The Morning Extras: Report Says Eddie Jordan On Hot Seat

The Morning Extras: Report Says Eddie Jordan On Hot Seat

The news came trickling in behind the Sixers' latest pathetic effort last night, a 107-96 loss in Indiana that featured all around sloppy play. The Inquirer's Kate Fagan quotes Ed Stefanski, who said the club will "seriously evaluate" whether Eddie Jordan is the right coach for this team. Sources also added the players "no longer believe in Jordan's coaching system or philosophies," and it's difficult to disagree. If there was supposed to be some semblance of an offense against the Pacers, I didn't see it.

The problem is, the Sixers would be falling into old habits if they fire their coach after one season. Ever since Larry Brown quit, they've dumped one coach after another, hoping answers, or perhaps more appropriately, miracles could come from their bench. Only one was given the opportunity to stay on for any amount of time and actually attempt to develop an identity for this club. Don't you think some consistency would help?

I honestly don't know if Eddie Jordan is a good basketball coach. It's been a brutal season, but the Sixers as they're currently constructed are no better than a .500 team anyway, no matter who is on the bench. Blaming the head coach while you try to win games with Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand as the corner stones of your franchise sounds like a bunch of nonsense.

What I do know is Jordan is already the sixth Sixers head coach since Larry Brown departed in 2003. They've had Randy Ayers, Chris Ford, Jim O'Brien, Maurice Cheeks, and Tony DiLeo, with only Cheeks staying on for more than one season. It sends the message to the players that they don't need to listen to the guy in charge, that if things don't work out right away, he'll get canned and the next one will come along. Then they start over again.

If firing Jordan is what they conclude is the right thing at the end of the season, it's hard to argue they would be wrong for doing so, but please, pick somebody and stick with them for awhile. This is a young team. There may be a few good players on this roster. They're never going to get the most out of them though unless they install a teacher who the players have confidence is going to be there beyond next season.

LINKS

7. The Phillies could be searching for outfield depth in 2011 depending on how the roster shakes out over the course of the next year. Could Pat Burrell return to give them some pop off the bench? [Beerleaguer]

6. The NBA's youngest player, Jrue Holiday, ranks eighth in an SI poll for rookie NBA point guards. They might be underselling Holiday, who has been one of the lone bright spots for the Sixers lately. He's dropped 20 points three times in the last five games, and he now leads the club in three point percentage. [SI.com]

5. Much has been made of Sports Illustrated ranking Ruben Amaro 19th out of 30 MLB general managers, but it's Ed Wade's 29th place finish that was curious. Well... not really. [Finger Food]

4. Simon Gagne continues to score at a feverish pace. Last night was his fifth goal in five games. He's had much more of a presence on the ice, and is getting himself in position to shoot the puck. If this is for real, look out. [Daily News]

3. Speaking of players who are finding their groove, there was a mini-scare last night when Dan Carcillo was cut by a skate. He turned out to be fine, and it's a good thing. The energy he brings combined with his newfound maturation are a big reason the Flyers are playing so well. [Broad Street Hockey]

2. Ryan Howard is trying to make defenses respect his ability to hit the ball the other way and eliminate the shift. You don't want to take the bat out of the big guy's hands, but he could cause a lot of damage if he did this even situationally. [Delco Times]

1. The Eagles are scheduled to have Colts defensive back and former first round pick Marlin Jackson for a visit today, amid reports proposing he could play free safety. Another theory about the team's interest calls it a pre-draft bluff. [Iggles Blog]

COMMENT OF THE DAY

In Philly the most popular players are:

1. The backup QB

2. The "6th starter" (in this case Kendrick trying to outduel Moyer)

3. The backup goaltender or the dream guy we dont have

- Bob

EXTRA POINT

Claude Giroux's 14th goal of the season last night was "nasty." (fixed)

kulp700level@comcast.net

Best of NBA: Wall, Wizards top Knicks for 4th straight win

Best of NBA: Wall, Wizards top Knicks for 4th straight win

NEW YORK -- John Wall had 29 points and 13 assists, scoring Washington's final four points in the last 32 seconds as the surging Wizards beat the New York Knicks 113-110 on Thursday night.

Otto Porter Jr. made six 3-pointers for the second straight night and added 23 points, but the Wizards needed big plays from Wall down the stretch to win their fourth in a row.

He made two free throws to put Washington back on top after New York had rallied to take a 110-109 lead, then rebounded Carmelo Anthony's miss and left all the Knicks in his dust as he raced down the floor for a dunk with 13.7 seconds to play.

