The Morning Extras: Report Says Eddie Jordan On Hot Seat

The Morning Extras: Report Says Eddie Jordan On Hot Seat

The news came trickling in behind the Sixers' latest pathetic effort last night, a 107-96 loss in Indiana that featured all around sloppy play. The Inquirer's Kate Fagan quotes Ed Stefanski, who said the club will "seriously evaluate" whether Eddie Jordan is the right coach for this team. Sources also added the players "no longer believe in Jordan's coaching system or philosophies," and it's difficult to disagree. If there was supposed to be some semblance of an offense against the Pacers, I didn't see it.

The problem is, the Sixers would be falling into old habits if they fire their coach after one season. Ever since Larry Brown quit, they've dumped one coach after another, hoping answers, or perhaps more appropriately, miracles could come from their bench. Only one was given the opportunity to stay on for any amount of time and actually attempt to develop an identity for this club. Don't you think some consistency would help?

I honestly don't know if Eddie Jordan is a good basketball coach. It's been a brutal season, but the Sixers as they're currently constructed are no better than a .500 team anyway, no matter who is on the bench. Blaming the head coach while you try to win games with Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand as the corner stones of your franchise sounds like a bunch of nonsense.

What I do know is Jordan is already the sixth Sixers head coach since Larry Brown departed in 2003. They've had Randy Ayers, Chris Ford, Jim O'Brien, Maurice Cheeks, and Tony DiLeo, with only Cheeks staying on for more than one season. It sends the message to the players that they don't need to listen to the guy in charge, that if things don't work out right away, he'll get canned and the next one will come along. Then they start over again.

If firing Jordan is what they conclude is the right thing at the end of the season, it's hard to argue they would be wrong for doing so, but please, pick somebody and stick with them for awhile. This is a young team. There may be a few good players on this roster. They're never going to get the most out of them though unless they install a teacher who the players have confidence is going to be there beyond next season.

LINKS

7. The Phillies could be searching for outfield depth in 2011 depending on how the roster shakes out over the course of the next year. Could Pat Burrell return to give them some pop off the bench? [Beerleaguer]

6. The NBA's youngest player, Jrue Holiday, ranks eighth in an SI poll for rookie NBA point guards. They might be underselling Holiday, who has been one of the lone bright spots for the Sixers lately. He's dropped 20 points three times in the last five games, and he now leads the club in three point percentage. [SI.com]

5. Much has been made of Sports Illustrated ranking Ruben Amaro 19th out of 30 MLB general managers, but it's Ed Wade's 29th place finish that was curious. Well... not really. [Finger Food]

4. Simon Gagne continues to score at a feverish pace. Last night was his fifth goal in five games. He's had much more of a presence on the ice, and is getting himself in position to shoot the puck. If this is for real, look out. [Daily News]

3. Speaking of players who are finding their groove, there was a mini-scare last night when Dan Carcillo was cut by a skate. He turned out to be fine, and it's a good thing. The energy he brings combined with his newfound maturation are a big reason the Flyers are playing so well. [Broad Street Hockey]

2. Ryan Howard is trying to make defenses respect his ability to hit the ball the other way and eliminate the shift. You don't want to take the bat out of the big guy's hands, but he could cause a lot of damage if he did this even situationally. [Delco Times]

1. The Eagles are scheduled to have Colts defensive back and former first round pick Marlin Jackson for a visit today, amid reports proposing he could play free safety. Another theory about the team's interest calls it a pre-draft bluff. [Iggles Blog]

COMMENT OF THE DAY

In Philly the most popular players are:

1. The backup QB

2. The "6th starter" (in this case Kendrick trying to outduel Moyer)

3. The backup goaltender or the dream guy we dont have

- Bob

EXTRA POINT

Claude Giroux's 14th goal of the season last night was "nasty." (fixed)

kulp700level@comcast.net

Phillies-Rockies 5 things: Jerad Eickhoff looking for consistency vs. Rockies' potent offense

Phillies-Rockies 5 things: Jerad Eickhoff looking for consistency vs. Rockies' potent offense

Phillies (15-26) vs. Rockies (28-17)
Coverage starts at  6:30 p.m. on CSN; streaming live on CSNPhilly.com and the NBC Sports App

The Phillies return home after a disastrous 2-7 road trip to host the NL West-leading Colorado Rockies in a four-game split.

