The Evster Breaks Down the NBA Lottery

The Evster Breaks Down the NBA Lottery

Little known fact: every blog post on this website must be about Philadelphia. I once failed to mention Thaddeus Young in a post about who has the smoothest calves in the NBA (it's Udonis Haslem) and Enrico banned me from the site for three months. I wasn't even sure what he meant -- was I banned from writing? banned from reading? -- I think he just wanted to ban someone. It's amazing what a little power can do to a person. So in order to keep everything copacetic with my dictator boss (HAIL ENRICO), I've decided to take a look at the 12 other teams who picked in last night's lottery and determine whether or not they'll have more ping pong balls than us next year.

Cliff's Notes version: NO ONE WILL HAVE MORE PING PONG BALLS THAN US NEXT YEAR

1. Cleveland - Anthony Bennett, F, UNLV

On a night filled with great uncertainty, you gotta hand it to the Cavs for taking a guy who no one has ever seen play basketball. Sure, NBA experts will tell you about his ability to create his own shot and his NBA-READY SMOOTH CHOCOLATEY SHOULDERS, but they simply watched the same three-minute YouTube mix that you did. Three weeks ago, no one even knew that UNLV still had a basketball program. But after they saw Bennett's monster dunks and gigantic butt set to HOT RHYMES AND SWIFT BEATS, why not take him at #1? Personally, I love the pick, love his butt and thought JR Rider was the greatest player of our generation.

Are the Cavs better than the Sixers? They have Kyrie Irving.

2. Orlando - Victor Oladipo, G, Indiana

Tremendous athlete, hard worker, high flyer, just not that good at basketball. Don't get me wrong, you'll love watching Victor finish on the break (in the Rookie Game), it's just the whole dribbling, passing, shooting thing he's not that great at. Still, when you're building a team around Nik Vucevic and Tobias Harris, you want to get the guy who has the most potential to dunk a basketball with his mouth. And I think Magic got their man here. He'll be a mega fan favorite in Orlando for the simple reason that people who live in Florida are complete and total lunatics.

Are the Magic better than the Sixers? Probably.

3. Washington - Otto Porter Jr., F, Georgetown

This pick will work out for the Wizards only if they give their 12th and final roster spot to Otto Porter Sr. Think about it: late in the 4th Quarter, Wizards down 15 at home, fans starting to grumble and pack up their things, when Head Coach Randy Wittman points down the bench for Otto Sr -- or "Pops'o" as his teammates call him -- to check in. Pops'o rises slowly, unbuttons his warm-ups, takes them off and folds them neatly on his chair, a buzz fills the arena, and the Wizards spend the final three minutes trying to run Pops'o off downscreens to get him an open jumper. The Wizards could even offer a free bag of popcorn to every ticket holder when Pops'o scores. This is a brilliant marketing maneuver that has zero chance of failure. Think about how excited you get for the Sixers to hit the century-mark and earn you that disgusting/amazing Big Mac that you never end up redeeming. Now think about what a 55-year-old would look like draining a jumper in Evan Turner's eye. Thank you.

Are the Wizards better than the Sixers? Yes, they have John Wall and he's the greatest player I've ever seen. Watch his top ten plays from last year and try to tell me otherwise.

TRY TO TELL ME OTHERWISE.

4. Charlotte - Cody Zeller, F, Indiana

Thank GAWD the Sixers didn't get him.

Are the Bobcats better than the Sixers? No.

5. Phoenix - Alex Len, F/C, Maryland

TV show pitch for NBATV: Phoenix Suns reality show called "Phoenix Sons." Alex Len (Ukraine), Marcin Gortat (Poland), Luis Scola (Argentina), Goran Dragic (Slovenia), Michael Beasley (Neptune) and the Morris Bros (Illadelph) travel around the country trying to impregnate as many women as possible. The winner gets a new Subaru.

Also, how 'bout the fact that the Suns are coached by our old pal Jeff Hornacek?!?! And how 'bout the fact that old Horny made the most shocking move of anyone before the draft by getting a semi-decent haircut?!?!

Are the Suns better than the Sixers? Jeff Hornacek is better than the Sixers.

6. Philadelphia - Nerlens Noel, F/C, Kentucky

Besides the hair, the mega-rams and the fact that Nerlens will SHOVE A BASKETBALL DOWN YOUR STUPID THROAT, here's another reason why this was a fantastic pick for the Sixers: THIS GUY WILL SHOVE A BASKETBALL DOWN YOUR STUPID THROAT. He's an old fashioned high flying mega ram jam throat stuffer, which is something the Sixers have been sorely lacking ever since Sharone Wright died when he accidentally shoved a basketball down his own stupid throat.

Also, yeah, Jrue Holiday was good, he was fine, but he is the TENTH best point guard in the ligg behind CP3, Rondo, Tony Parker, D-Will, Derrick Rose, Russel Westbreezy, Steph, Uncle Drew and Damien Lillard. Nerlens on the other hand is already the best center in the East even though he has pretty much no offensive skills whatsoever.

Are the Pelicans better than the Sixers? Who cares look how amazing this hat is.


