Sixers Stay Local, Add Temple's Allen in Second Round

Sixers Stay Local, Add Temple's Allen in Second Round

Following in the footsteps of the Philadelphia Eagles less than two months ago, the Philadelphia 76ers have drafted a Temple Owl. With the 50th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, the Sixers have selected 6'9 power forward Lavoy Allen. This is the first Owl selected by the 76ers since Mark Karcher was chosen 48th overall in 2000.

Allen completed his senior season in March as the all-time leading rebounder in Temple history and one of the greatest Owls in recent memory. LA is a talented rebounder with massive hands and special sense for how and where the ball comes off the rim. Moreover, Allen's stalwart presence under the basket made Temple one of the most consistently solid defensive squads in the country. As coach Fran Dunphy was quoted on NBA.com:

"He's really a good player. I don't know what the NBA guys are thinking of him. Can he be an NBA player? Absolutely. He's the best defensive player position-wise and in terms of understanding of the game I've ever been associated with. I believe he could have a 12-year career in the NBA. He may never start. He's never going to be a drop-dead scorer. But he'll be a solid player."

That all said, the kid obviously isn't perfect and shortcomings do remain. Though he's billed at 225 pounds, Lavoy lacks the clear cut "look" of an NBA player. At 6'9, he certainly has the height and wingspan to compete, but would do himself well to put on some extra muscle in the weight room. On offense, Lavoy has been criticized for being less than assertive in attacking the basket and suffered at times from an inability to convert from the post position. Gaining weight, working on his post moves and finding a tougher mental edge will all benefit Lavoy in the future and hopefully make him a valid candidate for this roster.  

Given the above, while Lavoy's place as a Sixer is far from guaranteed, this is a nonetheless special moment for Big 5 and Owls fans alike.

As someone still trying to get over the fact that the Sixers passed on Dionte Christmas out of training camp two years ago, this is more than a little surprising for yours truly. Having watched Lavoy Allen for the last four years at Temple and even remembering him from his high school days at Pennsbury High School, I can tell you Lavoy has come a long, long way.

Regardless of whether or not he makes this roster, I have been and will remain proud of Lavoy Allen. Congratulations, my man. You made it.

Nick Menta is a Temple University Alum

Best of NBA: Jaylen Brown, Celtics use 5-point possession to top Pistons

Best of NBA: Jaylen Brown, Celtics use 5-point possession to top Pistons

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Jaylen Brown sank a 3-pointer from the right corner while being fouled with 37.6 seconds remaining, part of a five-point possession for Boston that lifted the Celtics to a 104-98 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night.

The Celtics were down 96-95 when Brown connected while being fouled by Marcus Morris. Brown missed the ensuing free throw, but Detroit couldn't come up with the rebound, and Tobias Harris was called for a loose-ball foul. Marcus Smart added two free throws to put Boston up 100-96.

Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics with 33 points. Andre Drummond had 17 points and 15 rebounds for the Pistons, but he went 1 of 11 on free throws and was taken out for some key possessions toward the end to prevent Boston from fouling him.

Lakers crushed by Spurs in first home game since front office shakeup
LOS ANGELES -- Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points and the San Antonio Spurs routed the Lakers 119-98 on Sunday in Los Angeles' first home game since Magic Johnson took over the franchise's basketball operations.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 16 points for the Spurs, who have won four straight and nine of 11.

Pau Gasol added 15 points against his former team, and the Southwest Division leaders had little trouble with the Lakers, who have lost four straight and 15 of 19.

Five days after owner Jeanie Buss put Johnson in charge of basketball operations, the Lakers' dismal season still hasn't changed much, although new Lakers acquisitions Corey Brewer and Tyler Ennis got limited playing time.

Rookie Brandon Ingram scored a season-high 22 points as the Lakers fell to 19-41, ensuring their fourth consecutive non-winning season (see full recap).

Antetokounmpo scores 28 as Bucks hold off Suns
MILWAUKEE -- Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 28 points, Tony Snell made a clinching 3-pointer from the corner in the closing seconds and the Milwaukee Bucks held off the Phoenix Suns, 100-96 on Sunday.

Michael Beasley added 17 points and Malcolm Brogdon had 15 as the Bucks swept the two-game season series with the Suns. Greg Monroe finished with 14 points and Snell had 13.

TJ Warren led the Suns with 23 points. Alan Williams scored a career-high 17 points and tied his season high with 15 rebounds, while Devin Booker added 15 points and Eric Bledsoe had 11.

Clinging to a one-point lead, the Bucks came out of timeout with Monroe inbounding the ball to Antetokounmpo. He dribbled the clock down before passing to Brogdon, who whipped the ball to Snell in the corner. Snell hit a 3 with a defender flying at him.

NHL trade notes: Kings get Bishop from Lightning, Wild land Hanzal from Coyotes

NHL trade notes: Kings get Bishop from Lightning, Wild land Hanzal from Coyotes

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Kings acquired goalie Ben Bishop from the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday in a trade including goalie Peter Budaj and an exchange of draft picks.

The Kings will pair Bishop with Jonathan Quick in a remarkable veteran goaltending tandem down the stretch of the regular season. Quick returned only Saturday from a 59-game absence with a serious groin injury.

The Kings gave up Budaj, junior defenseman Erik Cernak, a 2017 seventh-round pick and another conditional pick. Los Angeles received Bishop and Tampa Bay's 2017 fifth-round pick.

Both teams are scrapping to get into playoff position over the next six weeks. The Kings (30-27-4) are just outside the second wild-card berth in the Western Conference, while the Lightning (27-25-8) are seven points back of a playoff spot (see full story).

Report: Wild get Martin Hanzal from Coyotes
A person with knowledge of the trade says the Minnesota Wild have acquired Czech center Martin Hanzal from the Arizona Coyotes.

The person spoke to The Associated Press Sunday on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced. Details on the return to Arizona were not immediately available.

Hanzal was considered one of the top rental players available ahead of Wednesday's NHL trade deadline. The 30-year-old pending unrestricted free agent has 16 goals and 10 assists in 51 games this season and 313 points in 608 NHL games, all with the Coyotes.

The move signals an aggressive approach from the Wild, who lead the Central Division and Western Conference by three points over the Chicago Blackhawks.