Sixers Host One of Many Teams That Could Maybe Be the Second-Best Team in the East

Sixers Host One of Many Teams That Could Maybe Be the Second-Best Team in the East

Who's the best team in the East that isn't the Miami Heat? It doesn't
really matter, since the Heat are so laughably superior to every other
team in the conference right now, but one of the teams with a case would
be the Indiana Pacers, who overcame a slow start to the season (and an
injury to their nominal best player, Danny Granger) to climb to a 40-25
record, second-best not in the West (though they'd only be #6 over
there, and not even all that close to #5). Still, like many teams not
based out of South Florida, the Pacers have struggled a bit as of late,
dropping one at home last night to the Lakers (playing without Kobe
Bryant) and getting blown out by those damn Heat a couple games earlier.


The Sixers, meanwhile, have been playing their best ball of
2013 over their last two games—though admittedly that's not saying
much—convincingly beating the Nets, and then hanging with the Heat down
to the final minute in back-to-back games at Wells Fargo Center. Coming
off those two outings, as well as a solid three days' rest, it's
possible the Sixers will actually give the Pacers (traveling on a
back-to-back themselves) something of a game tonight. Arrogant to assume
any level of performance from this bunch, though, so let's not start
re-evaluating the playoff picture just yet. (The Ballers are eight games
out with 18 to go, by the way. They'd have to go something like 15-3 to
even have a chance.)

7:30 tip from the WFC. Be sure to vote in Liberty Ballers' Most Sixers Tournament Ever,
if you haven't already. Really hoping that the time Doug Collins
insisted that Bradley Beal's name was Jeremy makes an appearance in one
of the other regions.

Union see 4-game winning streak end in shutout loss to Real Salt Lake

Union see 4-game winning streak end in shutout loss to Real Salt Lake

BOX SCORE

SANDY, Utah -- Joao Plata scored his first goal of the season and Real Salt Lake beat the Union, 1-0, on Saturday night to snap Philadelphia's club-record winning streak at four games.

Plata tapped in his goal in the 36th minute after quickly exchanging short passes twice with Jefferson Savarino. Tony Beltran got the play started by saving the ball just before it went over the goal line.

The Union (4-5-5) had a chance to tie it in stoppage time, but goalie Nick Rimando blocked Haris Medunjanin's belt-high free kick and Salt Lake (4-8-2) cleared it after a scramble in front of the net.

Union goalkeeper Andre Blake made seven saves.

Howie Kendrick makes 4th rehab appearance in Lehigh Valley

Howie Kendrick makes 4th rehab appearance in Lehigh Valley

Howie Kendrick on Saturday night made his fourth rehab appearance in Triple A during Lehigh Valley's 13-1 rout of the Louisville Bats in Allentown.

Kendrick went 1 for 5 with a run scored and three strikeouts. He also grounded into a double play and left two runners in scoring position.

It was his second rehab game playing third base. He played third during his appearance in the IronPigs' 8-4 loss Thursday to the Indianapolis Indians. He was 0 for 1 in three plate appearances with a run scored and was hit by a pitch twice (see story).

The Phillies' plan for Kendrick was to have him play a minimum four games at Lehigh Valley. He played left field in two games and third base twice. Pete Mackanin said Wednesday that Kendrick would also get a game at first base but he hasn't gotten a game at first yet.

There is a chance Kendrick could be recalled Sunday before the Phillies’ series finale against the Cincinnati Reds depending on how he feels.

Kendrick has been sidelined since April 15 with an oblique strain. In 10 games before the injury, Kendrick went 13 for 39 (.333) with five extra-base hits and four walks while exclusively playing left field.