7. Sacramento - Ben McLemore, G, Kansas

"Two-dribble max guy" according to Jay Bilas, which for those of you who haven't quite wrapped your head around that phrase, means that Ben McLemore is only capable of dribbling a basketball twice before he has to stop dribbling.

Are the Kings better than the Sixers? The Kings are absolutely terrible. But yeah, they're prolly better than the Sixers.

8. Detroit - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, G, Georgia

Doesn't matter. The Pistons selected Peyton Siva with their second round pick, who if you've ever seen PLAY BASKETBALL, is every bit as good as all of these dudes in the lottery. Siva only led his team to THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP in a tournament in which HE PLAYED BASKETBALL MUCH BETTER THAN EVERYBODY ELSE.

Are the Pistons better than the Sixers? Does a one-legged duck swim in circles?

(That means yes. The answer is yes.)

9. Utah - Trey Burke, G, Michigan

Poor Trey. Wooden and Naismith player of the year, led his team to the NCAA Final, and now he has to live in Utah. I guess if there's a silver lining to living in Snoozeville, USA, Trey will get to make millions of dollars playing a game where he tries to take a round orange bouncey thing and put it in a hoop.

Are the Jazz better than the Sixers? Yeah, the Jazz are better than the Sixers.

10. Portland - CJ McCollum, G, Lehigh

Whatever, I'm over him.

Are the Blazers better than the Sixers? Obvs, and also I saw a guy in Fairmount Park last weekend selling bean pies in a Sebastian Telfair Blazers jersey and I can't believe I didn't snap his picture I'm so sorry everybody I've let you down I'm so very very sorry.

11. Philadelphia - Michael Carter-Williams, G, Syracuse

This guy stinks. Saw him play countless times at Syracuse and not once did he ever take over a game like a LOTTERY PICK SHOULD. "But Ev, he's got good size for a PG and great court vision!" Yeah? Then why did Utah and Portland, two teams who also took point guards, pass on him in favor of Burke and McCollum? He's a poor man's Shaun Livington, who's not even good, also look at this picture from his Twitter page.

UNACCEPTABLE.

12. Oklahoma City - Steven Adams, C, Pitt

Because 7-foot white guys from New Zealand always pan out well in the NBA.

Are the Thunder better than the Sixers? Good time to talk about Shane Battier's television debut: Terrible. He pretty much only had two questions in his arsenal: "Talk about how much ______ influenced you," and "Who are you most looking forward to playing against?" And only one of those were actual questions. Still, I much preferred him to Stuart Scott who I sort of hope dies?

13. Boston - Kelly Olynyk, F/C, Gonzaga

I can't wait 'til Nerlens shoves a basketball down this guy's throat.

Are the Celtics better than the Sixers? Kris Humphries!

Follow the Evster on Twitter @TVMWW and read his blog.

Josh Hart returning to Villanova for senior season

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Josh Hart returning to Villanova for senior season

Villanova’s chances at repeating as national champions just got much better.

Josh Hart is returning for his senior season.

The Wildcats’ leading scorer from last season’s title-winning team tweeted this Tuesday night:

Shortly after, Villanova officially announced the news.

Hart was in the midst of going through the NBA draft process, attending the combine in Chicago and working out for teams. By not hiring an agent, he was able to test the waters without jeopardizing his final year of college eligibility. Hart had until Wednesday to make a decision, which is coming back to the defending champs.

“I enjoyed the process and learned a lot,” Hart said in a statement released by the school. “It was definitely worthwhile. I look forward to graduating next year and coming back to play with my teammates.”

As a junior, the 6-foot-5 guard averaged 15.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game while shooting 51.3 percent from the field. He put up 23 points, eight rebounds and four assists in Villanova’s 95-51 Final Four win over Oklahoma, before following it up with 12 points and eight rebounds in the national title game in which the Wildcats thrillingly won at the buzzer, 77-74, on a Kris Jenkins three-pointer.

Hart and Jenkins, the team’s two leading scorers, return along with key pieces Jalen Brunson (9.6 ppg), Phil Booth (7.0 ppg), Mikal Bridges (6.4 ppg) and Darryl Reynolds (4.5 rpg).

“Josh Hart did a great job in this process,” Villanova head coach Jay Wright said. “I’m really proud of the way that he showed himself. I am really happy for him that he is returning to play with his classmates and that he will graduate on time.” 

Instant Replay: Tigers 3, Phillies 1

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AP

Instant Replay: Tigers 3, Phillies 1

BOX SCORE

DETROIT — What figures to be the Phillies’ most challenging road trip so far is not off to a good start.
 
The Phillies lost for the second time in as many nights to the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday. Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander manhandled the Phillies in leading his team to a 3-1 victory.
 
The Phillies were held to just three hits in the first eight innings. They rallied for a run on two hits and a sacrifice fly by Tommy Joseph after Verlander had exited in the ninth.
 
The Phils have lost four out of their last five games and are 25-21 on the season.
 
After a slow start, the Tigers have come alive. They have won eight of their last nine.
 
The series ends Wednesday afternoon. The Phillies open a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs on Friday. They have the best record in the majors.
 
