The Sixers Have Become Tough to Watch

The Sixers Have Become Tough to Watch

It doesn't seem all that long ago that the Sixers were a .500 basketball team. But rattling off a stretch of games like they have -- 5-straight losses, only having won three of their last sixteen -- and all of the hope surrounding this season is getting swept away like all of that rare confetti at the Wells Fargo Center.

They're 15-22 and on the outside of the playoff picture looking at a tough climb in. Even a healthy Andrew Bynum by the middle of February could leave them out of the postseason at the rate they're going now.

When this team has gone through struggles in the past, Doug Collins would typically come out after a game and make statements like, "We played hard, I thought we played good defense, but we were just outmatched tonight by a really good Boston team. They hit their shots. We didn't."

He can no longer say those things with a straight face. Aside from the "not hitting our shots part."

After the Brooklyn game on Tuesday night, in fact, Doug didn't really have much to say at all. Asked what he told his team following the ugly loss, Collins said he had nothing to say to the boys. He just let it simmer.

I think Marc Zumoff put it best during the telecast when he said, paraphrasing, that "the Sixers are allowing the Brooklyn Nets to do anything they want on the offensive end."

This is the Brooklyn Nets we're talking about. Not exactly a perennial contender.

At least when Collins used to praise the team for its effort on a nightly basis, fans could appreciate that and point towards growth. Aside from Jrue Holiday turning into an All-Star, and I'm a bit partial towards Thad Young's nightly effort, this team is as inconsistent as can be.

Evan Turner's play kind of personifies all of that. In year's past, when ET would go through one of his funks, they had enough pieces to fight through it to an extent it as a team. But now, with ET being such an integral part, when he goes bad the whole team goes bad. And Evan's been going bad pretty damn frequently.

And that's just not fun to watch.

I tuned in last night for the contest against the Toronto Raptors. I fell asleep before the 3rd quarter was over.

Doug Collins sure doesn't seem to have the answer. I don't have any answers. Do you have any answers? Is it time to shake up the roster? Can they wait until they get Bynum back before doing that?

All I know is this isn't fun anymore.

Carson Wentz further asserting himself as Eagles' leader in Year 2

Carson Wentz further asserting himself as Eagles' leader in Year 2

It's not like Carson Wentz wasn't a leader last year. 

He was. 

From the moment the No. 2 pick arrived at rookie camp in May, those leadership qualities the Eagles discovered during the pre-draft process were immediately on display. Wentz is a natural leader at a position that necessitates it. 

So in his rookie season, he led. 

"I thought that was all kind of natural, things naturally happened," Wentz said. "Yes, I was a rookie but I don't think that I was by any means quiet. I wasn't just the guy that rolled with the punches and went with it. I thought I was still doing my job as a leader as well. But the longer we're playing this game and the more experience we have, the more we can just step up our leadership as well."

If Wentz was a leader in his rookie season, he's really a leader now.  

Last year, he arrived to the Eagles' offseason after the whirlwind of the NFL draft and admitted on Tuesday that he "didn't really know where the locker room was." Hard to lead when you don't know where to get changed. 

And throughout last spring, he was the team's third-string quarterback preparing for a redshirt season until he was thrust into the starting role after the Sam Bradford trade, just a little over a week before the start of the season. 

A year sometimes makes a huge difference. 

This year, he's the guy, the face of the franchise, the unquestioned leader of the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles. 

"There’s definitely a poise about him," receiver Jordan Matthews said. "You can tell it’s not like last year when he was thrust into the position. He knows his role, he knows he’s the guy, and I think there’s a sense of confidence that comes with that, a sense of poise that he handles extremely well. I’m excited to see what he does this whole offseason and what we’re going to do moving forward."

Wentz is the Eagles' leader on and off the field. He's planning on getting together with his receivers and skills position players again this summer, something he thinks will become an annual trip. 

Earlier this month, Wentz took his offensive linemen out for a day of shooting guns and eating steaks (see story). He bought his entire line shotguns last Christmas. 

It might not seem like a summer get-together or a trigger-happy trip would help the Eagles on the field, but it might. After all, the team's being closer certainly won't hurt. And Wentz, 24, is the guy facilitating all of it. 

Then there's the way Wentz leads on the field. He's always had control of the huddle, but with more time in the offense, he knows what he wants. Center Jason Kelce said the more knowledge Wentz gains of the offense, the "more comfortable (he is) voicing [his] opinion." 

"And I think that he's definitely asserting his style on the offense," Kelce said. 

For the most part, Wentz had a pretty good season as a rookie, flourishing early, hitting a long rough patch, and then finding his way out of it. He ended up throwing for 3,782 yards and set an NFL record for completions as a rookie. 

The Eagles this year, and in the foreseeable future, will go as far as Wentz leads them. 

"They say the biggest jump is from year one to year two, so him just knowing what’s coming, he looks like a vet already," offensive tackle Lane Johnson said. "Pretty extraordinary."

Sir Charles and Shaq made things personal last night and it was fantastic

Sir Charles and Shaq made things personal last night and it was fantastic

Shaq always has the trump card -- and by that we mean championship rings -- to throw in Charles Barkley's face. But with that said, Sir Charles is probably a much better trash talker and therefore has a superior mouth to defend himself with and throw barbs back in Shaq's direction.

The mouthy duo got into it a bit last night and it teetered between fun and lighthearted and a little personal.

Shaq attacks Chuck for only playing in one NBA Finals and therefore not really knowing what he was talking about. Charles claps back at Shaq for having ridden Kobe and Dwyane Wade's coattails. 

During an NBA playoffs that has been mostly boring, at least these two can still entertain us.