The Morning Extras: What Is Andre Iguodala?

The Morning Extras: What Is Andre Iguodala?

Superstar, either now or on the verge of becoming one? An All Star caliber player stuck on a crappy team? Potential supporting cast member for a contender? Simply a role player? Or, perhaps, just another guy altogether? The only thing we seem to be all in agreement over is Iguodala is no superstar. If the debate in the comments is any indication though, even Sixers fans who follow this team closely haven't been able to reach a consensus.

One thing is certain, and that is Iguodala seems to be falling out of favor around the league. ESPN's Bill Simmons released his annual Top 40 Trade Value column last week, and even with a dozen or so honorable mentions on the list, the face of the Sixers is nowhere to be found. That's only a drop in the bucket. In the newest edition of Sports Illustrated, a poll of 173 NBA players named Iguodala one of the most overrated players in the league.

If you need any more proof than fellow NBA-ers ranking him one of the most overrated players—you know, the guys who actually step on the court with Iguodala—you're probably beyond convincing. The insinuation isn't even he's a bad player, but nobody outside Ed Stefanski and a pocket of fans seem to think of him in terms of having All Star ability, as evidenced by his inability to sniff the All Star game (who the hell is David Lee?).

To be fair, the poll came up with some odd choices. The same number of people who thought Iguodala is overrated consider LeBron James overrated. It's not scientific, the condition of being overrated. The difference is LeBron is going to compete for a championship, while the Sixers are struggling to even sneak into the playoffs as the eight seed. Nobody cares what you are, as long as you win.

In my own estimations, Iguodala falls somewhere in between this spectrum. He clearly is no superstar. That much is painfully obvious by the Sixers' constant positioning below .500, but he can help a good team. Unfortunately that's not going to be here anytime soon, which once again begs the question: why do they insist upon clinging to this guy?

LINKS

• For the right amount of money, Julius Peppers can be an Eagle. Many are warning though that he takes too many plays off. That never prevented Randy Moss from greatness. [SI.com]

• Clark Judge believes hiring special teams coach Bobby April will have one of the greatest impacts of any assistant coaching hire this off-season. Imagine DeSean now... [CBS Sports]

• The bidding has ended for Joe Paterno's autographed spectacles. The glasses sold for $9,000. Very strange collectible... [ESPN]

• Brad Lidge can begin throwing off the mound. It's a new year. Let's see if he an reclaim some of his '08 magic. [Phillies Files]

• While he remains with a contender after signing with the Yankees, Chan Ho Park's gamble didn't pay off. The reliever accepted a deal worth less money when nobody stepped up to beat the Phillies offer or give him a chance to start. [Crashburn Alley]

• On the lighter side, the Phillies are up to their usual spring training antics. [The Zo Zone]

• Asking the question who should be between the pipes for the Flyers. My vote is Leighton. [Philly Burbs]

• The best take you will ever read on the Tiger Woods press conference. [SB Nation]

COMMENT OF THE DAY

ill give ed wade as much shit as the next guy (i still remember the time i sat near him at a game in DC near the end of the 2006 season when the phillies were in the hunt for the wild card and i said "ed, are we gonna make the playoffs this year?" and in the most laconic, dispassionate way replied "well, we'll see"...it was not the vote of confidence i wanted from him at the time), but he deserves credit for putting together most of the nucleus for the 2008 WFC.

still this was the guy who landed in a tree when he went skydiving...

- Poster Nutbag

Always felt the timing of Ed Wade's firing was off. Doubt they get over the hump without a general manager who could a) pull off a decent trade at the deadline, and b) identify productive contributors on the free agent/waiver garbage heap. At the same time, they only decided to part with him once things really started turning around.

Of course, it's reasonable to wonder how responsible Wade was for assembling that core, and how much of it was actually Mike Arbuckle.

THE BONUS: "BUDDY COP" MOVIES

This is in reference to the steaming pile of manure Die Hard bad-ass Bruce Willis will appear in along side Tracy Morgan beginning this Friday. By the way, who coined the phrase buddy cop movie? It's stupid. We're now taking suggestions for what these films should really be called (redundant cop movies?).

My personal favorite: Starsky and Hutch. Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson are great together. Throw in a dash of Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell, plus Snoop Dogg as Huggy Bear, and you've got yourself a classic. This never really seemed to catch on all that much, but on the topic of overrated versus underrated, this is a very under-appreciated film. It's on AMC with a fair degree of frequency, so check it out.

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Flyers Notes: Promising performances from young defensemen

Flyers Notes: Promising performances from young defensemen

The most impressive thing about the Flyers' 4-0 preseason win over the Islanders on Tuesday night was the play of the their young defense and the outstanding work by the penalty kill.

