The Evster breaks down the clammiest roster in Sixers history

The Evster breaks down the clammiest roster in Sixers history

There are some things we know for sure about this year's Sixers: Evan Turner will dribble around like a hunchback and shoot stepback jumpers off the side of the backboard. Thaddeus Young will make ridiculous corkscrew layups while occasionally smashing head first into the stanchion under the basket. Kwame Brown will do nothing. Absolutely nothing. Michael Carter-Williams will have so many letters on the back of his jersey. And Spencer Hawes will attempt to play a full season with his entire head firmly implanted inside his own anus.

BUT THE REST OF THE SQUAD?!?!

WHO KNOWS?!?!

Sam Hinkie has put together a hodgepodge of basketball no-names. Hailing from PARTS UNKNOWN, players 5 through 20 will not only be fighting for roster spots, but because of injuries to Nerlens Noel, Jason Richardson and Arnett Moultrie, also competing for actual playing time.

Don't know any of these guys? That's okay, keep reading. Below is everything you need to know about the 2014 NBA Draft Lottery winners.

Guys Who Might Not Suck as Hard as We Think They Suck

Darius Morris, point guard

The former Michigan man left Ann Arbor the second Trey Burke stepped onto campus (smart move, by the way) and is probably best known as the guy who lit up Jrue Holiday for 15 points last year in a win for the Lakers. Orrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, you might remember him from the time he appeared on E!'s Fashion Police with Joan Rivers, Adam Lambert and GILBERT GOTTFRIED.

James Anderson, shooting guard

The Big 12 Player of the Year from Oklahoma State (that's something!) was also a first-team All American in 2010 (along with Evan Turner, John Wall, Demarcus Cousins and your boy, Scottie Reynolds). Since then, Anderson has spent three years with the Spurs, Rockets and Raptors (that's also something!), where he averaged 3.8 points a game (on 39% shooting). Buttttttttttt, you'll be happy to know that back in high school Anderson was a two-time Arkansas state high-jump champion! So if things don't work out this time around, SIXERS FLIGHT SQUAD, BABY!

The last time the Sixers picked up a guy solely because of his leaping ability, they drafted Marko Milic, the Slovenian dude who SHOCKED THE ENTIRE NATION OF SLOVENIA BY dunking over a Honda. I thought the pick was brilliant, but Marko went onto play a grand total of zero games for the Sixers. Today, Milic can be found flipping burgers at the Wendy's on 54th and City Line.

At the moment, Anderson is penciled in as the Sixers starting shooting guard.

Cliff Edwards, power forward

This is not a real person. This is just a picture of a guy that I found online, and then pasted it into this article and gave him a very generic name for a black guy. Still, I feel like Cliff could really help the Sixers out on the offensive glass.

Tony Wroten, junkyard dog

"PLAYER OF THE DAY" according to every beat writer who watched the Sixers' first practice. Coach Brown compared Wroten to a junkyard dog based on his scrappy defense and ability to chase around a basketball while slobbering all over it and ruining everyone's fun. Tony Wronie only averaged 2.6 big ones for the Grizzlies last year, but he does happen to be cousins with Nate Robinson, so there's that. Also his aunt played for the Harlem Globetrotters, which is absolutely incredible. How has ESPN not made a 30 for 30 about the Wrotens? And how friggin' annoying is it when dogs constantly try to rebound for you when you're just trying to get some shots up in the driveway?

Foreign Dudes

Solomon Alabi, center

Here is the least shocking thing you will ever read about the Nigerian-born Alabi: Before taking up basketball at age 15, he played soccer.

Now, this is wonderful, it really is. I love soccer and I love players with good footwork and I totally admit that I would kiss Hakeem Olajuwon right on his hot, wet, dreamy mouth, but every African-born basketball player in the history of this game has put "played soccer up until age 15" on his NBA resumé.

It's a given at this point. It's not surprising and it's not impressive. Not that I don't appreciate Alabi's versatility, I do, I just wish his Wikipedia page said something about how he grew up idolizing Shawn Kemp or once ate a guy's face off as opposed to "he spent his childhood kicking around a ball in the dirt just like every other person on his entire continent."

