Sixers trade junk for potential

Hey remember these guys?

The Sixers mad a splash today, (OK it was more of a sprinkle than a splash) shaking up the roster and finally sending away Willie Green.

The  Sixers acquired rookie forward Craig Brackins from the New Orleans Hornets for Green and Jason Smith. The Sixers also got forward Darius Songaila in Thursday’s trade.

I have no idea what the Sixers are getting Brackins, but I love this trade regardless because at the very least the Sixers got rid of a couple guys who have no business logging heavy minutes in the NBA.

I have nothing against Willie Green, but when he is your answer to the shooting guard position your team has problems. Green was never a good shooter, and defenders didn’t fear his drive. His defense was OK, but not good enough to warrant keeping him on the floor for more than a few minutes.

Jason Smith is a reserve and likely will never be more than that. Losing him will not hurt the team in any way.

Songaila is a cool name to say, but his game offers little in terms of excitement. He is a decent reserve, averaging seven points in seven seasons. Every team needs depth and that’s what he provides.

The real head-scratcher in this deal is what the Hornets are thinking trading a young player for a couple of reserves. The team said it wants to do everything it can to keep Chris Paul around after this season, but this can’t make Paul too happy.

Brackins, who was drafted by the Oklahoma City Thunder with the 21st overall pick and was then traded to New Orleans, averaged 16.5 points and 8.5 rebounds last season for Iowa State. That sounds like potential to me.

Throw him in as another nice prospect on a young rebuilding team. As crazy as it sounds I think the Sixers actually have a clue right now.

Could we possibly have four franchises in this city that are looking good in either the present or future.?



Could the Sixers land Carmelo Anthony?

How would Carmelo Anthony look in a Sixers uniform?

The Sixers acquiring Anthony sounds like a pipe dream to me and I’m sure Philadelphia fans feel the same way but at least one blogger is reporting that it could be a possibility.

Cbssports.com blogger Ken Berger wrote an article titled Nets, Sixers add intrigue to Melo Saga, which can be read here.

In the article Berger mentions the Sixers as being part of a three-team trade that would send Anthony to the Nets, but adds that the Sixers could also go after Anthony for themselves.

Bellow is his info:

With No. 3 overall pick Derrick Favors, multiple extra draft picks, and Devin Harris, whose $8.98 million contract could be parlayed into a serviceable replacement for Anthony in a three-team trade, New Jersey has the makings of a package that would appeal to Nuggets officials, one of the people with knowledge of Denver’s strategy said. The key, according to the person, would be involving a third team to convert Harris into something the Nuggets would view as “decent replacement value” for Anthony.

That is where another team equipped with attractive assets could enter the picture, multiple sources said: the Philadelphia 76ers. New team president Rod Thorn and GM Ed Stefanski – who formerly worked together in New Jersey – could be central to constructing a deal that would compel the Nuggets to move Anthony rather than endure a season-long distraction that ends with Anthony leaving as a free agent after the season. The key pieces of the Philadelphia equation would be the expiring contracts of Jason Kapono ($6.64 million) and Willie Green ($3.98 million), a young talent such as Thaddeus Young, and Andre Iguodala, who is coming off a solid contribution to Team USA’s gold-medal performance at the FIBA World Championships. Some executives believe the Sixers would at least discuss including No. 2 overall pick Evan Turner if it meant getting Anthony, but that would defeat the purpose of going over the luxury tax to get Anthony in the first place.



NBA Free Agency-How times have changed

Much like the arms race of the “Cold War” of the 1980′s the NBA has become a battle of stock piling free agents and stars like I have never seen before.  Not only does Miami have the new big three being Lebron, D Wade, and Chris Bosh, but now at Carmello Anthony’s wedding Chris Paul is making a toast that Melo, CP3 & Amare will be the next big three.  So now the Nba has lets not be good this year but lets wait and stockpile free agents and build our team that way.  I have no problem with it.  Do what you gotta do to win.  Just like everything else I blame this on Boston (I hate Boston, and I don’t care who knows).   If Kevin Mchale did bale out his buddy by giving away Kevin Garnett, maybe this wouldn’t have happened.  Maybe it was inevitable.  What happened to the days of I hate you on the court you hate me on the court.  Could you imagine Bird and Magic asking each other where do you wanna go to play together.  So every aging vet wants to go to Miami, New York, or Chicago.  Well I will sit back and root for my baby Sixers, and three years from now if the right moves are made, Lebron you aren’t going to win six in a row.  When times change times change, but what happened to the glory days of the NBA.  Lost are the years of NBA greatness but did it have to erode like this.



