Previous month:
December 2020
Next month:
February 2021

Flyers 5: Takeaways from Thursday’s Flyers-Devils Game

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

There have been games where the Flyers couldn’t possibly look worse already this season. Then there was the first two periods of Thursday’s game.

If not for their goaltender, it could have been a different game entering the third. Instead, the Flyers had an opportunity in front of them: win a period, win a game. They won the third period with continued timely saves and timely goals to go with it.

While the process was once again nowhere near smooth enough for an entire game, the Flyers third period was encouraging, showing what this team can be when they do put it all together.

Here are five takeaways from Thursday’s 3-1 Flyers win over the Devils.

Continue reading "Flyers 5: Takeaways from Thursday’s Flyers-Devils Game" »


Hart, Strong 3rd Period Lead Flyers to Another Win

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Through the first 40 minutes of the game, the Flyers had just eight shots on goal, certainly not a formula for success. Lucky for them, their goaltender appeared back to his usual form.

Carter Hart made 23 saves in the first two periods, and the Flyers struck for two goals in the third period to claim a 3-1 win over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night.

Continue reading "Hart, Strong 3rd Period Lead Flyers to Another Win" »


Takeaways From Sixers' Last Second Win Over Lakers

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The Sixers and Lakers would square off on Wednesday night in a matchup that held NBA finals implications. This battle of conference juggernauts would not disappoint, as the game would go down to the closing moments.

After some late-game heroics from Tobias Harris, the Sixers would walk away with a one point victory over the defending champs. Here are some takeaways from the star-studded contest.

Clash of MVP frontrunners 

Along with having both conference-leading teams, this matchup would also showcase two early favorites for the MVP award this year. Joel Embiid and LeBron James have each been off to dominant starts for their respective teams.

Both players would remind everyone why they are in the conversation for league MVP, putting on great performances in this must-match matchup.

Father time continues to miss LeBron James as he continues to be a top player in the league in his 18th season. He would go on to drop 34 points, six rebounds, and six assists against the Sixers on Wednesday night.

Embiid continues to do a phenomenal job leading the charge for the Sixers this season. Despite facing off against a familiar for in Marc Gasol, Embiid continues to be an unstoppable force on offense.

The reigning Eastern Conference player of the week would rack up 28 points, six rebounds, four assists, and two steals in this statement victory over the Lakers. He continues to sustain the high level of play we have seen all season while rising the MVP ladder in the process.

Sixers have a legitimate big three 

In games like this teams rely on their stars heavily, and the Sixers' stars would all lead the charge in this victory. We already mentioned how well Embiid played, but the other two All-Stars on the Sixers would get a piece of the action as well. 

Ben Simmons has always seemed to step up in matchups against LeBron James in the past, and this would be no different. He would be the team's third-leading scorer with 17 points en route to finishing with a triple-double. With that triple-double, The 24-year-old All-Star now sits at 13th all-time in triple-doubles. 

Turnovers have been a major issue for Simmons' in the team's recent stretch, but he would take great care of the ball against the Lakers. He would dish 10 assists in the game and only cough up the ball once. 

Tobias Harris has easily been the biggest bright spot for the Sixers this season outside of Embiid's MVP-Esq resume. His confidence looks to be at an all-time high, and it's resulting in some of his best play in a Sixers' uniform. 

Harris continues to be a great second option on offense behind Embiid this season. He would end this game with 24 points, including the biggest shot of the game. The ball was put in his hands in the closing moments and he would deliver a jumper over Alex Caruso to seal the victory for the Sixers. 

The play from these three has been incredible and is a big reason why they sit atop the Eastern Conference standings. It is time to start referring to this trio as a legitimate big three in the league. 

Coming up in the clutch 

When Doc Rivers spoke to the media pregame on Wednesday, one of the things he brought up was the team's play in fourth quarters this season. He would go on to say that he has liked the grit the team has played with late in games, mentioning that "it's one of the things great teams do."

His comments would play out right in front of us as the team would put on a good performance in the closing minutes. 

Along with hitting shots down the stretch, the Sixers also did a good job defending the final period, specifically on the Lakers' stars. James and Davis carried the load for the Lakers for a larger majority of this game but would shoot a combined 2/8 from the floor in the fourth quarter. 

Who is going to close games for the Sixers has been a big discussion around the Sixers since the departure of Jimmy Butler, and they would do it by committee in this one. When Joel Embiid was denied the ball in the final possession, Tobias Harris did a great job keeping the play alive and generating a good look that would eventually win the game for the Sixers. 

Seeing them execute in the final moments against a team like the Lakers was arguably the biggest takeaway from this game. With the way this group has come together in such a short time, the possibilities are endless for how good they can be by the end of a 'full' regular season.  

Sixerdelphia


Flyers-Devils: Game 8 Preview

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

A 5-3 result on Tuesday got the Flyers back in the win column, but there is still much to be desired from their play. On one hand, they are trying to survive as much as possible without Sean Couturier and Phil Myers, both of whom may be back on track to return from their injuries soon. But they are also in danger of letting too many games slip away with the current group on the ice.

The Flyers will certainly see better from the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night, as they look to come away with a sweep on the road in this two-game series.

The Flyers and Devils face off at 7 p.m.

