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How Low Can We Go? Looking At How Far the Sixers Might Tank This Year

How Low Can We Go? Looking At How Far the Sixers Might Tank This Year

Are we sure that Doug Collins isn't secretly, like, a brilliant tanker?
We've gotten so caught up in the question of why he continues to play
Damien Wilkins and Royal Ivey over the higher-upside likes of Arnett
Moultrie, Charles Jenkins and even Dorell Wright—is he just overvaluing
his veterans? Does he really hate young guys that much? Are the Russians
somehow involved?—that maybe we're just totally glazing over the
obvious answer that Collins really doesn't want to win ballgames that
badly right now. After all, maybe Moultrie and Jenkins are like,
secretly really awesome at basketball—at least with Ivey and Wilkins,
you now the low-ceiling brand of hoops you're getting.


Anyway, if that is Dougie's brilliant, evil plot, it's totally
working. After dropping two to the Heat and Knicks this weekend, the
Sixers have lost five in a row, and are now a full ten games under .500,
officially their lowest point since the Eddie Jordan era. Once seen as a
playoff challenger in the East—and sadly, they still technically are,
just four games back of the similarly sagging Bucks—the Sixers have even
now fallen back to Toronto territory, the Raps having played much
better since acquiring Rudy Gay in a trade and getting a couple other
players back from injury. Were the season to end today, the Sixers would
finish with the 11th-worst record in the league, giving them about a 1%
chance of landing in the lottery.


Now, you probably don't need me to tell you why this is important,
but I'll do it anyway—the Sixers, as a young and (ostensibly) improving
team, are now in a position to additionally acquire an invaluable asset
at season's end with a top-ten draft pick. This could potentially
benefit the Sixers in one of two important ways: Either it gives them a
chance to add a potential core player to their existing
Jrue-Evan-Thad-(maybe Funny Looking Kid With the Big Hair?) unit,
cementing the team as one of the most promising young rosters in the
league, though leaving them likely still a season or two away from
possible contention. Or, they could package the pick with another one of
their non-untouchable trade assets—Evan or Thad maybe, depending on
what a team is more looking for—and try to land them a real star player
in the off-season, to go with Jrue and maybe/possibly a re-signed
FLKWTBH. It's enough to dream about, that maybe this season won't have
to end as a total waste.


Even in their best worst-case scenario, the Sixers probably won't
have a great shot at a top-three pick—we'll probably end up with at
least 30 wins, if only incidentally, so we're not likely to end with
more than a 7.5% chance or so of their ping-pong balls being selected.
Still, even if the Sixers won't be able to land a Ben McLemore or
Nerlens Noel at the top of the draft—and nobody's a surefire star in
this draft anyway—they could still get an impact player in the 6-10
range, a rangy center like Indiana's Tyler Zeller or Maryland's Alex
Len, or maybe an athletic wing slasher like UCLA's Shabazz Muhammad or
Kentucky's Alex Poythress. These guys might not be franchise players,
but they could be big pieces (no RyHo) for the Sixers, and better,
cheaper players to build around than those they'd be likely to find in
free agency.


But before we start scouting who we're going to pick, we should
figure out where we're likely to be picking. The Sixers lay in 11th now,
but they could conceivably climb much higher, depending on who among
the league's bottom-feeders they can catch near the bottom of the
standings. Let's examine the likely suspects.


1. Toronto Raptors: 23-34, 10th Worst Record in League. A
loss at home to the Wizards last night—not as embarrassing an occurrence
these days as you might think—breaks their tie with the Sixers in the
East, leaving the Raps in sole possession of 10th place in the lottery
standings. Still, as previously alluded to, our friends North of the
Border have been playing about as well as anyone in the Atlantic,
winning six of their last seven before the Washington loss, a nice core
congealing around the likes of the recently acquired swingman Rudy Gay
and improving (and recovering) young center Jonas Valanciunas. With team
management seemingly all-in on Toronto's unlikely playoff push, you can
expect they'll pass the Sixers with ease before long.


Chance of Out-Tanking: Very Good

2. Minnesota Timberwolves: 20-33, 9th Worst Record in League.
The Timberwolves got off to an impressive start with about 50% of their
roster injured at season's beginning, starting the year 13-11. Then
that 50% number got even higher, a couple returning players didn't
provide the needed boost, and the bottom fell out, with their recent win
against the Sixers (sigh) one of just six wins the T'Wolves have
accrued thusfar in 2013. Still, they've picked things up a little
recently, with point guard Ricky Rubio finally starting to impose his
will on games as he was predicted to do upon his return from ACL
surgery, and franchise power forward Kevin Love should be coming back
sometime in Mid-March. They may only have to be competent to pass the
Sixers, and with a healthier roster and the always-sturdy Rick Adelman
at the helm, they have a pretty good shot, even in the crowded West.


Chance of Out-Tanking: Good

3. Detroit Pistons: 22-36, 8th Worst Record in League.
The Pistons have teased with promise for much of the year, beating
powerhouses like the Spurs and Heat but losing a whole lot of winnable
games in between. Struggling recently, they'll get a boost with the
return of rookie sensation Andre Drummond, missing about a month with a
stress fracture. But they play only nine of their last 24 at home, and
might fold up the tent early if they decide (not erroneously) that
winning games isn't really worth their while this season. (A late game
against the Sixers on Apr 15th might very well make the difference, so,
uh, mark your calendars for that one.)