Rev Jesse Jackson – - Go Away, Please

Yet again, Jesse Jackson is putting his nose where it isn’t wanted.  In an article on ESPN.com, the Rev Jesse Jackson criticized the Cleveland Cavaliers owner for the statments he made in a letter to Cavs fans after LeBron James announced that he was leaving Cleveland for the Miami Heat on Thursday evening.  

In a statement released by Jackson, he said the Cavs owner Dan Gilbert has a “slave owner” mentality and that his letter was an attack on all NBA players.   Please, let’s be real.   I applaud the owner for having the balls to express his outrage to his fans.   This was the organization that drafted and then spent millions not just on James’  yearly salary, but also on his development as a professional athlete and as an adult and now the Heat get to possibly cash in on James in his prime? I’d be a little upset, too. 

As for Jackson, I’m sorry but I am sick and tired of seeing him butt into these issues where clearly he needs not get involved.  This is why race relations in this country are where they are – - guys like Jesse Jackson and their incessent need to get their name in the news at just about any cost.  I don’t think that James needs Jackson’s assistance here, nor do the other “slaves” that play in the NBA and I would hope that the Rev Jackson would concentrate more on the people that might really need his help in Chicago, even if it doesn’t make headlines.



“King” James Fiasco – Simply Classless

When I found out that ESPN was planning to air LeFraud James decision on where he was going to play Thursday night the thought of “Are You Kidding Me?” went through my head.  The next thought that entered was “Who Cares?”.

While its true that as a free agent the self-crowned King can choose wherever he wants to play.  Its not just the rule in the NBA, but for the most part its the rule in all four of the major sports today.  Forget about loyalty, its all about “Show Me The Money”, and the more that’s shown, the better it is.  This isn’t so much about James’ decision to walk out of Cleveland and go to Miami or the money, but the way that he and ESPN revealed it.

For a long time I was excited about ESPN.  Growing up in the 1970′s the only sports highlights you got were on the local news and at halftime of the Monday Night Football game when Howard Cosell, and not the over-hyped Chris Berman, would add “he could go all the way” on the touchdown run voiceover.   The first year we had ESPN in my area the Phillies were chasing down the Expos in September, and I was like a mouse in a cheese factory watching SportsCenter every morning before school to see how each team did.  Ten years later, in 1990 when ESPN started to broadcast Baseball games I was even happier.  Unfortunately, as ESPN grew, the network and I grew apart to the point where today I don’t even watch the network that much.  I think that if Tom Mees was watching Thursday night he would’ve turned over in his grave.  I don’t think that what ESPN pulled on Thursday was what the founding fathers in Bristol had in mind.  

ESPN is a new outlet that should report the news and not create it.  I think they stepped over the line in the name of ratings, and they got ratings as millions of completley stupid people who had nothing better to do tuned in as the network grabbed a 7.4 for the broadcast.   All this for a guy who has yet to win a ring.  What will they do when Kobe Bryant -  a real champion, becomes a free agent?

The biggest thing I felt about the whole thing is that James never once thanked the Cavalier organization or the fans for the past seven seasons.  How do you think Philly fans would’ve reacted if a McNabb, Erving or Schmidt had left the city for bigger bucks and never acknowledged the great sports fan in the city? In Cleveland they burned James’ jerseys.  In Philly they would’ve burned the damn city down, building by building. 

