How about that T.J. McConnell performance in Boston though?

How about that T.J. McConnell performance in Boston though?

It was the same game that it feels like the Process-era Philadelphia 76ers have blown about a half-dozen separate times to the Boston Celtics: Leading for much of the game, coughing up the lead late and then losing on a last-minute three-pointer. It was still an extremely well-fought game by the Sixers, considering that Boston hit a franchise-record 19 triples, but three wins in a row would've sounded a lot better than two W's and a moral victory. Final score: Celtics 110, 76ers 106. 

But T.J. McConnell, wow. A lot of Sixers played well in this game: Joel had 23 on 6-12 shooting before fouling out, Nerlens was awesome off the bench (13 and 8 with three blocks), Gerald Henderson returned to the lineup after a week off with 18 of the bench. The game ball undoubtedly goes to T.J., though, who racked up an astounding 17 assists in this one, to go with nine points, two steals and just two turnovers. It's obviously a career high, and something only one other Sixer this century has done -- the great Andre Miller, who collected 18 dimes in a 2008 win over Chicago. 

Though he mostly posted unremarkable numbers for the season's opening months when coming off the bench, T.J. has been borderline-electric as a starter for Philly. In four starts this season, he's averaging 10.5 points and 10.5 assists a game, shooting over 50% and losing the ball just over two times a game. The Sixers are also 3-1 in those games -- 6-24 elsewhere -- with that one loss coming by a sliver last night in Boston. (T.J. also had the highest plus-minus for the contest, finishing with a +10 on the night.) 

Of course, it's practically an annual tradition for the Sixers to get a new starting point guard and experience a surge in productivity around the new year -- Ish Smith, anybody? -- and it doesn't often last forever, as the league will learn how to better counter T.J.'s strengths and expose his weaknesses. (Expect a lot of open looks at three in weeks to come, and a lot of frustrating drives and even more frustrating bricks to ensue.) But considering how well the team is currently playing with him at the helm, and how erratic Sergio Rodriguez was as a starter, it's probably right that Timothy John should stay in the first five even when Rodriguez returns from his ankle sprain. He is part of the family, after all.

Look at Ben Simmons on the back of this dude's head (allegedly)

Look at Ben Simmons on the back of this dude's head (allegedly)

Maybe this dude lost a bet about whether Ben Simmons would play or not this season? 

It's not clear exactly why this gentleman got what looks like a hybrid of Ben Simmons and Jahlil Okafor shaved into his head, but he did in fact get a face shaved into the back of his head.

We know this because Ben Simmons himself shared the image on his Instagram account with a couple of barber shop emojis.

💈💈

A post shared by Ben Simmons (@bensimmons) on

Apparently it has to do with the Sixers' ticket sales staff.

Eagles draft targets at No. 14: Clemson WR Mike Williams

Eagles draft targets at No. 14: Clemson WR Mike Williams

Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 218 lbs.

Bench press: 15 reps
Vertical jump: 32.5 inches
Broad jump: 121.0 inches

2016: 98 REC, 1,361 YDS, 13.9 AVG, 11 TD
2015: 2 REC, 20 YDS, 10.0 AVG, 1 TD
2014: 57 REC, 1,030 YDS, 18.1 AVG, 6 TD
2013: 20 REC, 316 YDS, 15.8 AVG, 3 TD

It’s impossible to avoid drawing parallels between Mike Williams and newly acquired Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. In many ways, they are the same, from nearly identical size/speed measurables, to their style of play.

Williams is a physical receiver who’s at his best when the football is up for grabs. He’ll win jump-ball situations, adjust to underthrown or back-shoulder passes, use his big frame to box out defenders, run into traffic without hesitation and break a tackle to pick up yards after the catch. Williams is dangerous at every level of the field, but especially deep and inside the red zone.

This is the type of receiver who – if he lives up to his potential – can excel in any type of offense.

In the Eagles’ case, the comparison to Jeffery could prove especially tempting. Not only would Williams be paired with his ideal NFL mentor (as far as on-field traits are concerned), but also the coach who helped Jeffery become a star.

Eagles wide receivers coach Mike Groh has begun to build a reputation for his work with big, dynamic receivers. He held the same position for three seasons with the Chicago Bears, during which time Jeffery went to a Pro Bowl and averaged 5.6 receptions, 82.0 yards and 0.5 touchdowns per game. Those numbers projected over a 16-game season work out to 89 receptions, 1,312 yards and 8 touchdowns.

Groh spent 2016 with the Los Angeles Rams, where he arguably did his best work yet – coaxing a career year out of Kenny Britt in his eighth NFL season. Another big, physical wideout, Britt shattered his previous personal bests of 48 receptions in 2014 and 775 yards in 2010 with 68 receptions for 1,002 yards, tacking on 5 touchdowns.

It’s not an especially lengthy body of work, but Groh has proven success molding a specific type of player. From that standpoint, the Eagles wouldn’t have to worry about the development of Williams, who is said to have a good head on his shoulders as well.

One would think he would be a nice fit in Doug Pederson’s west coast offense, too. Again, Williams has no issue with going over the middle and making contested catches on quick slant routes. And while no track star, his deceptive quickness and ability to slip a tackle are a threat to burn defenses on a simple wide receiver screen.

Williams may never be as explosive as Terrell Owens was for the Eagles during the Andy Reid days, but almost nobody is. Even if Williams only catches five slants and screens per game for 10 yards apiece, every sixth reception could be a fade in the end zone or a highlight-reel grab down the field.

The Eagles did have Williams at the NovaCare Complex for an official pre-draft visit, no doubt in part for a health screening. The 22-year-old missed almost all of the 2015 season with a fractured bone in his neck, and while he returned for a monster senior year and went on to win a national championship at Clemson, it’s worth checking into.

If there is any concern for the Eagles, it’s the possibility that Williams and Jeffery in the same offense would be a redundancy. Of course, Jeffery is a free agent again in 2018, so that probably shouldn’t define the front office’s thinking.

Regardless, it’s impossible to have too many do-it-all, No. 1 receivers on the roster. That’s what Jeffery is right now, and that’s what Williams has the potential to become.

The coaching staff and scheme are a fit. The only question left it seems is whether Williams is as talented as his peers.

Other Eagles draft targets at No. 14:
Florida State RB Dalvin Cook
LSU RB Leonard Fournette
Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey