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Looking Ahead: Sixers (0-18) vs. Lakers (2-14) by the numbers


Tomorrow night, the 0-18 Sixers welcome in the 2-14 Lakers in what could be the best chance they've had all season to get their first win. Although LA has two more wins than Philadelphia, the Sixers have a better team with a brighter future moving forward. Let's take a quick look at tomorrow night's matchup, Kobe's last in Philadelphia, by the numbers...

53.3 - The Sixers percentage chance to win against the Lakers tomorrow night

1 - One more loss in a row to the Lakers would put the Sixers as the team with the worst record to start a season in NBA history

4 - The amount of points the Lakers lost by, 107-103, in their most recent game against the Pacers on Sunday

102.8 - Points allowed per game by the Sixers, 22nd overall in the NBA

8 - The number of turnovers the Sixers had over the final minutes against the Grizzlies, resulting in a 16-2 Memphis run

106 - Points allowed per game by the Lakes, 28th overall in the NBA

46.4 - Kobe Bryant's career shooting-percentage against the Sixers

30 - The place the Sixers find themselves when it comes to points per game  (90.8)

30.5 - Kobe Bryant's shooting percentage through 16 games

9.9 - Points per game for former Sixers, Swaggy P/Nick Young

12.1 - Nerlens Noel's points per game against Pacific Division opponents in 2014-15

23.6 - Kobe Bryant's average points per game in 31 career games against the Sixers

10.5 - Nerlens Noel's rebounds per game in 2014-15 in two games against the Lakers

14.4 - Average number of Lakers turnovers per game

105.3 - Sixers points allowed per 100 possessions, 21st in the NBA

96.9 - The number of possessions per game for the Lakers, 13th in the NBA

342 - Number of turnovers the Sixers have committed in 2015

41 - Lakers 2015-16 shooting percentage, 29th in the NBA

142 - Wins the Lakers have all-time against Philadelphia, who has 131

 The Sixers and Lakers tip off at 7PM tomorrow night on Comcast Sportsnet. You can tune into Tom McGinnis on 97.5 The Fanatic.

 Brandon Apter, contributor to

Former Phillies closer Brad Lidge has a new job

When Comcast Sports Net looked for a new broadcast partner for Tom McCarthy on Phillies televisions broadcasts, Brad Lidge's name came up.  Citing some graduate studies at Regis University in his home Colorado, Lidge politely declined.  After hosting part-time for Sirius XM's MLB Network Radio, Lidge has expanded his broadcast duties to include some prime time weekday spots.

MLB Network Radio announced their new lineup, which includes Lidge:

A new "Inside Pitch" begins Monday. Casey Stern will be joined by former All-Star Closer Brad Lidge (Monday, Tuesday) and former All-Star Cliff Floyd (Wednesday - Friday).

Each day after Inside Pitch, at 5p ET/2p PT it's "Happy Hour with Casey Stern". In this listener driven hour, Casey takes your calls and gives his opinions on baseball's hottest issues

Jim Bowden takes his Hot Stove expertise to afternoon drive on the West Coast, as co-host of "Roundtrip" on Monday and Tuesday, continues to co-host "Front Office" on Sunday, and debuts a new Front Office Friday's on "Power Alley", with Jim Duquette and Mike Ferrin.

Phillies fans may recognize Stern as the host of TBS Postseason baseball pre- and postgame shows.

Lidge does not have to travel anywhere to host the shows; hosts on the station often broadcast from home.  Lidge likely will continue to do so.  Lidge retired from baseball as a Phillie in 2013 after a 2012 campaign with the Washington Nationals.  

87ers Sean Kilpatrick named NBA D-League Player of the Week


The Sixers haven't won a game yet, but their D-League affiliate has won three and one of their players received honors for a tremendous week of performance for games from  the 23rd-29th of November. Sean Kilpatrick, in his second year with the 87ers, became the first member of the Sixers D-League affiliate to earn Player of the Week Honors.