I’m with Howard Eskin on this – - I hope the Heat draw like crap on the road with their new “Three Kings”, and I hope they fail miserably.   They probably won’t fail, and they will probably draw record crowds on the road, but I can hope they don’t.  The bigger issue that remains is that the NBA, unless they change the rules, allow just one basketball on the court at one time.  Just ask the Sixers trio of Julius “Dr J” Erving, Lloyd “World B.” Free and George McGinnis how that played out for them back in the mid 1970′s.



South Beach lands a king/ NBA’s evil Empire????

Well Boston has the “BIG THREE”, and now Miami has the bigger three.  I know people are already anointing the Heat to win a title, but not so fast.  Is there enough balls to go around?  Will the tres amigos be able to gel together?  And finally will the Heat have more then five players on their team?  Only time will tell.  I still think it’s a tough road to get to the finals. Although Mario Chalmers (Only the third Alaskan born player to play in NBA) should improve this season with all the toys in the Heats arsenal.  There is several problems.  Miami has no big man to compliment Bosh.  Bosh is more of a power forward, he is better when there is a Center playing next to him.  It remains to be seen if Michael Beasley will be traded or if he will be left there to grow and play the three??? I guess.  Realistically Chalmers at the point, Wade at the 2, Lebron at the 3, and Bosh play power forward.  Now there is competition in the east still.   Orlando is a top team still and signed Chris Duhon, whom will help play much better D.  Boston still has a punchers chance at the finals, and then there are the Sixers.  Just kidding, but watching these NBA D League games is getting me so fired up.  Watching Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner play together has me so excited about basketball in Philadelphia.  I know the Sixers won’t compete in the next year or two, but its fun to watch good players grow.  Hopefully Thaddeus Young will get back on track now that the Grimm Reaper is gone.  (Eddie Jordan).  Also I am interested to see what Doug Collins will do with Speights and Iguadola.  Plus Spencer Hawes and the scrappy Nocioni.  Lets have fun watching the NBA again.



Guess Who’s Bizack

The Phillies….After seeing some much needed pep Thursdays night vs the Yankees.  The Phillies D ignited their O.  A couple of great plays from Jason Werth and Placido Polanco have many around town believing that it sparked the Phils offense.  After several weeks of seeming that the players were just going through the motions on both sides of the diamond, it was good to see some life.  That buzz carried over into tonight where the Phillies trounced the visit Minnesota Twins 9 – 5.  The score doesn’t show how much the Phils were beating on the Twins.  Scott Mathieson let up two runs late just for the Twins to get 5.  Which is another story in itself, the guys has come off two Tommy Johns surgery and still has a chance to throw in the bigs.  Throw is an understatement.  He was hurling at 98 and 99 mph.  On to the real story Joe Blanton.  The kid had a much needed bounce back game from his last two starts where he lasted 4 and 5 innings.  He earned just his second win of the season going 6 innings giving up 7 hits, 3 runs all earned, three walks, one two run shot off Nick, my first Hr of the year, Punto and only striking out one.  After Punto’s two run shot Blanton was relieved of his duties by skipper Charlie Manuel.  Blanton was noticeably upset, but I couldn’t tell if it was with Ruiz for pitch selection, or what.  After being in the dugout for a while, Blanton was still fired up and it took Pitching coach Rich Dubee to calm him down.  The star of the game definitely was Ryan Howard going 4-4 with two Hrs, a triple and a double, falling just a single short of the cycle.  It sucks when you fall a single short. He also scored three runs and had 3 RBI’s Chase Utley wasn’t too bad himself going 2 for 5 with a Hr, 4 RBI’s, and scoring twice.  Many players got off the slump having 11 hits in all.  So was a rematch of the World Series all the Phillies needed to get their offense jump started again.  Only time will tell. But don’t look now this time next week barring any set backs Jimmy Rollins, the catalyst and table setter for the Phils, will be back in the line up doing what Jimmy does best.  You know what it is, he is the spark plug for everything that is the Phils.  Watch out Braves, here comes the Phils……