Ivan Provorov, Travis Sanheim and Philippe Myers each gave a strong accounting of themselves while veteran Andrew MacDonald proved why experience helps with some terrific PK work during an extended five-on-three Islanders power play in the third period.

“Overall, they did a good job,” head coach Dave Hakstol said. “I look at some of the opportunities we gave up, especially in the second period, we gave up three or four Grade A opportunities that Mase (goalie Steve Mason) was great on, but I put those on our forwards.

“We’re still not into regular-season form on our play without the puck. I thought as a whole, the group of defensemen did a good job and the young guys in there were good tonight.”

Sanheim had strong plays the entire game from the point and picked up two assists (see highlights). He gets the puck quickly on net and joins the play up front.

“It took me a little bit, even in this game,” Sanheim said. “As I play more, I started to jump up more and you start to see my game more. It’s something I want to bring to this next level.”

Provorov logged 21:43 of ice time following nearly 29 minutes at New Jersey. He had 5:17 on the PK. Some of his clears weren’t deep or hard enough, at times, possibly because of fatigue.

He also took a bad boarding hit on Joshua Ho-Sang in the third period that set up an Isles five-on-three power play. It became extended because of a trip call to Myers but MacDonald did yeoman’s work on the extended PK.

Provorov quarterbacks the first-unit man advantage for now until Shayne Gostisbehere joins the crowd. He had some very skillful passes. The Russian can find the seam up the ice on the breakout quickly and had a no-look, hard pass to Nick Cousins in the second period for a quality one-timer on net.

Expect Provorov to handle the second-unit power play during the season, should he make the roster.

The goals
Although the Flyers, using a better NHL lineup, were lacking for offensive chances early against the Isles' "B" squad, they found their way in the final four minutes of the opening period.

First, Dale Weise had one of those pinball goals as a bouncing puck hit a couple of players in the slot, including goalie Chris Gibson, to make it 1-0 during four-on-four play.

That was the Flyers' first goal of preseason in three games. A little more than a minute later, Wayne Simmonds scored off a rebound just as a Flyers power play ended. Simmonds had two goals in the game, including a wrister from the left circle to open the final period.

Smallish (5-foot-7) — but bullish — centerman Andy Miele, a former Hobey Baker Award winner as college hockey’s top player (Miami-Ohio), made it 3-0, out-battling Thomas Hickey for the rebound of Michael Raffl’s shot.

The shield
Simmonds is wearing a visor for the first time. It’s an experiment for now.

“Everyone is all over me about it,” he said. “We’ll see what happens. It wasn’t too bad tonight. The only thing is trying to track pucks in the sky when you are getting the glare from the lights. A little bit of an adjustment."

He said neither his mother nor girlfriend had pushed him as hard to wear the shield as someone else: “Ron Hextall,” he said flatly. “He gave me a call.”

Because of his tenacious play in the slot where sticks are high and pucks are deflected, a shield makes sense.

“Yeah, I think so, being that front guy and doing work on the PK,” he said. “Getting sticks in lanes like that, the game is really fast and pucks get deflected.

“Sometime you don’t know where they’re going and can’t react to that. Obviously, the shield is good for that."

He added he would wear the shield in a fight, too.

“Every time I fight and someone has a shield on, I’m at a disadvantage so I guess this evens it up,” he said.

Loose pucks
Weise did a nice job sticking up for teammates late during a melee after a Ben Holmstrom crosscheck to linemate Nick Cousins. “It was a bad crosscheck and you’re defending your teammates,” he said. “The ref was in the way and I kind of went overtop him. That’s what I’m about. Guys take liberties on my linemates, I’ll stand up for them.” … Matt Read had just 6:54 ice time through two periods. Fourth-liner Boyd Gordon had more ice time there — 9:39 — but Read finished with 13:55 to Gordon’s 13:41. More than half of Gordon’s ice time was on the penalty kill. … Goalie Steve Mason faced some point-blank chances among the first 17 shots he faced and finished with 23-save shutout.  

Carson Wentz named NFC Offensive Player of the Week

Carson Wentz named NFC Offensive Player of the Week

Another week, another award for Carson Wentz.

This time the Eagles' electrifying rookie has been named the NFC's Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Steelers.

In the 34-3 win over Pittsburgh, Wentz completed 23 of 31 passes for 301 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 125.9. It was the first 300-yard game of his very young career.

Wentz is the first rookie QB in Eagles history to win an Offensive Player of the Week award, and the first Eagle to win the award since Jeremy Maclin in Week 9 of the 2014 season.

Through three games, the 23-year-old has completed 64.7 percent of his passes for 769 yards and five touchdowns. He's the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to achieve those stats in the first three games of a career. He still hasn't thrown an interception in 102 passing attempts, which is a record for rookies.

It looks like Wentz will have plenty more opportunities for awards this season.