Regardless, Alabi did once have 18 rebounds in an NBA game, which is pretty impressive, until you realize that it was against the New Jersey Nets, so read into that however you want.

Tim Ohlbrecht, power forward

Let's hand this one over to NBADraft.net's Simon Dresden who had this to say about the versatile German:

"Seldom seen combination of size, scoring ability and athleticism ... Explosive qathlete for a European player ... (qathlete!) ... RUNS THE FLOOR LIKE A DEER."

Okay Dresden, calm down, just calm down. I've never seen Tim Ohlbrecht get out on the fast break, but I doubt that the 6-11, 109 kg German runs the floor like one of the smoothest, most graceful creatures to ever roam our planet. Also, deers get run over ALL THE TIME. That being said, Ohlbrecht has had a bunch of experience in Germany, playing for teams called, Brose Baskets Bamberg, Telekon Baskets Bonn, Skyliners Frankfurt and TSV Breitengüßbach!  

Also if Simon Dresden still has a job as a professional scout and writer then I don't wanna read anymore of those "The Evster is a dufus!" comments below.

And yes I realize that this just about guarantees someone writing "The Evster is a dufus!" down below.

Mac Koshwal, power forward

Another African!

Why not, Hinkie?! Why not?!

Mac is from the Sudan (RIP Manute) and not only does he not have any NBA experience, he doesn't even have a Wikipedia page. Read that sentence again. This man, who played college basketball at DePaul and recently signed an NBA contract with an actual professional basketball team, does not have a Wikipedia page. Everyone has a Wikipedia page. Jean-Ralphio from Parks and Rec has a Wikipedia page. The guy who stocks the shelves at my local Wawa -- who may or may not know how to put on his own pants -- has like seven different Wikipedia pages. Not Mac, though. Doesn't need one. Does not need one.

What Mac does have is one, pathetic highlight video on his NBADraft.net page from 2006. If my math is correct, that means that the 25-yr-old power forward was only 7 when that video was made. It is seriously the most boring highlight clip you will ever watch. It's just one, stupid, two-handed dunk shown over and over again in slow motion set to some really lame music. And it's not even a great dunk. If anything, the pass that led to the dunk was more impressive. I am telling you, it is not worth watching. But I know you see it sitting there above, only 42 seconds long and you're thinking, "Oh, how lousy could it be? I'm not doing anything for 42 seconds. I could check it out." But I'm telling you. There's no reason to watch it. It's so boring. It's seriously so-- oh, just watch it you know you wanna.

Guys Who You've Probably Heard Of, But Still Need to be Mentioned in this Article Just Because

Khalif Wyatt, bubble butt

Look, I love Bubble Butt as much as you do -- and would be super-excited if he made the team -- but if Khalif Wyatt is playing significant minutes for the Sixers this year then we are in serious trouble bubble.

Royce White, space cadet

I'm sorry. That's not fair of me to write that Royce White is a space cadet. Social Anxiety Disorder is an actual thing and I genuinely like and respect Royce. I just hope he's able to balance his illness and his basketball career so that at some point we'll get to see him slug one of those Sixers Flight Squad guys right in the tits.

Vander Blue, shooting guard

I know what you're thinking, "I know this guy! He played at Marquette! I remember him!" No, you remember his name. The guy you're thinking of is actually Jae Crowder, who was the Big East Player of the Year in 2012, and now plays for the Dallas Mavericks. Vander Blue is just a mediocre basketball player with a semi-interesting haircut. I'm sorry Vander if you're reading this. You're probably a very nice person. Maybe use this as bulletin board material? Love that little dipsy-do squiggly line in your head, though. I really do.

Hollis Thompson, future D-Leaguer

Who cares about Hollis Thompson, let's talk about former Eagles defensive tackle Hollis Thomas, who can currently be seen dressed up like a genie in a local commercial for Videon Dodge Chrysler Jeep and Ram. If you haven't seen the spot, it's incredible. Hollis wears the shaftiest, sorriest genie outfit and tries to sling minivans by sprinkling genie dust all over the place. It is honestly bizarre. Unfortunately, the clip is not online, so I couldn't embed it here, but feel free to check out my Twitter convo with Hollis yesterday wherein I tried to track down a link to the vid.