Oh what is that I see a Sixers spotting.   I would like to Welcome back the Philadelphia Seventy Sixers.  After a brief 8 yeah hiatus, it’s good to see some life in that organization that I hold so near and dear to my heart.  After hitting the lottery and getting the second pick, and then hiring Doug Collins.  (I almost had a mental error and said Doug Mo) Could you imagine?  It appears that Ed Stefanski is the greatest Wizard in all the land.  Pulling a rabbit out of a hat and sending much maligned Sammy Dalembert to the Sacramento Kings.  In return the Sixers received scrappy Andres Nocioni. (See Dan Carcillo, Flyers) and Spencer Hawes.  So with Murphy’s law Dalembert will average 20 and 10 this year, much like Kenny Thomas and John Salmons preformed after they left.  Philly will love Nocioni instantly, he will apitamize every cliche and Philly slogan around.  Personally I think Hawes may be the gem of this deal.  If Doug Collins, who preaches D can get a hold of this kid and teach him how to play D, something Dalembert could never learn, he may be a player.  Hawes is a 7-1 viable low post presence, with a jumper from the outside.  (Which I hate.  Anyone of 6-11 should be down low busting bodies and rebounding.  But what do I know).   I wouldn’t be surprised if Andre Iguadola is gone draft night or shortly there after, having two many guys in the same position and him making too much money he should be on his way out.  Mainly because he ISN’T A MAX CONTRACT PLAYER.  After saying this Thaddeus Young will be traded and I will be upset.  So lastly I would just like to thank my 10, 9, 8, 76ers for giving me some basketball talk back in this town.



Sixers deal Samuel Dalembert

A move that Sixers fans have been begging for over the last three seasons finally appears to be on the horizon.

Inept big man Samuel Dalembert and his once a week productions ison his way to Sacramento as the first domino in the Sixers roster falls.

ESPN.com is reporting that Dalembert will be sent to the Kings in exchange for Andres Nocioni and Spencer Hawes. Neither Nocioni (a good shooter, but at times soft) or Hawes (a developing center that could become a serviceable backup) excite me but the idea of the Sixers ridding themselves of Dalembert and his inconsistent play puts a smile on my face.

About the only thing Dalembert did with consistency over his career in Philadelphia was get paid. One game he would have 15 points and 17 rebounds and the next three he would average six and five.

My only complaint with the deal is if it is, as ESPN is speculating, a move that points to the team drafting Derrick Favors over Evan Turner. It’s not that I don’t think Favors is good, but I doubt he will be able to provide the type of low post player the Sixers have lacked since Charles Barkley, but it’s because I am so high on Turner.

The backcourt of Holiday and Turner is something that could not only sell tickets, but point the team in then right direction for years to come.

So for now I have to settle for loving this move on the belief that it has everything to do with ridding the team of Dalembert and his contract and nothing to with draft day.



Sixers go retread with Doug Collins

The Sixers did what the Sixers do on Thursday. They hired a coach that will do nothing to get their fan base excited. Rather than take a shot at an up and coming coach, they went the old retread approach, snatching Doug Collins out of the TNT broadcast booth.

The rest of the East is shaking in their boots now.

Bellow is an excerpt of the Associated Press report:

Team president Ed Stefanski interviewed Collins on May 1, and he emerged as the leading candidate to replace the fired Eddie Jordan. The pool of candidates included former Dallas coach Avery Johnson and Toronto coach Sam Mitchell.
My problem with this hire is I don’t see Collins sticking around long enough to have any type of impact. After the Sixers struggle again next year — even with Evan Turner — Collins may thing twice about his decision to coach. What incentive does he have to stick with the team when he knows he can always go back to his cushy job at TNT?

Collins is 332-287 in coaching stints with Chicago, Detroit and Washington. The 76ers made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 1973 draft, and he played eight seasons with the team.

The 58-year-old will need time to build a winner in Philadelphia that other coaches haven’t been afforded. Since Larry Brown left in 2003, four others have failed to coach more than 82 games for the organization.

Maybe Collins will prove me wrong and be the type of general the team has not had since Brown left. I highly doubt it though.