Jerad Eickhoff gets the start for the Phils and is coming off of his best start in a month, but has a tough matchup vs. the Rockies’ potent offense.

Here are five things to know:

1. Like the old Eick
Eickhoff has been the model of consistency for Phillies pitchers since he joined the club in 2015, with 31 quality starts (six or more innings with no more than three earned runs) in 49 career games. But Eickhoff struggled recently, before regaining his form in his last start at Texas.

In his three prior starts — vs. the Dodgers, Cubs and Mariners — Eickhoff averaged just 4.2 innings per start as his ERA ballooned to 4.76. But the righty seemed to regain his form vs. the Rangers in his last start, a six-inning, two-earned-run outing.

Building off of that step will be a tall task, though against an explosive Rockies lineup.

2. Better hitters than Rocky
The hard-hitting Rockies are coming to town.

Colorado boasts one of the league’s best offenses, ranking fourth in runs scored, 10th in home runs and fifth in extra-base hits. Take the Rockies out of the thin air at Coors Field, and the numbers tell a different story, though. On the road, Colorado drops to 12th in runs, 14th in homers and 10th in extra-base hits. Still solid numbers, but nothing that jumps off the page at you. The Phillies (as bad as they are on the road) have more extra-base hits.

The Rockies are led by Mark Reynolds (yes, that Mark Reynolds), with 12 homers and 39 RBI. Shockingly, Reynolds — who has set the all-time single-season strikeout record in a season — is leading the team with a .323 batting average. 

Just about the only thing you don’t have to worry about with the Rockies’ offense is their speed. The Rockies rank dead last in MLB with just 11 steals on the year. 

3. Not the same old Rockies
Despite the dip in numbers on the road, the Rockies are still 15-7 on the road this season, the second-best mark in MLB, behind only the Astros.

What’s different about this year’s team, unlike years past, is the pitching. This year, they’re a middling staff, which is actually a huge improvement for the club. Last season, Rockies pitchers ranked in the bottom five in MLB in almost all categories: 27th in ERA (4.91), 28th in runs allowed (860) and 28th in opponent batting average (.274), just to name a few.

This year, the Rockies have knocked off nearly half a run per game (4.48 ERA) and rank 13th in the entire league with a .250 opponent batting average. With an offense like theirs, a middling pitching staff could be all the Rockies need to earn a postseason bid.

4. Oh, 'Dubel
What’s happened to Odubel Herrera?

After an All-Star 2016 season, Herrera has been one of the Phillies’ biggest disappointments in 2017. Batting just .236 on the year, Herrera is on pace to easily set a career high in strikeouts (168) and career lows in runs (60) and extra-base hits (39). Not a good look for Herrera after signing a five-year deal to be a building block of the future in the offseason. However, there is hope: In his career, Herrera has increased his batting average, runs scored and OPS each month as the season has gone along. 

5. This and that
•Jeff Hoffman will make a spot start for the Rockies on Monday. He’s the Rockies' third-ranked prospect by Baseball America and has a 4.97 ERA with 32 strikeouts and 19 walks in 10 career MLB games. Batters are hitting .282 off him this season.

•Eickhoff’s numbers have risen with Cameron Rupp behind the plate. With Rupp catching, Eickhoff has a 3.53 ERA as opposed to a 3.13 ERA with Carlos Ruiz catching.

•After a red-hot start to the month, Aaron Altherr has cooled off over the last week, hitting just .231 with more strikeouts (five) than RBI (four). 

NBA Playoffs: Avery Bradley's buzzer-beating 3 lifts Celtics past Cavaliers in Game 3

NBA Playoffs: Avery Bradley's buzzer-beating 3 lifts Celtics past Cavaliers in Game 3

BOX SCORE

CLEVELAND -- Leprechauns are imaginary. Celtic pride is very real.

