Sixers Release Schedule, Will Open Season Against Blazers on 26th

Sixers Release Schedule, Will Open Season Against Blazers on 26th

Well, the '11-12 season does mark the 35th anniversary of the '76-'77
season, so maybe it's not random that this year should start with a
finals rematch from that season. (Maybe.) The schedules for every NBA
team (Hey, the Sixers are one of those!) were released Tuesday night, and
the Sixers will open the season on the road in Portland, against
LaMarcus Aldridge and them Trailblazers, on the day after Christmas.
It's one of many notable dates Sixers fans can now put on their
calendars in semi-permanent marker. Others include:

Dec. 31st: For what feels like the 25th year in a row, the Sixers
play a mediocre West Coast team on New Years' Eve. This year, the boys
face off with the Warriors in California at 10:30 EST, unofficially
celebrating the New Year sometime around halftime.

Jan. 6th: The team finally returns to the WFC for their home opener
against the Detroit Pistons. The Ballers will likely be craving revenge
(or possibly just crab fries) after the Pistons defeated them in the
last game of the year in '11, ruining their chances at a plus-.500
season.

Jan. 9th-14th: The Sixers play five games in six days, including a
home-and-home against the Wizards, a visit to the Knicks at MSG and the first of their two three-games-in-three-nights stretches. The
team will play a staggering 16 games over the course of 25 days in
January, an unfortunate (for them, at least) consequence of the
super-compacted 66-game season.

Feb. 3rd: The Heat revisit Philly for the first time since Lou
Williams' last-minute three sunk them in Game Four of the two teams'
first-round series—regrettably, the only time the Heat lost to the
Sixers in their eight total meetings last year. The WFC will be packed
(by WFC standards, anyway) for the Big Three and company's return
shortly after Groundhog Day.

Apr. 16-18: The Sixers play three in a row for the second and final time this season—against Orlando, Indiana and Cleveland, all of whom
will be somewhere between decent and abysmal this season. The Cleveland
game should be the easiest, but we'll see how the Ballers do at standing
upright in the fourth quarter before setting the line on that one.

Apr. 26: Philly finishes up its season (again) against the Pistons,
this time in Detroit. Let's hope the team is more than a game over .500
at this point so we don't have to go through the disappointment of
statistical mediocrity again. (Or I guess they could just go well under
and take the suspense out altogether. Their call.)

The team's full schedule is available at Sixers.com. 18 days and counting!

The Phillies season in one video: 'Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby'

The Phillies season in one video: 'Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby'

What is there to say about the Philadelphia Phillies?

In doing my usual postgame perusal of the Internet after their 7-2 loss on Wednesday night, I visited Phillies.com to see what kind of "highlights" they could have possibly posted from another crushing defeat at the hands of the Colorado Rockies.

Thankfully, the first thing that caught my eye was a video titled, "Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby."

It was not Larry Andersen in the Phanatic's arms. Nor me.

And that's the Phillies season in a nutshell.

"You gotta question the parenting skills here," John Kruk said on the telecast. And he's right! What kind of parent would raise their kid to be a Philly sports fan?!?

The Phillies now have the worst record in all of baseball. They're 4-20 in their last 24 games. It's their worst start to a season since 1960.

Even the Phanatic doesn't have enough popcorn to mask all the pain.

If you want to read about the upbeat approach Pete Mackanin is taking, go give this a gander.

"In a long season, these things sometimes happen," Mackanin told reporters. "I remember Atlanta, the first half last year, was terrible. They had a real good second half. I believe we just need to get something going. We're going to put something together. I believe that."

That makes one of us.

Highly ranked 2018 recruit Brandon Slater verbally commits to Villanova

Highly ranked 2018 recruit Brandon Slater verbally commits to Villanova

The future of Villanova basketball just got brighter.

Brandon Slater, a 6-foot-6 wing and highly touted 2018 recruit, told Scout.com on Wednesday night that he has verbally committed to the Wildcats.

He later made the announcement on Twitter.

Among the 2018 recruiting class, Slater, a product of Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Virginia, is ranked in the top 30 by Scout.com and top 50 by ESPN.com. He's slated as a four-star talent by both media outlets.

Per ESPN, Slater had offers from Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Syracuse, USC and Virginia Tech. He is Villanova's first commitment for 2018.

"Going up there it just feels like a second home," Slater said, via Evan Daniels of Scout.com. "It gives me a good vibe. It's nothing like all the other schools. I just feel like a Villanova guy. It feels like PVI. It's already home."

Slater and Villanova head coach Jay Wright expressed their excitement on Twitter.