At the end of the day Collins is much more likely to be spoken about in the same class ads Eddie Jordan than he will as Larry Brown.



Lottery should land Sixers Evan Turner

Who can the Sixers draft next month?

Anyone not named John Wall.

The Sixers defied the odds, earning the No. 2 pick in the NBA draft. They entered the draft with just a 5.3 percent chance of earning the top pick. That pick went to the Washington Wizards, who will now be able to draft a point guard that doesn’t bring guns to the work-place — even if he does like them. The poor New Jersey Nets will draft third, and are unlikely to find a superstar.

For Sixers fans – are there any of you still out there? – getting the No. 2 pick is huge news. In all likelihood Philadelphia will select Ohio State’s Evan Turner with their pick. When I look at Turner I can’t help but think the Sixers will be getting a star. Anyone who was watching him in both the Big 10 and NCAA Tournaments could tell that a star was being born. He averaged 204 p.p.g in his junior season and can play the point or off-guard. Paired with Jrue Holiday, the Sixers could finally generate some excitement from its fan base. He wouldn’t make them a contender overnight, but would give them the pure scorer they have been lacking.

Check out what probasketballtalk.com had to say on Turner:

The team that drafts John Wall won’t live to regret it, but the team that ends up with Evan Turner could be just as thrilled. Turner’s versatility will make him a star in the NBA for a long time, and he has enough natural talent to become a terrific player. The comparisons to Brandon Roy are understandable; Turner’s athleticism isn’t off-the-charts, but he can act as the creator in an offense, score with the best of him, and works hard defensively. Turner’s actually likely to be a better NBA defender than Roy, but with a similar ability to establish his team’s offensive flow.
While Turner won’t officially be a member of the Sixers for another month, you can mark him down as a member of the roster. Even Ed Stefanski can’t mess this one up. I hope.

In a time when the Flyers are six wins away from the Stanley Cup, the Phillies are favored to return to the World Series and the Eagles have a ton of young playmakers, the Sixers may finally put a dent in the Philadelphia sports scene.

And all because a few ping pong balls bounced their way.



Do You Still Care?

My father and I were just sitting down shooting the breeze, and of course our conversation turned to Philly sports, and more specifically our Philadelphia 76ers. He is one of the biggest Sixers fans that I know, and as a result I grew up with the same love and passion for our professional basketball team. We were talking about all the things that went wrong throughout the season and then he said something that I thought I would never hear.

“I stop watching the games, they almost turned me off to basketball,” he stated with a somber voice.

The more I thought about it the less I could blame him.What he said made me realize that the only thing that is worse then your fan base hating you, is having your fan base not care enough to feel anything.

Looking at the continuous trend of low attendance as well as the limited attention that Philly fans give to the Sixers nowadays, it’s clear to see that the fan base as a whole has become apathetic to the team. The only people that the Sixers can blame for that is themselves. The moves that they’ve made have continue to puzzle the fan base, and even worse continue to drive this team further away from being a contender.

Management tried to convince us that Andre Iguodala was worth a 6 year 80 million dollar contract, but we have seen nothing but dimininshed returns from that deal. Management tried to convince us that Eddie  Jordan was the right coach for the job, but after a 27-55 season he was shown the door just like his predecessors.  And management keeps trying to tell us that this team, as currently constructed, is good enought to win. Lets be honest, we all know that isn’t true. This team has gotten worse year after year and as a result the fan base is pass being mad or frustrated at them, they just stop caring altogether.

So now the question is, what do the Sixers do about it?

It starts with the coaching search. Hire a coach that can get this team to play a winning brand of basketball, and aslo is willing to coach with maybe a different roster then was here at the end of the 09-10 season. Next is the draft. Due to the record in the regular season it’s not wishful thinking to hope for a top 6 pick. Management has to hit with this pick and make sure the pick fills the needs that the team has. Ideally you would hope for a skilled big man or a swingman that has a jump-shot, both absent from this current roster.

