The Untankable Philadelphia 76ers

The Untankable Philadelphia 76ers

A week and a half ago, it looked like the Philadelphia 76ers' season was over. OK -- in competitive terms, the season was actually over a whole lot earlier than that, basically ever since the Sixers' medical staff first started pumping helium into Joel Embiid's knee in late January. But this season was never really about being competitive anyway, it was about being fun, and after back to back blowout losses at home to the middling Pistons and Bucks -- following two season-ending, spirit-crushing injuries and one permanently unjustifiable trade -- it looked like the WFC was officially closed for funness.

But the Sixers would not be permafrowned so easily. On a four-game road trip, they went 1-3, beating the Lakers, taking the Blazers to OT, and leading the NBA-best Warriors for most of the second half. And last night, upon returning to Broad Street to host their old friend Nerlens Noel and his new-look Dallas Mavericks squad, they won by an unthinkable 42 points -- the largest margin of victory in either direction for a Sixers game this season, and their most supersized W since the Gordan Giricek era. And it was fun-un-un-unnnnnn. 

Let's start with this: It was a "bad" Dario Saric game, and he still ended up with 10-7-5, a steal, a block and no turnovers in 26 minutes. He was one of seven Sixers to end in double figures, including Robert Covington scoring 18 on eight shots, Sergio Rodriguez putting up 13 on a perfect 5-5 shooting night, and Richaun Holmes pitching in 17 in 19 minutes. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot hit double digits for the third straight game and finished an unthinkable +40 for the night. Justin Anderson tied a career high with a game-best 19 against his former squad, including a putback dunk that left even the Flight Squad stupefied. 

But first and foremost, the game was won on the defensive end. T.J., TLC and RoCo proved a devastating combo against the Mavs' wings, absolutely smothering the perimeter and allowing virtually no separation or penetration. Dirk Nowitzki flared up from the outside early, but still ended with just 10 for Dallas, and he was by far the high man in their starting five, with the other four combining for just 18 points and one lone three-pointer accounted for among them. The Sixers took off in the third quarter and just kept going, running Dallas straight out of the gym. 

Needless to say this was not what anyone expected from the evening -- least of all poor Nerlens, who was given a nice video tribute a day after buying cheesesteaks for the entirety of the Delaware Valley, and had a spirited exchange of mutual appreciation with the Philly Phaithful in the building last night. But he certainly would've expected to log more than 18 minutes during his big homecoming game, and despite playing the most competently of any non-Dirk Mav (9-5-3 with a block and steal in his limited PT), he was unable to stave off garbage time and sat most of the second half. 

What's more, the loss almost certainly knocks Dallas out of playoff contention, dropping them to 29-39, four games behind the surging Denver Nuggets with a long, tough road trip still to go. Sorry, Nerlens -- looks like Philly's gonna keep you out of the playoffs this season one way or the other. Hopefully, we can give you a kind of honorary Process Ring when this team is winning in the finals five (or 105) years from now. In the meantime, we wouldn't say we've moved on just yet, but it looks like we've playing the field again -- and playing to win -- at the very least.

11 must visit attractions for Cowboys fans attending the NFL Draft in Philly

11 must visit attractions for Cowboys fans attending the NFL Draft in Philly

Jeff Lurie and the Philadelphia Eagles are a very hospitable bunch so they're going to go out of their way to make sure all of the football fans descending upon Philadelphia for the NFL Draft this week have a wonderful experience.

And Philly fans are known as being some of the most welcoming and gracious in all of sports.

So in keeping with that spirit, we thought we'd put together a handy list of destinations that any Dallas Cowboys fan who is in town for the draft could use to get a truly authentic Philly experience.

1. The Center City Applebees (215 S 15th St.)

This is a football event after all, so you'll want to start things off with a frosty beverage. Nothing better in the City of Brotherly Love than a nice Appletini to start the day off right.

2. Piercing Pagoda (at the Cherry Hill Mall)

Sure, you could get a Dallas Cowboys tattoo of a mascot peeing on an Eagle somewhere along South Street while you're in town but you're from Texas or more likely North Philly so why not just get something pierced.

3. Bob’s Big Boy in Marlton, NJ

I've never actually been here but my buddy Evan suggested it. 

4. The Pet Shop from Rocky (J & M Tropical Fish, 2146 N. Front Street)

The Liberty Bell is broken and the Rocky Steps are obstructed by a big stage this week. So if you want a truly authentic Philly history experience, head over to Kensington to check out the pet shop from the original Rocky flick. Cuff and Link are allegedly still alive.

5. Southwest Wastewater Treatment Plant (Off 95 Near the Sports Complex)

If you're flying into Philadelphia International Airport and taking I95 towards the sports complex, a tour of the Wastewater treatment plant right before the Girard Point Bridge will bring back plenty of memories of Dallas.

6. Finnegan’s Wake (537 N. 3rd St.)

If Philly is known for anything other than pretzels and cheesesteaks, it's that legendary bro drinking culture. Nowhere better to experience this than with the fun people at Finnegan's Wake on Spring Garden. Fitting to its name, the place has died down a bit in recent years.

7. Auntie Anne's (Amtrak's 30th Street Station)

Speaking of soft pretzels, right when you arrive at 30th Street Station you can get one of the most authentic Philly pretzels around at the Auntie Anne's kiosk. Try one of the pretzel dogs as well, a hipster favorite in Philly that not many people know about.

8. Cleveland, Ohio

9. Talon Energy Stadium in Chester

You'll want to pay your respects to Philly's amazing sports culture. So head down to beautiful home of the Philadelphia Union soccer club and take a stroll in the lovely neighborhood surrounding the beautiful waterfront property.

10. Primanti Brothers (46 18th Street, Pittsburgh, PA)

You can't come to Pennsylvania without trying an authentic cheesesteak. Nowhere better than one of the Primanti Brothers locations. Pro Tip: Just type "46 18th Street, Pittsburgh" into your Uber app and let the driver handle the rest.

11. Geno’s Steaks

If your first cheesesteak experience doesn't work out, head to where it all started at 9th and Passyunk. Be sure to show off your Tex-Mex bona fides and order a "Me gustaría filete con queso y cebollas." And don't be shy with the toppings. Try some mushrooms, mayonnaise, tomato, lettuce, ketchup, peppers, etc. Go wild!

And enjoy all of the Philly hospitality you receive.

Watch: The Phillies hit rare back-to-back-to-back home runs

Watch: The Phillies hit rare back-to-back-to-back home runs

The Phillies completing a sweep of a division rival at Citizens Bank Park is a pretty rare occurence these days.

But it happened over the weekend.

An even rarer feat took place in the 8th inning when the Phillies went back-to-back-to-back jacks to give the Phils a comanding lead that really allowed the fans to bring the brooms out.

In case you missed it, it's worth giving Cesar Hernandez, Aaron Altherr, and Odubel Herrera another look.

Jim Salisbury has the full story on the exciting win.