Bye Weeks: The NFL's Version of the Frank S. Farley Plaza

Bye Weeks: The NFL's Version of the Frank S. Farley Plaza

Philadelphia sports fans can be glad of one thing this weekend: the
Eagles didn't lose. After the Phillies clinched the East last Sunday,
the Eagles crapped on our imaginary parade by dropping another division
game in pathetic fashion. This week, the Phillies returned the favor and let the Birds off the
hook, barely showing up for their first playoff appearance in over a
decade.

When the Eagles are rolling, bye weeks are torture. Waiting 6 days every week is
long enough, and once a season, it's more than doubled. But when the
season's seemingly in the tank, we're all a little grateful for the
mutual break. We need some time to focus on something other than
losing, and they need some time to get A) healthy and B) their shit
together. Andy Reid has been far from perfect this season, but that's
often the case before the bye. Bob Brookover did some number crunching,
and he points out that under Big Red, the Birds have won a modest 30 of
58 games before the midseason rest stop. After the bye, their record
jumps to 50-20. Broken down on an individual-game basis, the team is
3-5 in the game before the bye, and 8-0 in the game just after.

We've written this team off before, and they've come back and won, just
like the Phillies did this year. It'll be harder this season
considering how many they've already dropped to division opponents, but at this
point I'd settle for some watchable football. Once I see that, I'll raise my standards. Andy, Marty, Jimmy, and
the guy who's in over his head on special teams have plenty of
adjustments to make this week when the team returns to practice. The
squad has clearly been affected by injuries, but that's true of half
the teams in the league, so it's really no excuse. Still, when the
Eagles play the god-awful Jets next Sunday, Brian Westbrook and Brian
Dawkins will be back, and hopefully William Thomas too, so we'll at
least be less likely to see double-digit sacks.

A loss to the Jets would bring Andy's post-bye week run to an end, and
I don't see the Eagles turning it around if they can't win this game.
There's nothing worse for Eagles fans than watching football strictly for
fantasy purposes on Sunday, so this team better put together a few wins and keep us from losing our minds. I don't want to spend every Sunday hoping Mason Crosby kicks four field goals.

Best of NBA: Jaylen Brown, Celtics use 5-point possession to top Pistons

Best of NBA: Jaylen Brown, Celtics use 5-point possession to top Pistons

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Jaylen Brown sank a 3-pointer from the right corner while being fouled with 37.6 seconds remaining, part of a five-point possession for Boston that lifted the Celtics to a 104-98 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night.

The Celtics were down 96-95 when Brown connected while being fouled by Marcus Morris. Brown missed the ensuing free throw, but Detroit couldn't come up with the rebound, and Tobias Harris was called for a loose-ball foul. Marcus Smart added two free throws to put Boston up 100-96.

Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics with 33 points. Andre Drummond had 17 points and 15 rebounds for the Pistons, but he went 1 of 11 on free throws and was taken out for some key possessions toward the end to prevent Boston from fouling him.

Lakers crushed by Spurs in first home game since front office shakeup
LOS ANGELES -- Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points and the San Antonio Spurs routed the Lakers 119-98 on Sunday in Los Angeles' first home game since Magic Johnson took over the franchise's basketball operations.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 16 points for the Spurs, who have won four straight and nine of 11.

Pau Gasol added 15 points against his former team, and the Southwest Division leaders had little trouble with the Lakers, who have lost four straight and 15 of 19.

Five days after owner Jeanie Buss put Johnson in charge of basketball operations, the Lakers' dismal season still hasn't changed much, although new Lakers acquisitions Corey Brewer and Tyler Ennis got limited playing time.

Rookie Brandon Ingram scored a season-high 22 points as the Lakers fell to 19-41, ensuring their fourth consecutive non-winning season (see full recap).

Antetokounmpo scores 28 as Bucks hold off Suns
MILWAUKEE -- Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 28 points, Tony Snell made a clinching 3-pointer from the corner in the closing seconds and the Milwaukee Bucks held off the Phoenix Suns, 100-96 on Sunday.

Michael Beasley added 17 points and Malcolm Brogdon had 15 as the Bucks swept the two-game season series with the Suns. Greg Monroe finished with 14 points and Snell had 13.

TJ Warren led the Suns with 23 points. Alan Williams scored a career-high 17 points and tied his season high with 15 rebounds, while Devin Booker added 15 points and Eric Bledsoe had 11.

Clinging to a one-point lead, the Bucks came out of timeout with Monroe inbounding the ball to Antetokounmpo. He dribbled the clock down before passing to Brogdon, who whipped the ball to Snell in the corner. Snell hit a 3 with a defender flying at him.

NHL trade notes: Kings get Bishop from Lightning, Wild land Hanzal from Coyotes

NHL trade notes: Kings get Bishop from Lightning, Wild land Hanzal from Coyotes

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Kings acquired goalie Ben Bishop from the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday in a trade including goalie Peter Budaj and an exchange of draft picks.

The Kings will pair Bishop with Jonathan Quick in a remarkable veteran goaltending tandem down the stretch of the regular season. Quick returned only Saturday from a 59-game absence with a serious groin injury.

The Kings gave up Budaj, junior defenseman Erik Cernak, a 2017 seventh-round pick and another conditional pick. Los Angeles received Bishop and Tampa Bay's 2017 fifth-round pick.

Both teams are scrapping to get into playoff position over the next six weeks. The Kings (30-27-4) are just outside the second wild-card berth in the Western Conference, while the Lightning (27-25-8) are seven points back of a playoff spot (see full story).

Report: Wild get Martin Hanzal from Coyotes
A person with knowledge of the trade says the Minnesota Wild have acquired Czech center Martin Hanzal from the Arizona Coyotes.

The person spoke to The Associated Press Sunday on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced. Details on the return to Arizona were not immediately available.

Hanzal was considered one of the top rental players available ahead of Wednesday's NHL trade deadline. The 30-year-old pending unrestricted free agent has 16 goals and 10 assists in 51 games this season and 313 points in 608 NHL games, all with the Coyotes.

The move signals an aggressive approach from the Wild, who lead the Central Division and Western Conference by three points over the Chicago Blackhawks.