Last but certainly not least, find a way to free yourself from the cap purgatory that you are in. These gaudy contracts have to go. Luckily Samuel Dalembert’s contract comes off the books after the 10-11 season, however, you still have Elton Brand and Andre Iguodala making over 27 million dollars combined this upcoming season, and that number only goes up the next season.

All these things are necessary evils that the Sixers must do to not only make the team better in the long run, but to get back a fan base that feels betrayed and most importantly discourage. Because with the playoff run of the Flyers, the what seems to be golden era of the Phillies, and the beginning of a new era for the Eagles, the popularity of the Sixers is dropping fast as the apathy towards them continues to grow with every losing, non contending season that passes. It’s up to the players and the management to do something about it.

The ball is in your court.



The East becomes wide open

Goodbye Washington

Hello Boston.

The Washington Capitals had one of the biggest collapses in sports history, running away with the league’s best record and then being eliminated by the No. 8 seed Montreal Canadians. Somebody better make sure Ovechkin has a ride home tonight or else the crazy Russian will be heading down 495 at 150 mph as he likes to do.

Not only did the Caps blow a great regular season, but they blew a 3-1 series lead.

So just to clarify: No. 1 Washington; No. 2 New Jersey; and No. 3 Buffalo are all gone.

That’s good news for the Flyers as they will open the second group on even footing with a Boston team that they can certainly play with. Not to say that beating the Bruins will be a cake walk, but it seems a lot more likely than taking down the Caps did.

The last two weeks showed why the NHL playoffs are the most exciting in all sports in the eyes of many fans. Jaroslav Halak has become the name of the playoffs stopping 41 shots a game after stopping 58. If you had to pick a goalie that you thought would standout in the East, the names Ryan Miller and Martin Brodeur would have topped the list. As it turns out, those two goalies will be in front of their TVs for the rest of the playoffs.

As crazy as things have turned out in the East, it suddenly seems conceivable that the Flyers could end up in the Stanley Cup. How ridiculous would that have sounded a week ago?

Pittsburgh will be the favorite now as the Penguins go fir their second straight Cup. But if Halak can stop Ovechkin and the Caps, he might just be able to take down Crosby and co.

What a playoffs it is shaping up to be. I can’t wait for the rest of it to unwind.



Sixers fire Eddie Jordan

Eddie Jordan we hardly knew you.

Actually, we knew you long enough.

During an 11 a.m. press conference Sixers General Manger Ed Stefanski announced that Jordan was no longer welcome back to the bench after just one season.

The only downside was that Stefanski did not fire himself.

Jordan was a bad hire from Day One. The Sixers were never going to be a good fit in the Princeton offense, the style that Jordan runs. Knowing this it was inexcusable for Stefanski to hire him in the first place. Stefanski is also the guy that brought in Elton Brand to play with an up-tempo team and thought Allen Iverson would once again be “The Answer.”

Does anyone really trust Stefanski to pick the right coach this time around? During the press conference he said that he would leave no stone unturned while searching for his next coach.

“We’ll look at assistant coaches, college coaches and coaches with NBA experience,” said Stefanski. “It’s wide open.”

Don’t expect Larry Brown to be coming back to town. Brown likes to work with young team with potential, not teams with an overpaid, underachieving  roster. It’s a group that Stefanski called “resilient” and “Never out of a game.” He also said that Samuel Dalembert might have had the best season of any player on the team.

Who exactly was he watching? Not Dalembert. Not the Sixers.

The GM added that changes could be coming in the next couple of months.

“We will look at every option and if we have to move pieces, we will move pieces,” he said.

Firing Jordan was a good start, but that’s like changing the paint on a house that has structural damage.

The only smart option is to tear it all down and start from scratch. But don’t expect that either.

“I don’t think we’re that far away,” said Stefanski.

Well I sure as hell do.



