Monday, February 11, 2008

Down is Up and Up is Down: The Changing Fortunes of Two Philly Sports Teams

Something is going very wrong with our sports teams. The Sixers have won three in a row and the Flyers have lost three in a row. The Sixers, who we all hope will lose as many games as possible to get a high draft pick, are on a roll, while the Flyers, who we all think have a shot to go deep into the playoffs this year, can't win a game. The Sixers, even though they are still nine games under .500, have pulled themselves to within a game from the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference, and have begun talking about their playoff chances. The Flyers, who have dropped from competing for the top spot in the East to the 6th seed, have fallen from first to third place in the Atlantic Division and are talking about how soon Peter Forsberg can be added to the fold. Here are some news and notes about the two teams.

Sixers News

*Andre Miller named Eastern Conference Player of the Week Miller, whose name is still being mentioned in trade talks, was named player of the week for his efforts in leading the Sixers to a 3-1 record. We all knew that Miller was a great passer and team leader, but the most impressive thing about him lately has been his scoring. He averaged 19.5 points last week, and has been routinely putting up 20 points. The Andre's, Miller and Iguodala, are really giving the Sixers a one-two scoring punch.

*Youth is being served Another key to the Sixers solid play lately has been how many minutes guys like Thaddeus Young, Lou Williams and Rodney Carney have been playing. All three have been getting more run since Ed Stefanski took over as GM, and all three have been improving seemingly daily. Young has even moved into the starting line-up, playing as a small power forward. It seems like the Sixers are trying to see what they have in these young guys, and they aren't letting the team down.

*Sixers vs. Mavericks tonight The Sixers have mostly been beating up on the rest of the weak NBA teams, so tonight will be a good test to see if their current streak is real or just a mirage. If the Sixers keep it under a ten point loss, call it a victory.

Flyers News

*Simon Gagne out indefinitely As I posted about yesterday, Gagne had a mild concussion during yesterday's game. He could be out a few games or a few weeks, depending on how quickly the symptoms clear up. This kind of injury can linger with a player for years, so let's hope he only plays when he feels 100% again. The Flyers and coach John Stevens hope Gagne comes back sooner rather than later, because their scoring lines look a lot weaker without #12 on the wing.

*Kyle Greentree recalled from Phantoms He's no Simon Gagne, and frankly I don't know much about him, but left winger Greentree will be taking Gagne's spot on the roster for the time being. He has 37 points in 48 games with the Phantoms. He will be wearing #65 with the Flyers.

*Flyers upcoming schedule The Flyers have an opportunity to bounce back, playing two last place teams this week, the Islanders and the Lightning. On the weekend, they will play a home and home with the Canadiens, who had been hot, but have lost 3 of their last 4. The Flyers need some wins if they want to keep up in the very balanced and deep Eastern Conference.

No comments: