Lavoy Allen Has Breakout Performance, Wants His Piece of the Burger

Lavoy Allen Has Breakout Performance, Wants His Piece of the Burger

The Sixers' crowd on Monday evening at the Wells Fargo Center to take in the 103-83 throttling of the Washington Wizards was a modest one to say the least, with announced attendance a shade over 10,000 fans. But the fans that did brave the unpleasant weather conditions appeared to be the South Philly regulars this season season, here every night to watch Doug Collins and his hard-working Sixers go a nasty 8-1 on their home court.

You see, they know. They know exactly what happens when the Sixers reach the century mark on the scoreboard.

Part of me hates it. In a game when the 76ers were clicking on all cylinders -- "We executed, we didn't turn the ball over, we made the extra pass, our defense was brilliant," Doug Collins said after the game -- it's somewhat annoying to the hardcore basketball fan in me to see the crowd get up off their feet, the loudest the Center was all night, for when the scoreboard read 99 points with two minutes left to play.

For some strange, bizarre reason, fans who come to Sixers games this season go super-sized nuts when the team hits 100 points in a game, rewarding every ticket holder in attendance with a free Big Mac the next day at McDonalds. And the player who hits the bucket to send them in to triple digits is showered in cheers like delicious golden french fries are showered in salt.

Our distaste for this faux basketball excitement aside, we were quite happy to see former Temple star Lavoy Allen get the honors on Monday evening, hitting the big shot to send the Sixers to 101 points. But don't think Lavoy doesn't want his piece of the burger.

"I'm expecting a couple of them to give me their tickets," Allen joked after the game of the fans cheering for his big bucket. "I'm feeling for a couple of Big Macs tomorrow."

But did the pressure of the moment -- of 7,000,000 calories, of 440,000 grams of fat, of 1,400,000 milligrams of cholesterol -- get to him when he squared up in the fourth for the big jumper?

Not a chance.

"I had a feeling it was going in," Lavoy said.

All jokes aside, Allen's performance was by far the best of his young career and it came on a night when the Sixers really did need it. They were without their two best big men in Spencer Hawes and rookie Nik Vucevic, and Tony Battie is certainly getting up there in age and can only give you so many minutes. Lavoy knew coming into the night he'd likely get a chance to show what he's capable of.

Allen entered tonight's game against the Wizards with just 7 career points on 3-7 from the field in three appearances this season. He put up a career-high 10 points on Monday night by shooting a perfect 5 for 5 from the field in 17 minutes of action.

"I just try to play the same way all the time, not to get too nervous, not to get too fast, just play my game," Lavoy said of his best performance to date. "The guys have been telling me all year long, whenever I get the opportunity to go in there, to show what I can do. Be ready at all times because you never know what can happen. I was ready whenever coach called my name."

Coach Collins praised his other rookie big man for his effort and gave him the coveted "Ace of Spades Award" given to his best player on any given night.

"How about our boy Lavoy Allen?" Coach Collins said after the game. "What a coming out party for Lavoy tonight.

"It was great. It was one of the first times I've seen him really smile and really see his personality. Lavoy's good. He's big, he's strong, he can shoot the ball. He's got a good feel for the game. And you know, it's interesting how it works, I always tell guys in this league you've got to be ready when you're called on and Lavoy played a few minutes down in Miami that I think helped him the other day. And he came in tonight and gave everybody hamburgers too, so he's gonna be the real hero."

Allen, a stud during his college days with the Temple Owls, is no stranger to success, but the one knock on his game was always the seemingly inconsistent effort. Coach Collins says he has yet to see that linger in Lavoy's short time in the League.

"I talked to him about it when we drafted him," Collins said after the win. "I said Lavoy, 'you know it's interesting, no one has ever told me you're not talented, you're not big, you're not strong, you don't have great hands, you can't shoot, you're not a good defender. I've never heard anybody say those things. All I've ever heard anybody say is you've got a low motor. Well you can change that. I can't change it for you but if you want to play with the energy you can play with, you've got a chance to be really good."

Now, perhaps it was the magical powers of one Ronald McDonald, but the Golden Arch's stock price (MCD) closed at $100 and some change on Monday afternoon? The same exact point total needed to give 10,100 Philadelphians free big Macs. Eerie.

We'll let Lavoy savor this one for a while, just like a Big Mac burp you can still taste a day later.

"Now I get to be the crowd favorite for at least another 24 hours," Lavoy said.

Eagles Mailbag: Bennie Logan, top WRs in draft, Jeremy Maclin return?

Eagles Mailbag: Bennie Logan, top WRs in draft, Jeremy Maclin return?

There hasn't been much Eagles talk recently. The last few weeks have been pretty dead. 

That's about to change soon enough. Next week, the football world will take over Indianapolis for the combine and just after that, free agency will begin on March 9. After that, the draft isn't too far away. 

