and Patrick Robinson and safety Chris Maragos.

Just like seven years ago on Halloween.

"At one point we had myself and Usama Young playing corner, Pierson Prioleau was the dime, who played the nickel, we had Roman Harper, Darren Sharper … and the only active corner we had was Leigh Torrance," Jenkins recalled. "And he got a concussion at some point in that game.

"And we won (20-10). We actually played really well in the back end. So it’s one of those things. It’s a mindset. You can either let it distract you, let it slow you down, or you can prepare to win, and we’ve decided that whoever’s out there, we’re going to prepare to win.

"If we need to adjust, we’ll adjust. Obviously we feel that our D-line is one of those things that can equalize some of the depth that we have. If not, we’ll adjust as we go on."

Darby got hurt against the Redskins. The Eagles lost Watkins and McLeod in the second quarter in Kansas City Sunday. Graham also got hurt against the Chiefs but was able to finish.

Even though none of them practiced yesterday, it doesn't mean none of them will play Sunday. Graham in particular seems likely to see action.

But this is certainly as thin as the Eagles have been in the secondary in years. And remember, Maragos is essentially a special teamer -- he has one defensive snap the last two years. And McDougle has never played a snap in an Eagles uniform.

“We’re a little thin right now, but we have few backup plans in case somebody else gets hurt," Jenkins said. "We’ll have to get creative. But as of right now we’re game-planning with everything we’ve got, not changing anything. We’ll move forward and see what happens.

“We’ve got options. A lot of us are very, very versatile. (Special teamer) Chris Maragos is a safety, somebody who can slide in. We can put Kamu (Grugier-Hill, linebacker) back there or we can change the defense and put one of our corners there and move some guys in and out of the slot. Dex McDougle we can put in the slot or move Patrick. "

The biggest weapon the Eagles' secondary has is the defensive line.

The Eagles have eight sacks in their first two games, third-most in the league and most by an NFC team, and seventh-most in franchise history after two games.

“It’s going to come down to the play of our D-line," Jenkins said. "They’re definitely going to need to help us in that regard so we don’t have guys out there trying to cover some really good receivers for a long a long amount of time with a really good quarterback.

"But there’s some things we’re going to have to do in the secondary, especially covering early, giving our D-line some time to be disruptive and be able to get so many skill players on the ground."

Jenkins was asked several times at his locker Wednesday about the threadbare secondary, but he genuinely doesn't seem concerned.

At all.

“I’m not," he said. "I’m getting ready to play the Giants at home and I’ve got nothing in my mind but winning.

“We prepare, man. As a group, I’d be surprised if anybody we put out there flinched at all. Just the way we prepare, the way we challenge each other, we’ve got full confidence by the time we get to Sunday in whoever's out there.

“It might be a mindset. Honestly, we’ve got places we want to go, places we think we should be, and no matter who we got or what stands in our way, we’re going to get there.

"I can assure one thing - that we’ll go out and compete on Sunday. That’s the biggest thing. Whoever we put out there is going to play hard, they’re going to prepare hard throughout the week, and we’ll be ready to play. Will it be perfect? It’s never perfect. But we’re going to play hard and we have faith in the guys we’re putting out there."

Assuming the 22-year-old Mills and 23-year-old Douglas start at cornerback, it will be the youngest starting cornerback duo in franchise history.

In 2004, the Eagles started two 23-year-old corners -- Lito Sheppard and Rod Hood -- in one game, Week 14 against the Cowboys. And in Week 1 of this season, they also started two 23-year-olds -- Darby and Mills.

“Everybody’s out to prove something," Jenkins said. "Jalen has probably the most confidence in our room, out of any of the guys, and I think that’s what makes him the player that he is. Rasul also is a guy that has a lot of confidence in his ability and his preparation and plays with a chip on his shoulder and has something to prove.

"That’s all I ask for, guys like that next to me. If we have that attitude, no matter who we play against, we’ll go out and compete."