The Sixers can basically kill the Washington Wizards' season tonight

The Sixers can basically kill the Washington Wizards' season tonight

Now that their miraculous season-beginning three-game winning streak has come to an end in thudding fashion, we should be able to get back to our normal ways of expecting the worst from this Philadelphia 76ers team at just about every opportunity. Their first opportunity to once again live down to expectations comes tonight against the Washington Wizards, already in their second matchup this year, with the Sixers taking the surprise 109-102 victory five days ago in Washington.

While the Sixers have already exceeded fan hopes for their entire season in the space of three games, the Wizards are in the unfortunate spot of their results thusfar being well, well below expectation, as their franchise and its young core was expected to take the next step towards playoff contention this season, but has instead started 0-3, with injuries (veteran bigs Emeka Okafor and Nene, highly touted rookie forward Otto Porter) and a surprise pre-season deal many dubbed a panic trade (swapping the expiring contract of the injured Okafor with a future draft pick for offensive-minded center Marcin Gortat) further adding to the team's desperation.

If the Sixers win tonight, bringing the Washington record to 0-4, it could be a fairly deadly blow to the team's post-season aspirations, even this early on. After Philly, Washington has the championship-aspirant Nets at home, then goes on a three-game West Coast swing against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs (combined record: 8-3). It's been suggested that if the Wizards lose tonight, Washington coach Randy Wittman might not survive the trip out West.

As in the teams' matchup last week the question for this game is two-fold: Can we contain their explosive young backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal, and can their depleted frontlines handle the post play of our Thaddeus Young and Spencer Hawes? The answers last week were both "Yes for one half, no for the other," with Thad and Spence just getting the last word, but tonight, in a do-or-die matchup with the Sixers' momentum finally slowed a little, it'll be tough to get the edge a second time.

7:00 tip from the WFC. Will the tanking officially commence tonight, or is this team not done playing over their heads? Do we even know which one we're rooting for? Guess we'll find out tonight.

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

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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

Requirements

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

Markelle Fultz quietly shows growth as Sixers plan to expand his role

Markelle Fultz quietly shows growth as Sixers plan to expand his role

Things weren’t going well for Markelle Fultz in his home debut.

Fultz missed all three of his shot attempts after entering the game in the first quarter. Two of those were blocked, with one a filthy snuff on a layup by the man he will be connected to forever: Jayson Tatum.

In between misfires, the No. 1 overall pick committed two personal fouls. The second came on a three-point shot by Terry Rozier III.

After 4:34 of action, Fultz slinked his way back to the bench.

And then a literal weight was lifted off his ailing shoulder.

Fultz returned to the court late in the second and immediately went on the attack. He drove right to the rim on Tatum and forced a foul.

That meant the 19-year-old with the banged-up right shoulder had to step to the free throw line and show off that oft-criticized shooting form.

Splash. Splash.

The points elicited a roar from the crowd and even a slight reaction from Fultz.

“Just a little smile at the fans. I saw somebody on the baseline just looking, so I just smiled,” Fultz said.

“It’s something I’ve been working on to get through this, so I was happy.”

Happy, but not content.

From that moment, Fultz looked like a different player. Not statistically as he finished with just six points on 2 for 9 shooting with three rebounds, one assist and one steal in the Sixers102-92 loss in their home opener.

However, the guard played with more energy on both ends of the court. He continued to drive hard to the basket offensively while he fought through screens and battled bigger bodies on D.

“I think I have a lot to improve on, but I also think I’m learning each night I come out and taking baby steps to improve on the stuff I did last game,” Fultz said. “I think I’m in a pretty good spot, but I’ve got a lot of work to do.”

One thing the team has learned so far is to get Fultz coming off more screens at the top of the key. Sixers head coach Brett Brown liked what he saw when Fultz had the ball in his hands with the reserves and was able to get downhill in a hurry off pick plays.

“I think it’s going to be something where we put him in more pick-and-rolls to try to get him more in the middle of the floor,” Brown said. “How we do that, I see it quite clearly. I think lately just trying to get him up and down the floor and get his fitness base and find some level of confidence has been most on my mind. But I agree with you, he has a skill that we have to tap into.”

“I’m just working on being wherever I need to be to help this team win,” Fultz said. “Pick-and-roll is one of the things I feel like I’m good at, so if that’s helping the team win I’m going to go do it.”

But that doesn’t mean Fultz is about to go rogue and start calling his own number all the time. Despite being the top pick in June’s draft, he knows this team’s engine starts with Joel Embiid, particularly when the big man is in the paint.

“If he’s in the game and he’s in the post, get him the ball,” Fultz said. “Whether I’m off the ball to screen away. If I’ve got the ball in my hands, find him. Whenever he’s on the floor we’ve got to find a way to get him the ball. He’s a great passer, so he’s going to draw a lot of attention. Any time he’s in there we have to get him the ball.”

A nodding Embiid agreed from a few feet away at his own locker.

“He’s right,” the big man said between bites of an apple. “That’s the right answer.”

The rookie is a fast learner.