Flyers Update Injuries to Myers, Frost

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

The Flyers have already adopted a next man up mentality in the wake of the loss to Sean Couturier. Injuries were something the team didn’t have to deal with much last season, but at the start of this season, they are having to battle through it.

The Flyers lost both defenseman Phil Myers and forward Morgan Frost during Tuesday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres, and were able to provide an update on both players on Thursday morning.

Myers is considered week-to-week with a fractured rib. Frost suffered a dislocated shoulder and is out indefinitely.

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Grades From Sixers' Victory Over Celtics

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The Sixers were back in action at home on Wednesday night, facing off against the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics. Boston would be without their All-Star Jayson Tatum, but would still put up a good fight. 

In the end, the Sixers would be able to hold on to the lead late and walk away with a 117-109 victory. With the win, the Sixers now hold the top spot in the conference by half a game. 

Here are some grades from the first of two matchups by these teams. 

Tobias Harris: A

Since being reunited with Doc Rivers, Tobias Harris has begun to look like his old self. His play on the floor this season has been a night and day difference to the player we saw last season. 

As much credit goes to Joel Embiid for carrying this team this season, Harris deserves just as much credit for being a reliable second option on a nightly basis. He would end this game as the team's second-leading scorer with 22 points and would shoot over 50% from the floor. 

Harris did a good job establishing himself early in this game and was crucial for the team down the stretch in the fourth quarter. Nine of his 22 points would come in the final quarter, including a huge bucket in the post to help keep the Celtics at bay in the closing moments. 

Although there is no All-Star game this year, Harris has been playing at that type of level. What he has brought offensively has played a huge part in the success the Sixers have seen this season. 

Shake Milton: B+

Shake Milton is another player who has upped his game since the arrival of Doc Rivers. He continues to be an offensive spark plug off the bench, solidifying the team's second unit in the process.   

The potential sixth man of the year candidate would be the Sixers' third-leading scorer in this contest, racking up 16 points in about 29 minutes of action. Milton would shoot the ball effectively in two major areas, knocking down a pair of threes and converting all six of his free throw attempts. 

Milton's play off the bench is something the Sixers haven't seen since Lou Williams. His ability to come in games and rack up points fast makes the Sixers look like a deep and dangerous team. 

Ben Simmons: B+

Ben Simmons struggled in portions of this game but was big for the team down the stretch as they secured the win. His shooting struggles would continue, but that didn't stop him from finishing just shy of another triple-double. 

He would finish the game with a stat line of 11 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, and two steals. Although 11 points aren't impressive, he would score seven of those points at the free-throw line. His ability to draw fouls and get to the line at a career-high rate has been a big positive for a slow start to the season for Simmons. 

If Simmons can keep getting to the line at this type of rate, he is bound to break out of his slump soon. He is still rebounding and passing the ball at an elite rate, once his shots start to fall he will start to look like Simmons we are accustomed to seeing. 

Joel Embiid: A++ 

Yet again, Joel Embiid continues to dominate any matchup put in front of him. Whether it was fresh legs or wanting revenge from last year's playoffs, Joel Embiid was a man determined on Wednesday night. 

The early MVP favorite would put on another dominant performance, ending with 42 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, two steals, and one block. Embiid would get it going early and never look back. 

What stands out most about this performance was how effective Embiid was shooting the ball. He shot over 60% from the floor, hitting 12 of his 19 field goals, and would convert 17 free throws on an astonishing 21 attempts.  

Boston's lack of size was something that stood out heading into this matchup, and Embiid would make it very apparent. Boston had no answer for him in the postseason last year, and Embiid has found a new gear since then. 

This level of dominance is something we haven't seen from the center position in a long time, and shouldn't go unnoticed. If Embiid can keep up this level of play, he for sure will continue to rise up the MVP ladder. 