The Sixers Season Was Over Before It Even Started

May 30th, 2009 is the exact date that the 76ers decided to end their season. On that date they made the brilliant hire of  “Mr. Princeton” aka Eddie Jordan as their new head coach. According to GM Ed Stefanski he blew them away with over 4 hours of “Chalk Talk.” After an impressive 27-54 record with one game to go, my only questions are, What the hell is chalk talk, and what sort of blackmail does Eddie Jordan have on Stefanski. I am only 22 but in my lifetime Jordan is the worst coach out of any of the 4 Philadelphia franchises that I have seen. Over the course of the season Jordan has struggled to find a steady rotation, he doesn’t call time outs when the opposition is on an 18-0 run, and has stated on numerous occasions that the team does not havea need for  a true point guard. The only enjoyment I get out of Eddie Jordan is watching his post game interviews which have become more and more comical as the year has progressed.

      I can’t blame the whole thing on Jordan. Although GM Ed Stefanski will tell you they have a young and up incoming team, their roster is flawed. They have nobody that can create their own shot,  and they have 2 guys that are paid like superstars but are no better than a third option. Hopefully this off-season they are able to ship Elton Brand and Andre Iguodala out of town. I personally will drive them to the airport

      The people I feel bad for are the season ticket holders. They spend their hard earned money to watch that team play. I personally would rather watch paint dry. On Monday they held fan appreciation night and it got me thinking about how they could get me to come to that game. For me to show up I would need Samuel Dalembert to personally pick me up in a limo. Then I would need to sit at the end of the bench and have Andre Igoudala feed me popcorn all night. Eddie Jordan would have to let me draw a few plays up then finally they would have to let me dress up like hip hop and dunk off the trampoline in-between quarters. Is that too much to ask for?

      In the end Eddie Jordan will be gone and at least they will get a lottery pick. But to sum up this season in one word, and I am going to quote the great Charles Barkley, it was “Turrible”



In case you missed it …

With all of the excitement in the NCAA Tournament this past weekend you may have missed some of the things that took place here in Philadelphia. Heck you may missed things because you had a family commitment or simply were out boozing with friends. We don’t discriminate here. Whatever the reason, Philly Sports Blogs has you covered. In what will become a Monday tradition, we unveil the first “In Case You Missed it.”

Because even though you are not always watching, we are.

Playing goalie for the Flyers might be the most dangerous position in all of sports right now. Johan Backlund, the latest victim of the injury bug, never even got a chance to show his worth. Making his first start in place of the injured Michael Leighton, who was in for the injured Ray Emery and the slumping Brian Boucher, Backlund left Saturday’s 4-1 loss to the Penguins in the second period after aggravating a groin injury. Taking Backlund’s place on the roster is Carter Sutton, who was called up from the Phantoms. Sutton only appeared in four games for the Phantoms, going 1-2-1 with a 2.70 goals-against average.

The Flyers salvaged the weekend. The news wasn’t all bad for the Orange and Black as they put together their best effort in the month of March with a 5-1 thrashing of the New Jersey Devils on Sunday. It was a much needed win as it moved the Flyers into a 6th place tie in the Eastern Conference with Montreal and four points ahead of 9th place Atlanta.

The Sixers (yes they are still playing) actually put together a nice win on Friday, defeating the Atlanta Hawks, 105-98. It was the second-straight win for Philadelphia, something that could be cause for celebration they way the team has played. One of the recent revelations has been Jason Kapono, who has stepped into the starting lineup and produced. He scored 14 points against Atlanta, and 10 in Wednesday’s win against the Bucks. Who knew that putting an actual shooter on the floor would force opposing teams to lengthen their defense, thus creating more space for the other Sixers on the floor?

Donovan McNabb is still here. Nothing more to be said.

— Ryan Madson will open the season as the Phillies closer. With Brad Lidge set to start the season on the DL, Charlie Manuel elected to go with Madson over the newly-acquired Danys Baez. Madson struggled in that role last year, saving 10 of 16 games and posting a 5.82 ERA, but gets a clean slate to work with. So what happens if Madson starts the season on fire saving 6 of 6 games? Does Lidge still come back and take over?Likely, but it sure will be fun debating about it.

So there’s your Philly weekend in a nutshell, just in case you missed it.