He lied. It's not on YouTube anywhere.

Still would love to get a Rammer, though.

Go Sixers?

Follow The Evster @TVMWW.

Phillies conclude miserable homestand with new low as Zach Eflin demoted to Triple A

Phillies conclude miserable homestand with new low as Zach Eflin demoted to Triple A

BOX SCORE

For a moment Sunday afternoon, Citizens Bank Park sprung to life as the Phillies strung together five hits in a four-run second inning.

But four home runs off starter Zach Eflin sent the Phillies to another defeat and Eflin to Lehigh Valley.

Eflin was optioned to Triple A following the Phillies' 8-4 loss to the Reds, in which he allowed seven runs on nine hits in just five innings of work (see Instant Replay)

"His first two-three outings were really good," manager Pete Mackanin said. "He was keeping the ball down, but his last three, including today, he's elevating his sinker and once you elevate that sinker, it doesn't have the effect that you'd like to have."

The Phillies have now lost nine consecutive series for the first time since 1997. The loss was their 22nd in 28 games and handed the Reds their first series win at CBP since August 2006.  

Eflin got off to a rocky start Sunday with three first-inning singles, allowing one run. He escaped further damage but then proceeded to give up a home run in each of his final four innings. The final home run — Adam Duvall's second on the day — came on an 0-2 pitch and extended Cincinnati's lead to 7-4. All of the Reds' hits off Eflin came on fastballs as their potent lineup feasted on his pitches high in the zone.

Two weeks ago, Eflin's ERA stood at 2.87 as he kept opponents in the ballpark with his hard sinker. However, starting with a May 17 outing in Texas, Eflin has allowed 22 runs in his last 15 innings. He's given up seven homers in his last two starts and at least nine hits in five consecutive outings as his ERA ballooned to 6.13. With Sunday's results, the Phillies were left little choice but to option the 23-year-old righty while he deals with a rough patch.

"There are some things I need to work on," Eflin said. "I need to do a better job of pitching backward, especially in fastball counts. There's a lot of things I need to work on, but at the end of the day, I'm not worried about it. I'm going to go down there, work on everything I need to work on and get back as soon as possible."

The Phillies will reinstate Howie Kendrick (oblique) off the 10-day disabled list Monday, Mackanin said, in a corresponding move after the veteran IF/OF completed a four-game rehab stint (see story)

Kendrick could help boost an offense that is scuffling. After a four-run second inning highlighted by Andrew Knapp's 434-foot three-run home run, the Phillies' bats fell silent. They strung together five more hits. However, three double plays and a few untimely strikeouts killed any further rallies.

The Phillies left a potential run stranded on third base in the fifth inning as Odubel Herrera and Aaron Altherr struck out against starter Scott Feldman, who waded into and out of trouble in five innings of work. Herrera went 0 for 4 with that strikeout, continuing to slump. His average has fallen to .217.

With Kendrick returning, Mackanin indicated he would give Herrera some days off soon to help him relax amid mounting pressure to hit.

"He's scuffling. A couple guys scuffling," Mackanin said. "I'll probably move him down in the lineup. I can't keep him in the two-hole. But he has to fight his way out. 

"We'll see when Kendrick gets here. We're going to have another outfielder. I'm going to mix and match and try to get everybody in there. Kendrick, I'm going to bring along slowly because I want to make sure he's healthy.

"In other words, I don't have a set outfield. I'm going to mix those guys up."

On the infield, Maikel Franco continued his slide Sunday, going 1 for 4 with a strikeout and a double play. The slugger is hitting .213 this month, just as he did in April, but his power is down with just two home runs. Kendrick, who only played left field in April, played third base while at Triple A, so he could potentially spell Franco as well.

"He hit a ball hard today but he's not giving us consistent at-bats," Mackanin said. "He's searching both physically and mentally. It's not easy for him. I can tell he's down on himself. He's not happy about what's going on."

The Phillies came into this week struggling and were unable to rebound against the Rockies and Reds, losing five of seven. They averaged just 2.42 runs during the homestand.