So let's jump into your mailbag questions: 

Yeah, I think there's a real chance Bennie Logan isn't an Eagle next year. Howie Roseman has been pretty consistent in saying he wants Logan to return, but it's fair to wonder about the price. Logan has now proven that he can play in a 4-3 or a 3-4 scheme, so there will be plenty of teams interested. 

If the Eagles lose Logan, their defense will take a big hit. There's not really a way around that. He's a good player and has been an important part of the line. But with a ton of money devoted to the defensive line over the next few years -- even assuming Connor Barwin isn't back -- will the Eagles pay another? I'm not so sure. 

And I agree that Logan was really good against the run last year. But I think his real value is in being great against the run while also being able to generate some pass rush. I think Beau Allen can be a decent run-stuffer, but he's clearly not the same player as Logan. 

I can't give a real answer here. Sorry. While I don't wholeheartedly agree with the best player available notion, the Eagles also can't prioritize one need over the other in this scenario. There will be either 13 or 14 picks before the Eagles are on the board. 

Really, it's going to depend on which players are left. Are Mike Williams and Corey Davis on the board? How about the top corners? There's a lot of them. If the player the Eagles really want at one of those positions is off the board, they could look elsewhere. And it's not automatic they'll take a receiver or a cornerback. What if they opt for an edge rusher? 

But getting back to corner vs. receiver, there are a couple thoughts: 

1. They'll pick a corner because receivers are far from a sure thing. Roseman made it a point to talk about how the 2014 draft changed expectations for rookie receivers. And the Eagles haven't had much luck recently drafting receivers in the first round. And Roseman has also said that while it might make sense to grab a first-round corner in the second round because of depth, there's often a run at positions where a draft is strong. It would be better to just get the best one. 

2. On the flip side of that, maybe they'll pick a receiver with the idea that at least one really good corner will be on the board in the second round. That would maximize value, especially if they get the receiver they want in the first round. 

That's a long way to say: I don't think it'll be about position as much as it will be about the specific player at 14 or 15. 

This is a tough one. I really think the margin separating these two is so close that the combine could flip them for me. But for now, I'm going with Mike Williams. 

Clemson listed him at 6-3, 225 and I think he's going to come close to that at the combine. And he might not have Corey Davis' speed or quick twitch, but he makes up for it. I really want to see how he performs at the combine; I expect it to confirm my belief that he's the top receiver in the draft. Davis will reportedly not run at the combine because of an ankle injury. 

It's possible a team like the Eagles could fall in love with Davis' deep threat ability. That's clearly what they value right now. But ultimately, I think Williams is the top guy. 

I don't think Ryan Mathews will be back next season. He's 29, coming off a serious neck injury and is way too expensive. The Eagles can save $4 million by cutting him. I expect that to happen and for the Eagles to try to find some younger, healthier talent. 

Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy! Let's get the band back together! 

I understand why the Maclin questions are rolling in. An ESPN column recently suggested that the Chiefs could cut the former Eagle. Maclin is familiar with the Eagles' offense and Doug Pederson, which means the move would make some sense. 

But from a football standpoint, Jackson would give the Eagles what they need more than Maclin. Over the last couple years, Maclin has really been utilized in the slot, which happens to be where the Eagles' only decent receiver plays. Sure, Pederson will move around his receivers, but there are probably better fits out there for the Eagles than Maclin. If he does become a free agent, though, it's at least worth inquiring. 

Former Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans joins 49ers coaching staff

Former Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans joins 49ers coaching staff

About a year ago, while in Indianapolis for the combine, the Eagles cut veteran linebacker DeMeco Ryans. 

Ryans has finally found his next job ... as a coach. 

The 32-year-old former linebacker has been named a defensive quality control coach on Kyle Shanahan's staff in San Francisco. Shanahan was on the Texans' staff for the first four years of Ryans' pro career. Niners defensive coordinator Robert Saleh was also on that Houston staff. 

After the Eagles cut him last Feb. 24, Ryans was out of the league in 2016 after 10 NFL seasons. He played the first six years of his career in Houston, where he was a two-time Pro Bowler, before joining the Eagles through a trade in 2012. 

While the Eagles cut Ryans after the 2015 season to save $3.5 million in cap space, they made a point to go out of their way to praise him on his way out. He was very well-thought of in the locker room and throughout the building. 

While Ryans played one season under Andy Reid, he quickly became a favorite of Chip Kelly, who frequently called Ryans the "Mufasa" of the Eagles' defense. 

Kelly didn't forget about Ryans when he went to San Francisco to coach the 49ers for the 2016 season. In fact, in Kelly's questionnaire in the NFL's 2016 information guide, Kelly listed Ryans as a player who'd make a great head coach.