I know many had other plans last evening, so let’s get right to what you may have missed:
Sixers 119 Memphis 107
The Sixers played like a team who was aware the rest of the league is leaving them behind. Furkan Korkmaz had a career-high 34 points, sending a message to the new shooters the Sixers acquired. He will continue to fight to be in that rotation. Kormaz was 7 of 9 from beyond the arc, while Ben Simmons had 22 points and 10 rebounds.
Joel Embiid did not come out of the locker room after halftime complaining of a stiff neck. He did have a double-double in one half, with 10 points and 10 rebounds. The Sixers also played much better on the defensive end. The road has not been kind to them; they allowed an average of 123 points per game. The big question is: can they sustain this intensity over the course of 50 more games into June? I think the Sixers will rally. They certainly have enough talent to go deep into the playoffs. Their biggest weakness is acting like professionals off the court. Here’s an idea–make basketball your life until June. Can they leave the clicks on social media and all the outside distractions aside? I am not comfortable at this point stating they can.
In other NBA action:
The Raptors completed the sweep of a “home and home” series with the Pacers with a 115-106 win.
Damian Lillard continued to be the best player no one on the East Coast has ever seen play, pouring in 42 points. He and the Blazers were victims of just an awful non-call with seconds remaining. Lillard had a layup hit the backboard first when Rudy Robert clearly touched the ball after it hit. The play should have resulted in goaltending and a tie game. The refs missed the call, and Portland suffered a loss they could not afford.
In an upset called by the team here at Edge of Philly, the Kings handled the Heat 115-97.
And as the small ball experiment hits game two, not such a desirable result for the Rockets as they were just annihilated by the Suns 127-91. The stat I immediately went to was team rebounds, and it was like I expected with a score like this: Phoenix 51, Houston 29. Houston, if you are listening, abort the small ball; it will never work long term.
A story flew under the radar that demands more media scrutiny. The Wall Street Journal reported that the sign-stealing performed by the Astros was created by the Astros front office and dates back to 2017. And Pete Rose cannot get in the Hall of Fame?
Nick Talor continued to play well, firing a 6 under par to climb to -14 for the tournament holding his 2 stroke lead.
Yesterday some familiar names climbed the leaderboard: Jason Day, Phil Mickelson, and (the name none of want to see if you wagered) Dustin Johnson. All climbed into the top 10. Our pick Patrick Cantlay sits in 8th at -8. Day 3 or moving day later today on CBS.
NCAA: There is something different about this year. Usually, by early February each week gets more intense with multiple important games every weekend. There is not that feeling this year. Perhaps it’s due to there not being a dominant team to knock off? Or a lack of overall star power? If I asked you who any of the top 5 players were, could the average fan name a single one? No matter what, the conference tournaments and March Madness are when most fans actually start watching.
As far as today a few games to watch:
#11 Auburn visits #18 LSU at 12:00 (noon)
#10 Villanova travels to #12 Seton Hall at 2:30
UNC visits #7 Duke at 6pm in a must-win if they have any chance to make the NCAA tournament
UFC : Tonight is the night
Jon Jones enters tonight a four and a half to one favorite over Dominick Reyes. Many have called an upset. Typically, in such an unpredictable sport, you can cash in. Not so fast—Jones in the third round, TKO . From there he goes on to fight for the Heavyweight title, then retires the best there ever was in the sport.
NHL: Has a full slate with the Flyers visiting the Nation’s Capital. The puck drops at 7PM.
XFL: Yes, after 6 days, football is back! A full slate starts today with 8 teams playing, and tomorrow at 2:00pm (ABC) Seattle visits Washington.
Tossing favorite Washington out the window, I am going with the Dallas Renegades to win it all. My way to early MVP is Lance Dunbar. For you who like to wager, Dallas quarterback Landry Jones is still questionable for today. A decision is expected on his availability shortly.
Check our twitter account and the site for occasional picks throughout the day.
Enjoy your Sports Saturday!