Chance of Out-Tanking: Slight

4. New Orleans Hornets: 20-37, 7th Worst Record in League.
The Hornets looked like they were ready to roll with the return of
maxed-out shooting guard Eric Gordon early in the New Year, winning six
of seven at one point and looking like they'd finally found the recipe
after a dismal 7-25 start. But the Hornets have been up-and-down ever
since then, failing to break away from the lottery contenders. The
Hornets' remaining schedule remains a tough combination of winnable road
games and challenging homers, so it'll really depend on which New
Orleans team shows up for the rest of the season to see if they'll be
able to make up the three-and-a-half game difference between them and
the Sixers.


Chance of Out-Tanking: Slightly better than slight

5. Washington Wizards, 18-37, 6th Worst Record in League.
Not long ago it would have been unimaginable to talk about the Wizards
possibly catching the Sixers in the standings—not because the Sixers
were ever that good, but because the Wizards started the year so very,
very bad. But after their dismal 4-28 start, the team has been playing
exponentially more inspired basketball since the return from injury of
former #1 overall pick John Wall (plus some other dudes), and have now
won seven of their last nine, with all but one of those seven wins
coming against teams currently in line for the post-season. This may or
may not be sustainable enough to catch the Sixers from 4.5 back, but I
certainly know which team I would bet on when they face off this Sunday.



Chance of Out-Tanking: Surprisingly good

Probably Not Gonna Happen: Cavaliers, Kings, Suns, Magic, Bobcats

Ultimately,
I'd say three of these teams will probably pass the Sixers before
season's end, with the return of TFLKWTBH obviously being a very big
variable in either direction. That would leave the Sixers 8th in the
lottery standings, which sounds about right to me. You guys good with
getting the 8th pick this year? I could certainly talk myself into it.

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

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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Eagles training camp Day 3 observations: Backup QB day

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Eagles training camp Day 3 observations: Backup QB day

For the first two days of training camp, Carson Wentz was the first player on the field. 

That wasn't the case Wednesday. 

Wentz and backup quarterback Nick Foles were both given the day off. That means these observations are full Matt McGloin and Dane Evans. 

Exciting, right? 

Let's go: 

1. Wentz hadn't really been taking very many reps in the first two days of camp anyway. The Eagles have chosen to lighten his load until the rest of the vets arrive. 

"This year, it's different than last year," offensive coordinator Frank Reich said. "[Wentz] comes in as the guy. He's going to get more reps. The reps aren't going to be split equally. It's just good business to keep that in the equation, just kind of keep monitoring that."

In addition to Wentz and Foles, cornerback Ron Brooks also got the day off. 

Pederson rested veterans on the third day of camp last year too, which meant Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel were off and Wentz got a bulk of the reps (see story). That feels like 10 years ago. 

2. In the first (and shorter) 7-on-7 session, third-string quarterback Matt McGloin got most of the reps, while undrafted rookie Dane Evans took just a couple. That's worth noting. 

Eventually, the Eagles are going to have a decision to make at quarterback. The top two are set, but will they want to keep McGloin on the 53-man roster? If not, their best bet — if they like Evans — might be to stash the undrafted rookie on the practice squad and save the roster spot. 

So there isn't a quarterback competition at starter this training camp, but there might be one for the third job in the building. 

3. With all eyes on McGloin, the veteran QB picked a bad time to have a bad day. He was just off early in practice. He overshot Mack Hollins deep, then he threw a pass behind Marcus Johnson. In the second 7-on-7 session, McGloin settled down some and hit some receivers in the end zone. 

4. Evans looked OK but was hurt by a couple drops from his receivers. First, Johnson dropped one in the back of the end zone and then Hollins did the same. 

5. After Hollins' drop, the rookie dropped to the ground and did pushups. The North Carolina product said he doesn't like doing pushups, so it's a kind of punishment for himself. 

6. Undrafted rookie wide receiver Greg Ward has been getting a ton of opportunity during the first three days of training camp and he's made the most of it. The former Houston quarterback has been working hard to make the transition to NFL receiver. He played some wideout early in college, but then became a full-time quarterback.

"I think Greg's transition has been phenomenal," Reich said. "I say that, I get excited as a coach. He has some really instinctive, natural movements as a slot receiver. Things that are even hard to coach that he does exceedingly well. He has a knack. He has very good ball skills. I'm really surprised and I think he's way exceeded expectations. Now, the other side of me, 'OK, Frank. Temper that. We have a long way to go.'" 

7. We've talked a lot about Donnel Pumphrey's ability to catch passes out of the backfield, but we all had a pretty good idea that he would be able to. The more surprising thing is how smooth undrafted rookie Corey Clement looks as a pass-catcher. The 220-pound back caught just 29 passes during his entire career at Wisconsin. 

8. Linebacker Don Cherry might be a long shot for the final roster but the former Villanova Wildcat has made some plays the last two days.  

9. Jordan Hicks reported to the NovaCare Complex on Wednesday without any type of brace or cast on his hand. Head coach Doug Pederson confirmed earlier in the week Hicks needed a minor surgery to repair a broken hand. Later this week, Hicks will hopefully provide some answers about his injury and recovery. 

10. It felt pretty good to see the veterans walking into the building this afternoon. Observations from practices with 34 players are tough to find. The entire team will be on the field for a light practice Thursday afternoon. From there, the team will get into the thick of training camp and start preparing for that first preseason game against Green Bay. 

Stupid Observation of the Day: After wearing a green Eagles bucket hat for the first two days of training camp, injured cornerback Sidney Jones traded it in for a green Eagles baseball cap on Day 3.