Starting pitching report
Jeremy Hellickson delivered a very solid start of seven innings and three runs, but received no run support. He walked just one and struck out seven.
 
Hellickson has allowed just five earned runs over 20 innings in his last three starts. He has walked just three batters and struck out 20 over that span.
 
Verlander gave up just two singles and a double over eight shutout innings. He walked two and struck out 10.
 
Verlander’s 108th and final pitch of the game was a 97 mph fastball past Odubel Herrera.
 
Bullpen report
Detroit closer Francisco Rodriguez survived a shaky ninth for the save. He squandered his team’s shutout bid by allowing the Phillies’ only run.
 
The save was Francisco’s 400th. He is the sixth pitcher in big-league history to reach that milestone.
 
At the plate
Ryan Howard entered the night hitting .083 (4 for 48) in the month of May. Three of those hits were homers and the other was a double. Howard had not had a single since April 29, a span of 19 games. He ended the singles drought with a base hit against Verlander in the second inning.
 
Howard popped out, struck out and grounded out in his next three at-bats as his average actually climbed to .159.
 
Howard batted fifth and Joseph hit fourth. Joseph, who had a homer and a double in Monday night’s game, stung the ball right at the shortstop and leftfielder, respectively, in his first two at-bats before singling in his third at-bat. He lined a sacrifice fly to left for the Phils’ only run in the ninth.
 
Freddy Galvis doubled twice for the Phils.
 
Miguel Cabrera, who had two homers and a double on Monday night, continued to scorch the Phils. He doubled home a run in the first inning and plated another with a groundout in the sixth. Victor Martinez, who drove in the go-ahead run Monday night, drove in the Tigers’ third run with a single in the sixth.
 
In the field
Catcher Carlos Ruiz threw out two runners trying to steal second.
 
Third baseman Maikel Franco unsuccessfully tried to backhand a bounding ball from J.D. Martinez in the sixth inning. If Franco makes the play, he probably starts an around-the-horn double play. Instead, it got by him, was generously scored a double and led to the Tigers’ second run of the game.
 
Minor matters
Cody Asche, rehabbing from an oblique strain with the Double A Reading club, hit a two-run home run Tuesday night.
 
Up next
The series concludes Wednesday afternoon. Aaron Nola (3-3, 2.85) starts for the Phillies against Detroit right-hander Anibal Sanchez (3-5, 6.23).

NFL Notes: Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles awarded Super Bowls

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NFL Notes: Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles awarded Super Bowls

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- If you spend billions of dollars to build it, they will come.

Three times over.

The NFL awarded Super Bowls to Atlanta, Miami and Los Angeles, three cities that made significant financial investments in new stadiums or recently upgraded an existing one. Atlanta will host the game in 2019, followed by Miami (2020) and Los Angeles (2021), it was announced Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings.

"I think if they find guys like me that are willing to do it, I think they want to show them that it is worthwhile," Rams owner Stan Kroenke said.

Atlanta will host its third Super Bowl, but the first at its new $1.4 billion stadium which opens in 2017. The previous two were at the Georgia Dome.

Miami will have its record-setting 11th Super Bowl following a $450 million stadium renovation.

Los Angeles, which gets the relocated Rams this season, has not had a Super Bowl in the area since 1993 in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The game will be played at the new $2.6 billion stadium in Inglewood, California, which opens in 2019.

Tampa Bay and New Orleans were also in the running to host a Super Bowl (see full story).

Steelers: Bell believes Bengals targeted him
PITTSBURGH -- Le'Veon Bell considers the first injury of his NFL career -- a sprained foot in a preseason game three years ago -- a freak accident.

The last two? Not so much.

The Pittsburgh Steelers running back took the field with his teammates Tuesday for the first time since tearing the MCL in his right knee last November against Cincinnati. Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict twisted Bell awkwardly as the two tumbled out of bounds just a few yards away from where Bell's 2014 season ended after taking a shot to the same knee from Cincinnati's Reggie Nelson.

Burfict celebrated openly as Bell writhed in pain, a memory that lingers even after Burfict reached out on social media in March to express support as Bell worked his way through rehab.

"Obviously it looked like they were happy about it," Bell said. "I'll take the liberty of just thinking everybody plays just football to love the game. But people aren't out here playing like that. People are playing to take people out. Obviously I know that now" (see full story).

Cardinals: Fitzgerald not thinking beyond this season
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Larry Fitzgerald has been an Arizona Cardinal all 12 of his NFL seasons, breaking every franchise receiving record along the way.

Now, he enters the final year of a two-year, $22 million contract, and he said Tuesday that he doesn't even think about whether he will play football beyond this season, with the Cardinals or anyone else.

"We're just in OTAs right now, man," he said. "We've got training camp and minicamp and the regular season. We've got a long ways to go before that's even a point of discussion. So I'm enjoying this. I'm trying to make it the best year yet."

Fitzgerald will turn 33 before next season begins. And last season proved he remains one of the most prolific receivers in the NFL.

"I think Larry has a lot of tread left on the tire," Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin said. "Obviously he's in the last year of his deal. That's out of my pay scale. But obviously I think he's still got juice in the system" (see full story).