Three is the Magic Number

Three is the Magic Number

Both the Phillies and the Sixers won last night.  Amazing.  Crazy fact of the day: the Sixers are still technically alive to make the playoffs with only 4 games left in the season.  Here's to Mo Cheeks and Andre Miller.

Now on to the team some of us are still interested in at this point in the season.  The Phillies held off the Mets behind a real solid outing by Adam Eaton.  His performance certainly was encouraging after his abomination in his first start as a Phillie this season.  If Eaton can duplicate Wednesday night's performance and leave his opening game stuff in the past, the Phils could have a super tight rotation.  The ageless Jamie Moyer has been on point, Brett Myers and Cole Hamels have been great.  Add in a cautious optimism for Freddy Garcia and we've got a real solid five.  At least we can start out games with the lead before the bullpen blows them.

For those of you who jumped ship last week, I can't blame you; I was on the bow doing my best Jack Dawson impression.  But it's early, and there is plenty of room for the fairweathers.  And of course, there is plenty of time for us to jump on and off about a dozen more times before October.

It's hard to call a game in April an important game, but a win today and coming home with a series win over the Mets would be gigantic.  The combined age of today's starting pitchers is roughly 85 years.  Let's hope Moyer can get the Phils number three today.  Three would be great.

Temple Men’s Basketball adds two players to 2016-17 roster

Temple Men’s Basketball adds two players to 2016-17 roster

Temple men’s basketball coach Fran Dunphy announced that the team has added two players to its 2016-17 roster. 

The Owls will announce the two new transfers, junior’s Isaiah Lewis and Steve Leonard, Thursday night at the Liacouras Center at the team’s Cherry and White Night. 

Lewis comes to Temple after playing for Casper College in Wyoming last season, where he averaged 5.5 points and 2.2 assists per game. Before his stint at Casper College, the 6-4 guard also played at Lee Junior College in Texas, and averaged 10.0 points and 4.7 assists per game.

Leonard, a 6-6 guard from Collegeville, Pa., played two seasons at Ursinus College. He averaged 5.6 points over 43 games during his career at Ursinus. 

Brett Brown: Sixers' Nik Stauskas set for 'breakout year'

Brett Brown: Sixers' Nik Stauskas set for 'breakout year'

CAMDEN, N.J. — The irony of Nik Stauskas’ reputation as a three-point shooter is that he doesn’t view himself that way.

Stauskas was drafted eighth overall by the Kings in 2014 after shooting 44.1 percent from three over two years at Michigan. But that’s not how he envisioned himself being in the pros.

“It’s crazy,” Stauskas said after practice Thursday. “I know I was a great shooter coming out of Michigan, but I don’t consider myself a shooter. I consider myself a gamer. I don’t think I’m an effective NBA player when I just stand and spot up and shoot threes. That’s really not my game.”

Stauskas has struggled to find offensive consistency in the NBA. The third-year two-guard averaged 32.4 percent from long range in his first two seasons. He wasn’t reliable as a knockdown shooter and bounced in and out of the starting lineup last season.

Rather than being a finesse player, Brett Brown encouraged Stauskas to get aggressive. Brown wanted to a see an edge from Stauskas and not hold back at the basket.

Stauskas displayed that side to his game on opening night against the Thunder. In 23 minutes off the bench, he scored 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting. His only miss came on a three-point attempt. His 83.3 shooting percentage was a single-game career high.

“He was cocky,” Brown said. “He was in attack mode. He was not afraid to put it to the floor and get to the rim. I feel like he’s got a real chance to have a breakout year. We need him to have a breakout year.”

The Sixers picked up the options on Stauskas, Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor on Thursday.

“I think the statement the club made on his contract lets him probably have a little bit more comfort on what we think of him,” Brown said. “I was really happy with his swagger last night.”

Stauskas is figuring out his role on the Sixers this season. It is one that can change often given injuries. A key to being successful, whether he is on the perimeter or at the rim, is feeling confident and in a rhythm on the floor.

“I had fun out there,” Stauskas said. “More than anything, I think yesterday was the first time in a while that I’ve really enjoyed myself out there and had a smile on my face.”