Sixerdelphia


Phillies Rotation Options among 2021’s Free Agents

 

By Tal Venada, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

While the Philadelphia Phillies faithful reacted negatively to a possible Anibal Sanchez signing, a national site forecasted he could receive an offer higher than Corey Kluber’s $11 million. Translation: too expensive! So, fans can relax because the Fightins can spend $6 million, and he probably won’t land here.                                         

 

Missing Components: 

A pitcher’s ability and/or cost may not be accurate to some Phillies fans who remember his career peak simultaneously with an age-related asking price. Ergo, a hurler won’t be a solid three-slot arm for $6 million on a one-season contract as some have implied.  

IN OTHER WORDS:

“We are like a judge confronted by a defendant who declines to answer, and we must determine the truth from the circumstantial evidence.” - Alfred Wegener

Pitching is expensive and the reason Kluber received $11 million from the New York Yankees hoping for a two behind Gerrit Cole. Now, Jon Lester has signed for $5 million with the Washington Nationals, and JA Happ inked an $8 million pact with the Minnesota Twins.   

Some general managers may be overpaying for a certain hurler, while other moundsmen are accepting a proposal from the first bidding organization. But while the Yankees didn’t want to miss an opportunity, the same could also be Lester’s reasoning.                                                  

It could turn out Dave Dombrowski, president of baseball operations, probably considered inking Sanchez for $6 million like his deal with Archie Bradley. However, Mato Sports Management representing Sanchez held a showcase instead trying for a comparable pact to Kluber’s.  

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Things to Watch: Sixers versus Celtics

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The Sixers kick off a two-game matchup against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night. This is an opportunity for the Sixers to climb in the standings, as Boston currently sits in the top spot in the Eastern Conference. 

Here are three things to watch in the first matchup of these two teams. 

Feeling refreshed 

With the delayed start to this season, teams have been playing games almost on a nightly basis. This demanding schedule has not allowed teams time to regroup and catch this breath as the first half of this season pushes on. 

The Sixers just found themselves in an opportunity where they were able to get off their feet and have some time to breathe for the first time in weeks. After having the matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder postponed on Sunday, the Sixers had three days off between games. 

After having to play with a depleted roster, this time off should be a huge benefit for the team. Now that they have had some time to rest and get a team practice in, it will be noteworthy to see what it does for their play on the floor. 

Embiid attacking mismatches 

One common theme for the Sixers this year has been the elite play of Joel Embiid on both ends of the floor. Early on in this season, the All-Star center has performed at an MVP level. 

When these two teams faced off in the first round of the postseason last year, Embiid was a dominant force. Although the Celtics would eventually sweep the Sixers, they had no answer to stopping Embiid. 

Seeing Embiid make the most of the size advantage will be a major area to watch in this game. Tristan Thompson is an experienced big man in this league, but he is going to have a tough time slowing Embiid down. 

With the Sixers getting most of their roster back, they have almost all of their perimeter shooting threats. This will make it harder for the Celtics to double team Embiid around the rim, allowing him to attack smaller bigs like Thompson and Daniel Theis. 

Shake Milton leading the second unit 

Since returning after clearing protocol, Shake Milton has been a huge boost for the Sixers. He has had back to back 25+ point performances off the bench, including a 31 point and 7 assist performance against the Heat. 

With Marcus Smart being moved to the starting lineup, the Celtics' depth isn't what it used to be. This should allow Milton to continue to be an offensive spark plug for the Sixers off the bench. 

Milton has shown that his performance last year was not a fluke. Doc Rivers has allowed him to lead this second unit, and he has done a great job doing so.  

When the Sixers were fully healthy, the second unit impressed just as much as the starters at times. This a matchup where Milton should keep his foot on the gas. Boston's second unit is young and depleted, which should create a lot of mismatches for the potential Sixth Man of the Year. 

Sixerdelphia


Flyers 5: Takeaways from Tuesday’s Flyers-Sabres Game

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Much like the first two games the Flyers played this season, Tuesday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres wasn’t perfect. It was enough to get the job done, especially with more adversity thrown their way.

The Flyers got an outstanding performance from Brian Elliott in goal. They got clutch goals when they needed them the most to take control of the game on the scoreboard. They lost two more players due to injury, and await the update on both, but saw players step up in big situations.

Here are five takeaways from Tuesday’s 3-0 Flyers win against the Sabres.

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