In the New Year: Sixers Aim for .500 Road Trip Against Hornets

In the New Year: Sixers Aim for .500 Road Trip Against Hornets

Needless to say, 2010 was somewhat less than a banner year for the Sixers--the highlight of the calendar year was probably winning the #2 pick in the lottery, and even that has been largely mitigated by the subpar play of said pick-recipient Evan Turner in his rookie year to date. But hey, that's all in the extremely recent past now, and the Sixers are looking towards the future--one which could start with a surprising break-even on a tough eight-game road swing with a win tonight (baby steps, y'know) in New Orleans against the Hornets.

The Sixers will once again be working somewhat short-handed, playing not only without Andre Iguodala (still out with a sore achilles) but also starting center Spencer Hawes, who Kate Fagan tweets is out with a back sprain. after a subpar start to the season, Spencer seemed to have been finding something of a groove in the month of December, posting four double-double outings--four more than he had in the season to that point. Starting in his stead will be the bench-ridden Marreese Speights, who has played a grand total of 2:29 combined in the team's last five games. Will be an interesting match between all-fundamentals Hornets center Emeka Okafor and the no-fundamentals Speights, no doubt.

The best thing we have going for us in this game is recent history. No doubt you'll recall the match between these two teams three weeks ago where the Sixers held the Hornets to an absolutely unthinkable 23 first-half points, and only 30% shooting for the entire game, as the Liberty Ballers grinded out an impressive 88-70 victory. Those were the Dark Days for New Orleans, and hot off a surprise upset over the Celtics in the Garden at New Year's Eve, they're not likely to pull off a repeat performance. Still, the defensively-improved Sixers certainly had a solid gameplan for the Bees the first time around, and there's reason to hope that Coach Collins will have the boys geared up in Stopper Mode again tonight.

8:00 tip from New Orleans Arena.  Should be nice to see our old friends Jason Smith and Willie Green as they enjoy their first seasons outside of Philadelphia, averaging 5.2 and 7.7 ppg respectively as key bench players for the Hornets. (And the phrase "Key Bench Players" as applies to Jason Smith and Willie Green is probably a pretty good reason why NO wasn't terribly likely to keep pace with their 11-1 start all season.)

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales


NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned


1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

About NBC internships

Winless Suns fire head coach Earl Watson

USA Today Images

Winless Suns fire head coach Earl Watson

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns have fired coach Earl Watson just three games in to the NBA season.

The Suns announced the firing Sunday night after hours of meetings at the team's headquarters.

Assistant coach Jay Triano, a former head coach of the Toronto Raptors, was named interim coach. Triano was an assistant at Portland before coming to Phoenix last year.

Watson was promoted from assistant to interim coach of the Suns after Jeff Hornacek was fired Feb. 1, 2016. The interim tag was removed on April 19 of that year. With an extremely young team, the Suns struggled under Watson. He compiled a 33-85 record. Watson's only full season was 2016-17, when the team went 24-58.

The 38-year-old Watson played collegiately at UCLA and in the NBA for 10 seasons. He often spoke of his long talks with John Wooden, emphasized togetherness and a family atmosphere to nurture the young squad but wins were hard to come by.

And owner Robert Sarver apparently didn't like what he saw. Phoenix is 0-3 and two of the losses were especially ugly. The Suns were blown out 124-76 by the Portland in their season opener Wednesday night, the most one-sided loss in franchise history and the most one-sided season opener for any NBA team.

Phoenix was routed by the Clippers in Los Angeles 130-88 on Saturday night.

"I Dont wanna be here," point guard Eric Bledsoe tweeted Sunday, just as the news of Watson's firing surfaced. The tweet by Bledsoe, a former Clipper, was followed by one from the Clippers' DeAndre Jordan saying "Come back home bro."

Bledsoe has been rumored in possible trades for months.

Watson's dismissal is the first NBA coaching change in well over a year. Hornacek's hiring by the New York Knicks, which was finalized in June 2016, had been the most recent change -- and the irony there is that Watson got the job in Phoenix with 33 games left in the 2015-16 season, after the Suns fired Hornacek.

Watson was the league's second-youngest active coach behind the Lakers' Luke Walton, and the Suns were tied with the Chicago Bulls as having the youngest opening-night roster in the NBA this season.

"I'd like to see the fight be a little bit more," Watson said after the blowout loss to the Clippers. "Or a lot more, until you know they're just fatigued."

The Suns came into this season with only four losses by 40 or more points in franchise history. They've had two in the first three games of this season. Phoenix has not made the playoffs in seven years, the longest drought in the franchise's 49-year history.

Watson was the 17th Suns coach in the franchise's history.

This was the first NBA season where every coach who started one year had the same job to begin the next.

Less than a week into 2017-18, that's no longer the case.