@PhillyWings Introduce North America to Twitter Jerseys

@PhillyWings Introduce North America to Twitter Jerseys

Ordinarily, the debate on tastefulness and sports jerseys revolves around advertising, when it's acceptable and when it isn't, if ever at all. Obviously ads are a staple of soccer kits, and nobody seems to mind minor league teams earning some extra revenue, but there would be a serious outcry about the purity of the game if the Phillies opened 2012 with a Tastykake patch on their arm.

Philadelphia's indoor lacrosse team has discovered a new way to divide fans over what is appropriate to slap on a jersey. When the Wings host Buffalo today at 4 p.m., their shirts will don Twitter handles in place of the players' names, supposedly becoming the first professional sports team in North America to adopt this fashion trend, and perhaps inventing the next hot-button issue for uniform enthusiasts.

The good news is the jerseys will be auctioned off after the game, with the proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society. It's hard to get offended over anything that raises money for a good cause, or anything going on in the NLL for that matter.

The bad news is this gimmick exists now. I would like to think a major sports league such as the NFL or NBA would never promote Twitter, but you never know. The idea is out there, and it's not so dissimilar to the defunct XFL's claim to fame, allowing players to choose nicknames and cute messages to stitch across their shoulders -- most notoriously Rod Smart's "He Hate Me."

Good for a laugh... just like the XFL.

You might be saying to yourself, "Kulp, what's the big deal? Will never happen anyway, and Twitter is cool." If you aren't envisioning @thekidet dunking a basketball during an Eastern Conference Championship game, a garish Twitter handle adorning a retro-style Sixers basketball jersey, then scenarios that involve our computers becoming self-aware and sending killer robots to attack us probably aren't keeping you up at night either.

And Twitter simply isn't that cool (follow me at @kulp700level!). If this stunt brings the Wings and indoor lacrosse a little extra publicity while raising money for cancer treatments and research, that's great, as long as it ends there. But when the day comes where a form of social media, especially one that limits interactions to a shallow 140 characters or less, becomes so popular that our handles are more important than who we are, we will have taken a big step backwards as a society.

>> Wings to ditch names in favor of Twitter handles [Philly.com]

Instant Replay: Sixers 113, Bucks 104

Instant Replay: Sixers 113, Bucks 104

BOX SCORE 

The tone was set in the opening minutes of the third quarter. 

The Sixers quickly made up a halftime deficit and rolled from there, outscoring the Bucks, 67-50, in the second half for a 113-104 victory over Milwaukee on Monday.

The Sixers have now won four of their last five games with their only loss in the stretch coming the game Joel Embiid sat out. 

Milwaukee used a 19-4 run to take a 54-44 lead, but the Sixers scored the final basket of the first half and the first eight points of the third quarter to tie the game. 

Embiid scored 12 points in the fourth quarter to finish with 22 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high tying five blocked shots.

Inside the box score
• The Sixers scored 18 of their 24 first-quarter points from the 3-point line, connecting on 6 of 13 attempts from beyond the arc. Philadelphia hit on 14 of 37 three-point attempts, while Milwaukee was just 5 for 14. 

• Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 21 points in the first half, but battled foul trouble after the break and finished with 23 points for the game. He picked up his fourth foul with 6:04 left in the third quarter and was whistled for his fifth foul just 38 seconds into the fourth quarter. 

• Eight Sixers scored in double figures, led by Embiid with 22. Dario Saric added 17, Ersan Ilyasova scored 12, Gerald Henderson and Robert Covington had 11 and Sergio Rodriguez, Jahlil Okafor and Chasson Randle each added 10. 

McConnell MRI negative
The Sixers will be without their starting point guard for the time being, as T.J. McConnell left the team to return to Philadelphia to receive treatment for a right wrist strain and did not play against the Bucks (see story).
 
An MRI taken on McConnell’s right wrist came back negative, according to Sixers coach Brett Brown.
 
“He has a strain,” Brown said. “There’s no structural damage. In relation to what that means with regards to his return to play, I don’t know that yet.”

Sergio Rodriguez started in McConnell’s place and scored 10 points with seven rebounds and six assists. 

Monster jam
Embiid threw down a thunderous dunk to give the Sixers a 77-76 lead with 1:00 left in the third quarter. He then forced a turnover on the other end and later blocked a shot attempt by Matthew Dellavedova at the third-quarter buzzer. 

Noel sits
Sixers center Nerlens Noel was a late scratch from Monday’s game due to a sprained left ankle. 

Up Next
The Sixers will host Toronto (27-13) on Wednesday and Portland (18-25) on Friday at the Wells Fargo Center before traveling to Atlanta to face the Hawks (24-17) on Saturday. 

MRI on T.J. McConnell's wrist comes back negative; Nerlens Noel has ankle sprain

MRI on T.J. McConnell's wrist comes back negative; Nerlens Noel has ankle sprain

The Sixers will be without their starting point guard for the time being, as T.J. McConnell has left the team to return to Philadelphia to receive treatment for a right wrist strain and will miss Monday's game vs. the Bucks in Milwaukee.
 
An MRI taken on McConnell’s right wrist came back negative, according to Sixers coach Brett Brown.
 
“He has a strain,” Brown said. “There’s no structural damage. In relation to what that means with regards to his return to play, I don’t know that yet.”
 
McConnell is averaging 4.8 points and 5.4 assists in 38 games. He has started Philadelphia’s last seven games, a stretch during which the Sixers have gone 5-2.

With McConnell out, Sergio Rodriguez will start at point guard Monday against Milwaukee.

Rodriguez started 29 of the first 30 games he played this season, his first in the NBA since 2009-10. The 30-year-old is more of an offensive threat than the defensive-minded McConnell, averaging 8.8 points and 5.8 assists.  

“You immediately go to losing that defensive energy T.J. is known for,” Brown said. “Sergio is a more gifted scorer. T.J. is a more gifted defender. To have Nerlens (Noel) and Joel (Embiid) behind the scenes, we can make up some ground with Sergio.
 
“People understand Sergio’s pedigree. He’s a 30-year-old legend in Europe. He has a wealth of experience. He’s a medalist and an MVP of the Euro league. He also was our starting point guard for a while. We’re happy to give him back that responsibility.”

No Noel
In addition to McConnell, the Sixers on Monday will also be without the services of Nerlens Noel, who is dealing with a left ankle sprain. Noel came down with a season-high 12 rebounds in Saturday's loss to the Wizards.

Still restricted
Sixers center Joel Embiid will still be on a 28-minute restriction Monday against the Bucks.

Embiid sat out Saturday’s 109-93 loss to Washington after playing 28 minutes in a 102-93 win over Charlotte on Friday. He has reached 30 minutes just once in his 27 games this season.