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Phillies fans pay tribute to Roy Halladay

Phillies fans pay tribute to Roy Halladay

Roy Halladay may have been a Phillie for just four seasons, but his impact on the Phillies, the fan base, and the city was felt well beyond those four years.

Halladay died Tuesday in a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico. He was 40.

Halladay's death shook the sports world. His former teammates went to social media to remember Halladay. Phillies managing partner John Middleton and chairman David Montgomery shared their memories of Halladay. Cole Hamels, a member of the Four Aces with Halladay in 2011, said Halladay taught him so much more about life than just baseball.

As NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury wrote, Halladay was all business on the mound, but the side that stood out the most about Halladay was just how much he cared for other people.

In 2010, his first season with the Phillies, Halladay won the NL Cy Young and then was the runner-up in 2011. He pitched a perfect game in Miami in 2010 and then tossed one of just two playoff no-hitters in baseball history.

Halladay, in a short time, became one of the most beloved figures in Phillies history, and Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, fans showed their appreciation by leaving a Phils hat with "thanks for the memories" written in sharpie on it, a signed Halladay photo, a Halladay shirt, roses, candles lined up to form Halladay's No. 34 and more in a memorial to Halladay at Citizens Bank Park.

Here are some photos as of Wednesday morning:


Photos: NBC Sports Philadelphia's Tom Finer.

A look at Sixers' championship odds after round 1 win over Heat

A look at Sixers' championship odds after round 1 win over Heat

The Philadelphia 76ers and their fans absolutely relished the round 1 series victory over the Miami Heat. But enjoy it for a day or so and then it's time to look ahead.

The Sixers' round 2 opponent has yet to be determined. If the Celtics defeat the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night, the Sixers would play in Boston on Saturday night at 8:00 pm to kick off the second round. If the Bucks keep the series alive tomorrow, the Sixers' first game of round 2 is TBD.

As JJ Redick said last night, this team has kept achieving its goals and setting new ones. 

"This group won 10 games two years ago, 28 games last year, we were 25-25 with 5 games to go before the All-Star break, so this is new to us as a group," Redick said. "The interesting thing that has happened is we've changed our goals now like four times. It was make the playoffs, it was win 50 games, it was home-court [advantage], then it was third seed. We don't feel any sense of complacency. This group is still hungry. We want more."

So how about an NBA title... this season? Of remarkable note: the Sixers opened up the season at +15000 to win the NBA championship and are now +850. That's wild.

Oddsmakers have the Sixers as the third-favorite, as of this morning, to win the 2018 NBA championship behind the Golden State Warriors (+105) and Houston Rockets (+160), according to both Bovada. Cleveland (+1000) and Toronto (+1100) aren't super far behind.

As for the Sixers' odds to win the East? How about a slight favorite, according to VegasInsider. Philly (8/5) is just a tiny bit ahead of Toronto (17/10) with Cleveland (3/1) being the only other team with a shot better than 20/1.

"We've got more to do," Brett Brown said last night.

An Eagles draft with less despair than usual

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AP

An Eagles draft with less despair than usual

The NFL Draft is an important time for every team, every year. There’s also no denying it’s less consequential for the Eagles in 2018 than any other point in franchise history – or at least feels that way.

That’s obviously not an attitude the front office was taking while preparing for this draft, nor is it the approach decision makers will use when they’re on the clock. There’s always room for improvement, and the Eagles perpetually have one eye on the future.

But outside the secret underground bunkers deep beneath the NovaCare Complex where the Eagles’ draft boards are set, not everybody views this year’s class with the same sense of urgency.

How can you? The Eagles currently own just one pick in the first three rounds, which means they will largely be bystanders during the first and second rounds of the draft. And the one selection they are schedule to make is the 32nd and final pick in the first round, greatly reducing the odds it will be an impact player.

Trades are inevitable as the Eagles try to add more choices – that perhaps more than the names of the players chosen might be the main source of intrigue. Still, there’s only so much the club can hope to accomplish with such limited firepower to start with.

There aren’t many areas a rookie would be expected to come in and produce immediately on this squad, anyway. I’m not sure if you heard, but the Eagles just won the Super Bowl and are set to return starters or regular contributors at every position.

Even from the simple standpoint the Eagles are finally world champions, the pressure is off compared to previous years.

None of which is intended to imply the draft isn’t of immense value to the Eagles since they lack picks, or holes, or because the fanbase is temporarily placated. Clearly, it would be a huge help if the front office hits on No. 32, or any of their five picks between rounds four through seven.

The Eagles can’t possibly depend on that happening, either. The prospects are already a lot more hit or miss by the end of the first round, after you’ve waited four hours. By the fourth, only the true draftniks or serious college football fans will recognize many of the names.

And that’s okay. In fact, it’s better than okay. For the first time since NFL draft coverage became a thing, there’s no need to obsess or despair over what the Eagles are going to do.

Partly because the Eagles can’t do much – partly because they’ve already done what they needed to do.