Anthony finished with 34 points but Wall stole the ball from Brandon Jennings to prevent the Knicks from attempting a 3-pointer that could have tied it (see full recap).

Leonard scores 34 to lead Spurs over Nuggets
SAN ANTONIO -- Kawhi Leonard scored 34 points, rookie Dejounte Murray added a season-high 24 and the San Antonio Spurs overcame a pregame injury to Pau Gasol in beating the Denver Nuggets 118-104 on Thursday night.

Denver's three-game winning streak was snapped despite a career-high 35 points from Nikola Jokic.

Leonard had his fifth straight 30-point performance, right after learning he will start for the Western Conference in the All-Star Game for the second consecutive season.

The Spurs were unexpectedly without Gasol, Tony Parker and then coach Gregg Popovich. Gasol and Parker were both late scratches due to injury, and Popovich was ejected for the first time this season.

Gasol broke the ring finger on his left (non-shooting) hand by jamming it against Kyle Anderson's shoulder during pregame warmups while attempting a running hook. The 16-year veteran center immediately clutched his hand and left the court.

X-rays revealed the break, and the Spurs said there is no timeline for Gasol's return.

Irving, James lead Cavs over Suns
CLEVELAND -- Kyrie Irving scored 26 points, All-Star teammate LeBron James had 21 points and 15 assists, and the Cleveland Cavaliers looked more like themselves at home in a 118-103 win over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night.

The Cavs were back in Quicken Loans Arena following a six-game road trip (their longest of the season) that concluded with an embarrassing 35-point loss at Golden State. But on their home floor, they had better offensive balance and ball movement while improving to 30-11 -- the same record Cleveland had at the halfway point of its 2016 NBA championship season.

Channing Frye scored 18, Iman Shumpert 17 and James Jones 14 while filling in for star forward Kevin Love, still bothered by back spasms.

Tyson Chandler had 22 points and 16 rebounds, but the Suns lost for the fourth time in five games (see full recap).

Best of NHL: Surging Capitals rock Blues in St. Louis

Best of NHL: Surging Capitals rock Blues in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS -- Andre Burakovsky, T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov each had a goal and an assist to lead the Washington Capitals to a 7-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.

Jay beagle, Brett Connolly, Marcus Johansson and Justin Williams also scored, and Alex Ovechkin and Daniel Winnik each had two assists to help Washington earn at least a point in its 12th straight game (10-0-2) for an NHL-best 66 points.

Braden Holtby bounced back from his roughest outing of the season with 22 saves. Holtby was pulled after giving up a season-high five goals on 26 shots in an 8-7 overtime loss at Pittsburgh on Monday. He improved to 22-8-4 and 5-0 lifetime against St. Louis (see full recap).

Grabner scores 2 goals, Rangers top Leafs
TORONTO -- Michael Grabner scored two goals against his former team, helping the New York Rangers snap a three-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night.

Pavel Buchnevich, Brady Skjei and J.T. Miller added goals for New York, and Henrik Lundqvist made 23 saves following a series of rough outings.

Tyler Bozak and Zach Hyman scored for Toronto, which had a three-game winning streak stopped. The Maple Leafs had earned 21 of a possible 26 points in their previous 13 games (10-2-1). Frederik Andersen gave up four goals on 40 shots (see full recap).

Tavares leads Islanders to shutout of Stars
NEW YORK -- Getting a new coach this week didn't change things much for the Islanders -- and oddly enough, that's a good thing for New York.

John Tavares narrowly missed out on his second hat trick in a week, Thomas Greiss got his second straight shutout and the Islanders beat the Dallas Stars 3-0 on Thursday night in their first game since firing longtime coach Jack Capuano.

New York canned Capuano in the middle of his seventh season Tuesday, replacing him on an interim basis with Doug Weight (see full recap).

Niederreiter, Wild dodge letdown, edge Coyotes
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Nino Niederreiter had two power-play goals and an assist, including the go-ahead score for the Minnesota Wild with 7:06 remaining in a 4-3 victory over Arizona on Thursday night after the Coyotes came back from a two-goal deficit.

With Shane Doan in the penalty box for hooking, Niederreiter knocked in a nifty redirect of Mikael Granlund's slap shot for the winner. Devan Dubnyk stopped 20 shots for the Wild, who are 18-2-2 in their last 22 games.

Louis Domingue made 21 saves for the Coyotes, who lost their fourth in a row and fell to 2-12-1 in their last 15 games starting with a 4-1 loss to Minnesota in Arizona on Dec. 17 (see full recap).