NEW YORK, Nov. 30, 2015 – Delaware 87ers guard Sean Kilpatrick was today named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played Monday, Nov. 23 – Sunday, Nov. 29.  The honor is the first for Kilpatrick, who also becomes the first 87er to earn the award. []

Currently ranked second in scoring in the D-League this season with 29.2 points per game, Kilpatrick dropped 36 points against Rio Grande Valley on the 23rd and followed that up with a 37-point performance against the Raptors to secure himself the Player of the Week award. He also averaged 7.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals in those two games. Kilpatrick's three-point shooting leads the D-League at 48% and he went 11-for-19 from that range in the two games last week while also draining all 12 of his free throws.

Here are highlights from his 37-point outing against Raptors 905.

Kilpatrick averaged 5.5 points, 1.3 rebounds in four games with the Minnesota Timberwolves last season.

Catch Kilpatrick along with Jordan McRae and the rest of the Sevens (3-3) at the Bob Carpenter Center on the University of Delaware campus on Wednesday night, when they host the Grand Rapids Drive.

Brandon Apter is a contributor to

Chip Kelly denies talking with USC about coaching job, remains dedicated to Eagles

After a three-game losing streak, including two blowout losses, the Philadelphia Eagles have a 4-7 overall record. Head coach Chip Kelly, who made numerous changes on both sides of the ball during the offseason, is currently on the hot seat.

Some would think that Kelly should stick his tail between his legs and go back to coach in the collegiate ranks, where he posted a 46-7 overall record at the University of Oregon.

As NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports, prior to hiring interim head coach Clay Helton to a multi-year contract, the University of Southern California contacted Kelly about possibly coaching the Trogans.

Continue reading "Chip Kelly denies talking with USC about coaching job, remains dedicated to Eagles" »

Phillies claim right-hander Michael Mariot off waivers


Phillies general manager Matt Klentak continued to make small waiver moves to improve pitching today, adding righty Michael Mariot into the mix from the World Series Champion Royals. Mariot, a teammate of Cody Asche at Nebraska, has pitched in 19 games at the Major League level.

Selected in the eighth round of the 2010 draft, Mariot, 27, put together an impressive campaign for the Royals Triple-A club in Omaha, Nebraska during the 2015 season. Over 42 games, spanning 62 innings, Mariot went 4-2 with a 2.32 ERA, striking out 72 and walking just 16. In 19 appearances in the big leagues with Kansas City, Mariot posted a 6.11 ERA in 28 innings, with the majority of them coming in 2014.

Prior to claiming Mariot off of waivers, Klentak also picked up right-hander A.J. Achter from the Twins on November 20th.

Hakstol's Happenings: Can the Flyers capitalize on momentum?

21726017223_2b0d7d0b01_zPhoto Courtesy of Kate Frese

As the Flyers conclude their first full month of the season, they happen to do so under circumstances that not many can say that they saw coming -- back-to-back wins over a pair of top teams in the Nashville Predators and New York Rangers.

November wasn't a pretty month for the Orange and Black. Between sloppy play, as they saw two separate losing streaks of three games apiece. Their power play was dismal, their goals-for-per-game plummeted to historically-bad levels, and they had a habit of not showing up to games and making opponents look like the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens.

Interestingly enough, they barely showed up for the start of Saturday's game against the Rangers, as they recorded just four shots on goal in the first period. They did, however, bounce back with a fury in the second, and the end result was what could arguably be considered their biggest win of the season to this point.

Continue reading "Hakstol's Happenings: Can the Flyers capitalize on momentum?" »

Quotable: 'Tons of progression' made on six-game road trip


Brandon Apter, Sixerdelphia contributor

The Sixers return home on Tuesday night to face a stumbling, struggling Lakers team that looks to be even worse off than things are in Philadelphia. With a record of 0-18, the Sixers are still hoping receive the Lakers first round pick if it is outside of the top three, but at 2-14, that is becoming less and less of a possibility as the season progresses. With Kobe Bryant slated to retire at the end of the season, the Lakers, unlike the Sixers, have little to be excited about moving forward. Sure, the Sixers are 0-18, but on-court performances of Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel along with some growth from other role players leave some signs of hope for the abysmal Sixers franchise. Although Philadelphia couldn't pick up a win on their most recent road trip, they played well against some good teams in the Rockets and Grizzlies and even held fourth quarter leads in each of the road games on their six-game trip. Following yesterday's 12-point loss in Memphis, here is what some of the Sixers players and Brett Brown had to say:

Continue reading "Quotable: 'Tons of progression' made on six-game road trip" »

First-line Thoughts: Will Hakstol keep Giroux and Voracek separated?


