The sports world never stops so in case you have plans this weekend lets get you caught up :
The Nets fired coach Kenny Atkinson not even a year after extending him to a new contract. Not due to performance I mean both of his superstars played a combined 20 games this season.Not because of the players they seemed to really respond to him. Just look at the development of Caris Levert, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Joe Harris. It was not because he was some analytics freak and there was a difference in the scheme between management and staff. Atkinson was fired for one reason, Marketability. With the stars returning next year the Nets seem to want to add a coach that brings a name and a reputation with him. What they have done in the interim is to take away the reason these stars found the Nets so attractive in the first place. The Nets were a team on the rise last year. Atkinson was the major reason for this. I know a team 90 minutes south who the fans would welcome him with open arms. So while the Nets go out and shop for the most popular name available like Fizzdale, Jackson or Thibodeau, Elton Brand should be doing his due diligence on a name I feel could get them to the next level. Make no mistake about it Kenny Atkinson can coach and would be a huge improvement over Brett Brown.
On the court, the Sixers finished about what we expected out west. I said it day one I think they are withholding key information on Ben Simmons. If he is finished for the season so is this team. But with season ticket holders playoff ticket option expiring this week I expect it t stay quiet. Which to me screams a loud and clear message. This team needs a new face, a new scheme call it whatever you want. I am sure Brett Brown is a great guy and knows a ton about basketball. It’s just not a fit here. It never has been. The Sixers currently sit in sixth place in the East and would open at Boston if the playoffs started today. This team cannot afford to start on the road which now seems inevitable.
Ending the weekend the Lakers showed what they are capable of by besting the Clippers 112-103. Anthony Davis and Lebron James led the way with 30 and 28 respectively. Something is off with this Clipper team I can’t put my hand quite on it yet but I see them getting upended before this ultimate showdown with the Lakers in June.
The NHL’ hottest team embarks on what will be the most critical week of their season. This week the Flyers face the two teams who sit ahead of them in the standings. The grabbing point from these two games will be critical. The team was extremely impressive digging deep to win both critical games after beating the Caps earlier in the week. That typically would be an easy place for a letdown. These teams seem to get it that they cannot afford to take their foot off the pedal for even a night. Looking ahead the Capitals have a much easier road this week with games at Buffalo and home against Detroit. This is a critical 5 days for seeding.
In one of the most boring fights, I have ever seen Israel Adesanya outlasted Yoel Romero Saturday night in Las Vegas. I had been impressed with Adesanya to this point but it was a lackluster performance. Some actually called it brilliant I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion. Paul Costa awaits who will not back down. Costa tens to prefer to fight in a phone booth which could actually be a weakness sue to Adesanya’s ability to counter. Nevertheless, it should be an amazing fight later this year.
A few weeks ago I wrote I could not fill out a bracket with certain teams winning despite their ranking. Saturday Utah State who would have been on an ultimate bubble to even be in the tournament with a loss upended #5 San Diego State in the Mountain West Championship. I think this is the beginning of a few conference upsets which will totally reshape the bubble. If more #1 seeds lose it hurts teams on the bubble as the loser will take away their bid. This week the rest of the conference tournament begins. A great time to be a college hoop fan. Although they suffered another defeat this week keep your eye on Kentucky. They still have amazing odds to win it all. I think 9 teams have a shot to win it I could probably limit that to 4 or 5 which I will do next week before the tournament begins. Stay tuned for our brackets next week!
As I sat and pondered my XFL wagers for Sunday the only thing that I figured out for sure is the league is unpredictable. With the exception of the Houston team ( which did not cover last week ), it seems teams can play really well or really bad with no rhyme or reason from week to week. Regardless there were some really intriguing games this past weekend. Starting with the final one the LA Wildcats erased an early 17 point deficit to come all the way back and defeat Tampa 41-34. The early game saw some experts pre-season MVP Cardale Jones benched after two awful outings. DC got back into the winner’s circle with a 15-6 win over St Louis in what was a disappointing performance for the Battlehawks who was considered one of the best teams in the league.
On Saturday Houston continued to be the class of the XFL by remaining undefeated with a 32-23 win over Seattle. In the nightcap, New York continued to improve squashing many experts’ pre-season favorite Dallas Renegade team 30-12.
Right now it is Houston vs everybody as it seems as many as 6 teams have a chance to finish behind them overall.
Intentionally slow the week before the NCAA conference tournaments as I became a spectator to really watch some of these mid-major games before putting a bracket together. Regarding predictions, our goal is 68%in the tournament which is rarely obtained by many. We have put in the work and feel it’s realistic. Remember our picks are always free here at Edge of Philly Sports.
The action begins Tuesday keep checking our twitter feed and like us on Facebook etc.