However, the bigger problem comes in the rotation. The team gave up 5.71 runs per game in their last seven despite a 23 2/3 inning scoreless streak from the bullpen. The rotation's struggles continue to plague the team as they carry the worst record in baseball into Miami for a three-game set starting Monday.

"I certainly expected more out of our starters," Mackanin said. "We've had some issues with [Aaron] Nola's arm and Clay Buchholz going down. Although [Jerad] Eickhoff is going to end up having a good year in my opinion. He's been a little bit hot and cold.

"And Eflin, I counted on him to have a big year this year. I think if he gets himself straightened out down in Triple A, I think he's going to come back strong. But certainly, I can't sit here and say I'm happy with [his performance]."

Instant Replay: Reds 8, Phillies 4

Instant Replay: Reds 8, Phillies 4

BOX SCORE

Zach Eflin allowed a career-high four home runs and the Phillies were outslugged by the Cincinnati Reds in an 8-4 defeat Sunday at Citizens Bank Park.

The Phils have now lost nine consecutive series for the first time since 1997. The loss was their 22nd in 28 games. The Reds, who took two of three, picked up their first series win at CBP since August 2006.

Eflin was roughed up for the third consecutive start. The Reds tagged him for seven runs in just five innings. After three hits led to a run in the first inning, he gave up home runs in each of his last four frames. Following the game, Eflin was optioned to Triple A Lehigh Valley.

Jeanmar Gomez allowed a solo home run in relief. 

Andrew Knapp gave the Phillies an early lead with a three-run homer during a four-run second inning. However, three double plays stifled the Phillies' offense, which was held scoreless after the second inning. 

Scott Feldman improved to 4-4 with the win for the Reds. The Phils dropped to 17-31 while the Reds improved to 24-25. 

Starting pitching report
Eflin stumbled through five innings, allowing nine hits. He had held opponents to just four homers in first six starts but has now has let up seven in his last two appearances. Over his past three starts, Eflin's been tagged for 22 runs in 15 innings. He's given up at least nine hits in all five May starts. 

A poor sign for Eflin: Only two of his outs came on the ground. The Reds were all over his fastball and scored in each of his five innings. His ERA has gone from 2.81 to 6.13 since May 17.

Feldman labored through a 32-pitch second inning in which he gave up four runs. He settled down afterward with a pair of double plays to get through five innings. The veteran righty struck out the last two batters he faced with a man on third and one out.

Bullpen report
Luis Garcia threw two shutout innings, striking out one. Jeanmar Gomez gave up rookie Patrick Kivlehan's second home run of the day in the ninth inning, snapping the Phillies' bullpen's scoreless streak at 23 2/3 innings. Gomez allowed three hits and the one run in two innings.

Blake Wood, Wandy Peralta, Drew Storen and Raisel Iglesias each threw shutout innings in relief of Feldman.

At the plate
Manager Pete Mackanin wanted the Phillies to string together 4-5 hits and they did so in the second inning. Tommy Joseph and Michael Saunders led off with back-to-back singles before Knapp drove them in with his 434-foot blast. Knapp laid off two high fastballs after falling behind 0-2 and drilled a curveball into the Phillies' bullpen.

Freddy Galvis followed with a double. Even Eflin aided the cause with his first career RBI on a run-scoring single. 

The top two in the order — Cesar Hernandez and Odubel Herrera — went 0 for 8. Everyone else in the lineup had at least one hit. Saunders and Aaron Altherr each had two hits while Ty Kelly had a pinch-hit double.

Adam Duvall, Scott Schebler and Kivlehan combined for five home runs with Duvall and Kivlehan notching multi-hit games. Jose Peraza and Zack Cozart extended their hitting streaks to 13 and 11 games, respectively, in the first inning.

Up next
The Phillies head on the road and begin a three-game set with the Miami Marlins, whom they beat twice in April at Citizens Bank Park.

Monday, 7:10 p.m. — Jeremy Hellickson (5-2, 4.28) vs. Edinson Volquez (0-7, 4.82)

Tuesday, 7:10 p.m.— Vince Velasquez (2-4, 5.55) vs. Justin Nicolino (0-1, 5.40)

Wednesday, 1:10 p.m. — Aaron Nola (2-2, 4.34) vs. Dan Straily (3.83)