Ryan White skated off the ice during a game against the Carolina Hurricanes with the result of an upper-body injury predicted to last two-to-four weeks. In an attempt to adjust, head coach Dave Hakstol placed Jake Voracek on the third line.

With his absence of the first line, Brayden Schenn and Michael Raffl have stepped up to create a strong first line. Both players know their role, but what will happen when White returns? Who will stay on the first line?

Continue reading "First-line Thoughts: Will Hakstol keep Giroux and Voracek separated?" »

Sixers set records on consecutive nights, fall to Memphis 92-84

Stop me if you've heard this one before. The Sixers lose for the fifth time in a row while holding a fourth quarter lead. This brings their record to 0-18, matching the NBA's longest losing streak to begin a season shared by the 2009-2010 New Jersey Nets. 

Both Memphis and Philadelphia started off slowly in the first quarter, only combining for 15 points in the first 6 minutes of the game. The Grizzlies offense picked up towards the end of the quarter finishing with 21 points fueled by three point plays the old fashioned way. 

The second quarter was a sloppy affair by both teams turning the ball over often and not capitalizing on their offensive end, though the Sixers had a few fast break buckets.The score of the game at halftime was 37-31 Grizzlies, which is well below the NBA average halftime total score of 100 points. 

The Sixers came on strong in the second half with Robert Covington leading the way with his final stat line of 12 points, 7 boards, 4 assists, 7 steals, and a block. Although he didn't assert himself offensively in the same way he did on Friday against Houston he still managed to affect almost every facet of the game, including a three point shot to tie the game at 51 midway through the third quarter. The quarter's swarming defense overwhelmed the Grizzlies allowing the Sixers to hold a lead ending the period up three. The highlight play of the night came on a Jerami Grant alley-oop from TJ McConnell.

The Sixers looked fully in control of the game until resident former slam dunk champion Vince Carter turned back the clock when the Sixers fell asleep on an inbounds pass to bring Memphis emotionally back into the game early in the fourth quarter. The quarter was a roller coaster for Sixers fans, seeing their team up five halfway through the quarter only to find their team down 86-77 after a 15-1 Memphis run with time running out. 

Memphis missed key free throws down the stretch in a deja vu of the Sixers' last game in Houston to keep the game interesting. Matt Barnes, a 85 percent foul shooter this year, missed both of his with 1:13 left leaving the Sixers with an opportunity to close the gap to four with a three pointer but they failed to capitalize. Another missed free throw by Marc Gasol gave the Sixers one last glimmer of hope but the Sixers once again couldn't muster the offense to keep themselves afloat to a final score of 92-84.

Both teams were careless with the basketball notching 51 total turnovers for the game, though it was somewhat pleasant to see the Sixers come out ahead finishing with one less turnover than Memphis. 

Depending on your level of optimism, this five game stretch is encouraging for the Sixers that they have been competitive in the fourth quarter, whereas earlier in the season the games were decided long before the final frame. According to expected Pythagorean wins, based on point differential, the Sixers "should" have won one or even two of these last five games. This suggests that if the Sixers keep competing the way they have been recently, wins are right around the corner.

The Sixers look to avoid setting a new record for consecutive losses to begin the season on Tuesday Dec. 1 when the Los Angeles Lakers come to The Center in what will be Kobe Bryant's last visit to Philadelphia as an NBA player. Bryant, a local product of Lower Merion high school announced his eventual retirement at the end of the 2015-2016 after a wildly successful NBA career to say the least, including multiple championships, All-Star appearances and the 2008 Most Valuable Player Award. 

Player and Play of the Week: November 23-29

Well, how is that for a change of pace? With wins in three of four games this week, the Flyers earned a solid six points in the standings.

It is a different tune than what we've been playing in the past few weeks.

So this week, it was actually harder to pick out a Player of the Week given the success of some players.

Continue reading "Player and Play of the Week: November 23-29" »