Avery Bradley's 3-pointer danced on the rim and dropped with less than a second left and Boston, blown out in the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals and playing without star Isaiah Thomas, stunned the Cleveland Cavaliers 111-108 on Sunday night in Game 3 to end the champions' 13-game postseason winning streak.

Bradley's shot from the left wing -- off a play designed by coach Brad Stevens -- bounced on the rim four times before going down. It capped a furious, focused comeback by the Celtics, who trailed by 21 in the third quarter before rallying to tighten up a series that appeared to be over.

"Wide-open look," Bradley said. "Al (Horford) did a great job of getting me open and Marcus (Smart) made a great pass and I was able to knock down the shot."

Smart, who started in place of Thomas, made seven 3-pointers and scored 27 points, and Bradley had 20 for the Celtics, who were given little chance after losing by 44 in Game 2 and then losing Thomas for the rest of the postseason because of a hip injury.

"Everybody had to step up their game tonight especially with one of our brothers down," Smart said. "Our love and support goes out to Isaiah. We wish he could be here but we understand. We just kept fighting. Everybody did their part."

Kyrie Irving scored 29 points, and Kevin Love had 28 for Cleveland. The Cavaliers dropped to 10-1 in the postseason with their first loss since Game 4 of last year's Finals.

Game 4 is Tuesday night in Cleveland.

LeBron James had one of the worst games of his postseason career, finishing with 11 points and six turnovers.

"I didn't have it," said James. "You let a team like that grab momentum you almost knew a shot like that was going in."

Still, the Cavs were in control leading 77-56 in the third quarter after making 14 3-pointers in the first half. But Cleveland got complacent, Smart got hot and the Celtics, who arrived at Quicken Loans Arena on Sunday morning for their shootaround without Thomas and looking somewhat defeated, never gave up.

"We decided were going to go out and play hard, swinging." Bradley said. "We never counted ourselves out."

The Celtics caught the Cavs at 95-all on Smart's 3-pointer and then matched the James and Co. basket for basket in the final minutes in one of the most entertaining games of what has been a mostly boring postseason.

Boston's Jonas Jerebko's baseline jumper put the Celtics ahead 108-106 with 30 seconds left before Irving scored on a drive to tie it with 10.7 seconds left.

Following a timeout, the Celtics perfectly executed a play drawn up by Stevens and worked the ball to Bradley, who found himself open and then calmly knocked down a shot that goes straight into Celtics lore.

For Cleveland, the loss was a wake-up call on their march toward a possible third straight Finals and a seemingly inevitable rematch with Golden State. The Cavs had been playing a glorified game of H.O.R.S.E. with the Warriors, who are undefeated and can complete a sweep of San Antonio on Monday night.

The Cavs hadn't lost since Game 4 of last year's Finals, and they came in tied with the 1988-89 Los Angeles "Showtime" Lakers for the longest winning streak in postseason history.

With Thomas back home, the Celtics could be forgiven for feeling down after Thomas, their inspirational leader was shut down with a hip injury he first sustained in March.

However, Stevens liked his team's energy leading up to tipoff and felt confident they would play hard.

"Our guys are itching to play," he said. "Obviously, we're here for a reason, and we've got tough-minded, competitive guys who have largely been guys that have had to really earn their way up in this league."

They earned their way back into the series.

Tip-ins
Celtics: Stevens said Thomas will visit hip specialists over the next few days and there's a chance the 28-year-old will need surgery. ... Stevens didn't review much of the Game 2 tape, but there's a mental image in his head of the Cavs making tough shot after tough shot that he can't shake. "As good as they are and they are tremendous, that might have been the best game I've ever seen a team play against us," he said. Does that mean college too? "Yeah, I think they would have beaten all those teams, too," he said, drawing laughter. ...

Cavaliers: James came in needing 73 points to pass Michael Jordan as the top scorer in postseason history. ... Cavs coach Tyronn Lue was an assistant in Boston and said his team reminds him of those Celtics teams with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo. "That was a tight group," he said. "They did everything together, dinners and everything." ... Cleveland is 14-0 when leading a series 2-0. ... Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NFL draft, and fellow rookie Jabrill Peppers took a few shots on the floor before teams came out for warmups.