The Morning Extras: Why We Going There?

The Morning Extras: Why We Going There?

We weren't surprised by the negative tone taken on Shawn Andrews, but it's pretty sad that people don't respect the fact that he has an illness. Just remember, you're not only being insensitive to a football player, but anybody who has or is close to somebody with clinical depression. It's hard for us to understand how a person making millions for playing a game could be unhappy while many our battling their own problems, but it's a reality. And if you think he was faking, I have to ask why? It would be a most unnecessary and elaborate scheme, because if he wanted to quit, that's all he had to do.

Not to mention it was his back that has kept him off the field the last two seasons.

LINKS

7. Looks almost certain Mike Bell will be allowed to sign with the Eagles. The Saints brought in Justin Fargas for a visit. [WWLTV]

6. Joe Montana claims Brett Favre doesn't plan to retire, but instead wants to use the possibility as an excuse to skip training camp. He's probably right. On one hand, it's hard to respect that, but when you watch what he does on the football field, who cares? [PFT]

5. Dan Levy asks where Nationals prospect Stephen Strasburg will start the season. If they have any shot at fielding a good team, fine if they move him to the bigs. Otherwise, there's no reason to rush him (except for money of course). [The Sporting Blog]

4. Tim Panaccio says Brian Boucher is ready to take advantage of his opportunity to play. I say when is Michael Leighton coming back? [CSN]

3. Cornell falls in at number three on a list of double-digit seeded teams who could create an upset in the Tournament. Several people are predicting they could cause trouble for Temple. [The Sporting News]

2. Ashley Fox determines Andrews simply wasn't worth the trouble to the Birds. I'm sure that's how they felt about it, but it's not as if they don't have a need for Pro Bowl linemen. [Inquirer]

1. The Phillies will cap the number of season ticket plans they sell at 28,750, which is nice because it's already becoming an impossible ticket to get. But as of this writing, they are already at 28,500, so you better act fas... too late. [Philadelphia Business Journal]

COMMENT OF THE DAY

Woah woah woah... We got my boy Darryl Tapp? When did this happen?

Nice! Got to watch him when he was at Virginia Tech and let me tell you, he can play very well. He was a blitzer in college, and that should carry over to the pros. Good, solid pickup. He was a gamechanger for the Hokies. Don't think he'll be that way for the Eagles, but its a definite improvement. Under the radar, very solid trade. He'll be with the Birds for the long-haul.

- Beardface

EXTRA POINT

Deadspin is reporting chair shots to the head have been banned by the WWE. This is an OUTRAGE!

Sixers merchandise sales on the rise along with win total

Sixers merchandise sales on the rise along with win total

Between recent wins and Joel Embiid’s All-Star push, fans are buying their Sixers gear.

According to Fanatics.com, a sports apparel website partnered with the four major sports, the Sixers rank fourth among all NBA teams in total merchandise sales over the past seven days. The Warriors, Cavaliers and Bulls are ahead of them.

Joel Embiid was the fifth-best selling player over that period. His popularity has risen during his enthusiastic All-Star campaign, which included celebrity shoutouts and an outpour of social media activity. Embiid is now up to 553,000 Twitter followers.

The Sixers have ranked in the league’s top 10 of merchandise sales since the beginning of the 2016-17 season. They hold the largest year-over-year increase during that time frame in the NBA this season.

In September, Ben Simmons ranked in the top 10 of NBA players in merchandise sales since draft night.

Sales from the Sixers' and NBA's official online stores are included in these statistics.

Sixers clicking just in time to face surging Raptors on Wednesday

Sixers clicking just in time to face surging Raptors on Wednesday

The Sixers are clicking just in time to face their toughest competition in over a month. The Raptors (28-13) come to Philadelphia as the Sixers have won six of their last eight games by holding one another accountable and taking each outing step-by-step.

“You feel like the group is coming together,” Brett Brown said. “You feel like all the work that we have put in is starting to pay dividends in relation to a solid foundation.”

The Raptors sit second in the Eastern Conference, just one and a half games behind the Cavaliers. The last time they met, the Raptors beat the Sixers 123-114 on Dec. 14 at the Wells Fargo Center.

A lot has changed since then, especially the rotations. Brown started Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor together against the Raptors, an experiment that waned out after six games. The Sixers have found a formula to winning with an established starting lineup and a consistent second unit, with the added experience of Gerald Henderson and Nerlens Noel. They will be tested Wednesday as both Joel Embiid (illness) and T.J. McConnell (wrist) are questionable.

“When you look at this team, it’s a lot of talent but we didn’t play as a team,” Ilyasova said of the start of the season. “Now we come together. I think it’s all about the chemistry, we trust each other.”

The Sixers are looking to carry over the momentum of a 113-104 victory over the Bucks in Milwaukee on Monday. They got a test of All-Star caliber talent against Giannis Antetokounmpo, whom they held to two points in the second half. The Sixers will have their hands full with the backcourt duo of Kyle Lowry (22.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 7.2 assists) and DeMar DeRozan (28.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists).

One key to countering talent like that placing an importance on accountability. The players are not letting each other off the hook for mistakes on the court, regardless of who the opponent is.

“I could see it over the past couple weeks, guys coming out here and being more vocal on both ends of the court,” Noel said. “If one guy messes up, you’ve got to let him know so it won’t be a recurring thing. With that, guys are taking steps in the right direction, both leadership roles because everybody on this team can be a leader in their own way.”

The Raptors come in on a four-game winning streak.