Continue reading "Flyers-Devils: Game 8 Preview" »


Flyers Getting the Expected Power-Play Production from van Riemsdyk

By Jeff Quake, Sports Talk Philly writer 

After signing a huge five year $35 million contract during the 2017-18 offseason, James van Riemsdyk gave hope to fans of the Philadelphia Flyers and their fans who were looking for a goal scorer, rightfully so as van Riemsdyk was a top free agent that offseason who was coming off of a career season with 36 goals, 11 of them on the power play.

The issue is when GMs hand out large contracts to players who are expected to perform, and they don’t right away, it causes people to overreact quite similar to how a young star player who is drafted high in the first round doesn’t live up to expectations.

Goal scorers can be streaky, and van Riemsdyk is no exception as he has gone numerous of games without scoring before. Despite battling through injuries, and long droughts, the now 31-year-old is still a driven force for the Orange and Black.

Continue reading "Flyers Getting the Expected Power-Play Production from van Riemsdyk" »


4 Phillies Scenarios for 2021’s Roster

 

By Tal Venada, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

While the Philadelphia Phillies compete for hole-plugging talent in the lineup, rotation and bullpen, their main signing won’t affect their current direction. In fact, their strategy goes back to at least October, and they haven’t wavered even after the addition of Dave Dombrowski, president of baseball operations.    

 

Plans A, B, C and D:

Although some Phillies faithful assumed the holdup on JT Realmuto was management’s ploy to enhance their bottom line, agents, players and the market were also determining factors. Financially, though, these four options have a $13 million max differential from high to low.                            

IN OTHER WORDS:

“We're still in this position where we haven't made a lot of decisions yet.” - Dave Dombrowski (not a Phillies-related quote)

Four potential --potential-- scenarios for ‘21 are in play monetarily with stars who are in the dollar range the Fightins are comfortable with. Realistically, the A to Z also includes contract length based on the pipeline delivering a long-term shortstop, which can be tricky when the minor leaguer faces adversity.      

Another wrinkle is a new decision-maker like Dombrowski bringing his competitive perspective from the American League East. Yes, the longtime rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees reveals a different take on MLB personnel matters. Translation: off the field.                             

Fans can misinterpret silence as inaction: doing nothing, not trying to win, and/or having no strategy. However, it only means they don’t reveal their thinking due to competitors, even though it also leaves the locals in the dark. And some were even panicking in November.   

Continue reading "4 Phillies Scenarios for 2021’s Roster " »


Sixers Face Their Biggest Test in Matchup With Lakers

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

After splitting their mini-series with the Detroit Pistons, the Sixers have traveled back home. They will have their biggest matchup of the season on Wednesday night, hosting LeBron James and the defending champion Lakers.

This star-filled contest will feature the top teams in each conference as the Lakers sit atop the Western Conference with a 14-4 record. It will also showcase two potential MVP finalist as James and Joel Embiid are both near the top of betting favorites to win the award this season.

The Lakers have been playing some of their best basketball outside of Staples Center this season. Heading into Wednesday's game, they sit at an impressive 10-0 in road games.

Joel Embiid has had his way in every matchup this season, but he is going to have his hands full against the Lakers' frontcourt. Marc Gasol has been one of the few centers in the league who can slow Embiid down one-on-one, and will also have a lurking Anthony Davis on the floor.

How Embiid handles all the size in the frontcourt will be a major thing to watch in this contest. He has had his way against Davis in the past, but a double team of Gasol and Davis could cause issues.

Things went well for the Sixers when they hosted the Lakers last season. They would go on and win by 17 points and did so without the services of Joel Embiid. Ben Simmons would lead the charge for the Sixers, racking up an incredible stat line of 28 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, and four steals.

Facing off against the Lakers should be a great test for the Sixers to gauge themselves. After having a rather easy schedule to start the season, they have their first real chance to stack up against a top-tier team in the league.

The Lakers are the favorite to come out of the Western Conference for good reason. Although still early in the season, this game should allow the Sixers to see how they measure up as a contender as currently constructed.

Wednesday night has the chance to be a statement game for the Sixers. If they can go out and take down the Lakers, it should place them near the top of the list of teams that can win a title this season.

Not to mention, a game like this is a golden opportunity (pun intended) for Joel Embiid to stack his MVP resume even more.

Sixerdelphia


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

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Once again, it wasn’t pretty. The Flyers continue to have their moments and struggles as they try to get their legs and execution down at the start of this shortened season.

But on Tuesday night, the Flyers made a much-needed return to the win column, defeating the Devils, 5-3. Much like the game the week before, the last time the Flyers bounced back from a 6-1 defeat, there were moments where the team that dominated the second half of last season showed up. There were also moments that prolonged the struggles that they have had so far.

Here are five takeaways from Tuesday’s Flyers win over the Devils.

Continue reading "Flyers 5: Takeaways from Tuesday’s Flyers-Devils Game" »


Three-Goal 3rd Lifts Flyers to Win Over Devils

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Much like the Flyers first couple of games on the season, it wasn't pretty or perfect, but it was enough to get the job done.

Behind solid goaltending, a good power-play performance and timely goals in the third, the Flyers got back in the win column with a 5-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night.

Continue reading "Three-Goal 3rd Lifts Flyers to Win Over Devils" »