Philly Weekend Outlook: Action Packed

Philly Weekend Outlook: Action Packed

Phillies:
Great win for the Phillies yesterday.  Lieber has really stepped forward and shut up all of the doubters, myself included, who thought he wasn't a legitimate number one starter.  If the Phillies lost two to the Rockies it could have turned into a real bad down turn.  They came back from being down in the later innings and got Jim Thome's long ball out of the closet.  The Phillies move on to Atlanta for a weekend series.

Sixers:
You have to get excited about playoff basketball.  Although Philly fans may have not been on board all season with the Sixers, they will definitely amp it up for playoff hoops with the Answer asking for noise.  The Pistons are formidable defending Champs led by the Trade away as much as I can then ditch you for a ready made champ Larry Brown.  It should be exciting if nothing else.

Tip off 3:00 PM in Detroit - ESPN Series

Eagles:
Philadelphia, as we all know is an Eagles town.  There are the Phillies faithful and those die hard Flyers fans.  But collectively, Philadelphia bleeds green.  That is why the biggest news of the weekend will likely revolve around tomorrow's draft day.  It's crazy how the Eagles can command so much of the attention of a town.  Putting an elite team on the field year after year doesn't hurt.  (note to Ed Wade: elite teams don't just "compete" for division titles, they win them.

With their 13 picks, the Eagles have endless possibilities and I will leave the guessing up to the Mel Kiper's of the world.  I would love to see a move for Darren Howard of the Saints, which many sources have been reporting could be likely.  Chris Mortenson reported yesterday that the Eagles could do a deal for
him; he also reported the Eagles are likely to be the most active team
due to their 13 picks.

There are still grumblings about Edgerrin James and Shaun Alexander being moved to Philly, which I find unlikely, but after last off season nothing would surprise me.

Jaws has been reporting that the Eagles' really likeWR  Mark Clayton of Oklahoma and OT Jamaal Brown of Oklahoma.  There is still a lot of talk about the QB moved to WR/TE phenom Matt Jones.

I think it is safe to say my prediction is meaningless, but here is what I'll guess.  The Eagles will get a deal done with Baltimore to ship Corey Simon off and the cap space and picks acquired will allow them to get Howard from the Saints.  They will somehow select an O-Lineman and Matt Jones in the first round.  So the biggest impact players will be a high O-Lineman and WR along with Howard.  they will use their 3rd-5ths for a LB, S, and RB in no particular order.

Sorry, I'm rambling.  What do you think?

 

Nerlens Noel to get one-on-one experience while Sixers on road

Nerlens Noel to get one-on-one experience while Sixers on road

Being immersed in the team is important for Nerlens Noel, and so is continuing his rehab. 

While the Sixers are on the road for three days to play the Grizzlies and Pelicans, Noel will remain in Philadelphia to work out at the training complex in Camden, New Jersey. The team is not scheduled to practice in between games, so staying back allows Noel another day to get on the court.

“[I want him to] just start playing more and have a ball in his hands, get hit, physical, feel people, play one-on-one,” head coach Brett Brown said.

Noel has yet to play this season because of elective arthroscopic left knee surgery in October. He rejoined the Sixers after completing the first phase of his rehab in Birmingham, Alabama. There still is no timetable for his return. 

Brown has said there is a “classroom” element to Noel’s return. He has to learn a roster with new players and schemes. 

The on-the-court side of it is a reacclimation to the intensity of the league. Regardless of how many games Noel already has played in the NBA, there is an adjustment period getting back into the grind of the competition. Brown believes the time in the gym this week will help Noel prepare for the level of intensity he will face in his return. 

“It’s such fool’s gold to think somebody’s going to jump back into NBA basketball after you haven’t played for so long. I don’t care how athletic he is,” Brown said. “It’s a man’s world, this league, and there’s a physicality and there’s a real-time reaction you have to have to play in the game. You can’t make that up in practice, you can’t make that up playing one-on-one, but you can better position him instead of just going out to get shots. I want him to feel a body, get hit, hit back, play one-on-one, those types of things.”

Noel had been assigned to the Sixers’ Development League affiliate, the Delaware 87ers, to get in practice time when the Sixers had a game. The Sixers may forego another assignment and keep Noel at their facility as the Sevens also have two games in the next three days. 

Joel Embiid finally struggles in Sixers' loss to Nuggets

Joel Embiid finally struggles in Sixers' loss to Nuggets

BOX SCORE

Joel Embiid has been making the NBA look easy. Rookie of the Month honors, five double-doubles in 13 games, seven performances of 20 points or more … all having missed the last two years rehabbing from foot injuries.

Embiid, though, still is a player learning the league. Night’s like Monday’s lackluster showing are going to happen, even if it seemed unexpected against the struggling Denver Nuggets. 

“We’ve been used to seeing Jo have superhuman nights,” Brett Brown said after the Sixers’ 106-98 loss (see Instant Replay). “I thought Joel was down tonight.” 

Embiid tallied a total 16 points (5 for 15 from the field, 1 for 3 from three, 5 for 6 from the line) with four rebounds, one assist, a career-high five blocks, three turnovers and three fouls in 25:32. 

He had a quiet first half with six points (2 for 5 from the field) and one rebound in 9:21. The biggest struggle came in the third quarter. Embiid scored a single point off a free throw and shot 0 for 6 from the floor. By the end of three, he was shooting 18.2 percent. 

The big man said he needed to be better at passing out of the double team. He committed two turnovers in the third. 

“I wasn’t getting to my spot and I wasn’t getting what I’m used to getting,” Embiid said of the first three quarters. “I’m going to go back and watch the tape and see what I did wrong.” 

Embiid bounced back for another Embiid-like offensive effort in the fourth. He dropped nine points off an efficient 3 for 4 shooting in 7:31. Still, it wasn’t enough. 

“I made a couple shots,” Embiid said. “It didn’t help us win, so I don’t think it matters.”

Brown noticed Embiid rushing his game. He also thought Embiid’s balance was off, something the big man has been dealing with all season as he continues to find his legs. 

Embiid will not play in Tuesday's game against the Grizzlies. It is part of his workload management in which he does not play both games of a back-to-back. Expect him to hone in on game film until his next matchup, and get back on the roller coaster that can be a first year in the NBA. 

“It's just part of a young man's growth,” Brown said. “It just happens. I don't think we need to read too deeply into it. I think, in many ways, to expect from time to time not as good of a performance as we have been used to is fair enough.”