Richaun Holmes is the Sixers' best three-point shooter

Richaun Holmes is the Sixers' best three-point shooter

The loss of Robert Covington for the last ten games of the Philadelphia 76ers' season has essentially left the team's starting five without a single reliable shooter. Point guard T.J. McConnell has hit exactly five triples all of 2017. Two-guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot is shooting under 30% from deep for the season, and small forward Justin Anderson is shooting 27% since coming over to the Sixers. Power forward Dario Saric has attempted 25 triples over the last five games, and hit precisely one per contest. 

The bench doesn't offer much relief either: Gerald Henderson has hit 5 of his last 20 from deep, while Nik Stauskas' three-point shooting has gone in the tank since Covington peaced out for the season, drilling just nine of his 36 attempts over that span. Unsurprisingly, the Sixers' team shooting percentage from three has plummeted in Cov's absence, down to 29% from 35% for the team's first 74 games. The one exception to all of this long-bombing misery? Sixers center Richaun Holmes. 

If you asked casual fans to guess the Sixers' current leader in three-point percentage on the season, it'd probably take most of 'em at least seven or eight tries to get at Holmes, pacing the Processors with his 37.5% with two games to go in the season. As the rest of the team has totally lost their touch from distance in the cramped spacing of the Sixers' current rotation, Richaun's has only gotten featherier -- he's shot 9-18 from three in the Sixers' six games without RoCo. 

Is it sustainable? Is it just late-season flukiness? Can you pay attention to anything going on with the Sixers right now? Will Richaun Holmes be on the Sixers next season? Does basketball matter all that much in the grand scheme of things? What is a 76er? Will Harry Styles' pretty good new single finally end Ed Sheeran's interminable reign on top of the Billboard Hot 100? None of these answers are yet clear, but it's good to know we might have a backup center who can approximate Joel Embiid's ranginess when he sits in future seasons, allowing an enviable consistency and fluency to our offense. Assuming Joel Embiid, the Philadelphia 76ers and the concept of the NBA as a professional sport are all things that still exist next October, anyway.

Super Bowl champs showed up to ESPYS in style including a Philly Special homage

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Super Bowl champs showed up to ESPYS in style including a Philly Special homage

The Super Bowl champs showed up to the ESPYS in style on Wednesday night out in Los Angeles.

Nick Foles may have taken home the hardware for best performance in a championship -- with a heck of a speech to boot -- but it was the Eagles secondary who won best dressed.

Or maybe just most outrageously baller. Tough to tell these days.

I mean, just look at what Rodney McLeod wore. Purple. No shirt.

The Green Goblin wasn't far behind. Personally, I liked Jalen Mills going with a vest that still showed off his tat.

And then there was Malcolm Jenkins adding a bit of class to the group.

But the sartorial flair that won the evening may have to go to former Eagle and current member of the Chicago Bears Trey Burton who kept the Philly Special close to his heart.

And shouts to Jake Elliott and his hat just because.

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Are 2018 Eagles better or worse at quarterback?

Are 2018 Eagles better or worse at quarterback?

The one area the Eagles made no major changes from last season is at quarterback. Carson Wentz returns from injury. Somewhat surprisingly, Nick Foles was retained and even signed a contract extension. Nate Sudfeld remains in the fold as well.

The cast may be the same, but with Foles returning to the bench as a Super Bowl MVP, will the Eagles be better or worse off in 2018?



When Foles took the reins last December, he had barely played or practiced since 2015, his hellish season with the Rams – and, initially, it showed. But after what the 29-year-old signal caller accomplished in the playoffs, does anybody believe Foles is lacking for confidence now? Anybody still wonder whether he’s comfortable running the Eagles’ offense?

Foles is better prepared to take over for Wentz or start Week 1 than he was this time a year ago. So, too, is Sudfeld, who will benefit from his first camp with the team after signing last September, as well as his first NFL game experience in Week 17 against the Cowboys. QB2 and QB3 are both in a better place now, which is remarkable, but true.


Greater sense of uncertainty

Until the trade deadline comes and goes in October, there’s always the possibility Foles is traded this year. Obviously, there would be some drop-off between the Super Bowl MVP and Sudfeld, a third-year player who’s thrown 23 career passes, should that come to pass.

For now, that’s not the case, but is something to keep an eye for awhile yet.

The same

Nick Foles

Despite everything that’s happened – the winning, the newfound notoriety, going back to the bench, a so-called quarterback controversy, trade murmurs – the one thing you can count on is Foles’ demeanor. He may have questioned himself on the football field at one point in his career, but he’s in a place now where he knows what he’s capable of and his value to the Eagles.

Foles also hasn’t changed much as a player since his historic, breakout campaign in 2013. As long as the offensive line can keep him upright, and he has talented weapons to distribute the ball to, this is somebody that can win you a lot of games in the NFL. There’s no longer any disputing that.

The unknown

Carson Wentz’s knee

Wentz has looked so darn impressive in videos and on the practice field, it’s easy to fall into the trap that his surgically repaired knee is fine, everything is fine. Despite raising the question here, he’s probably better prepared to overcome a torn ACL than some past Eagles quarterbacks who struggled with the recovery in the past – namely Sam Bradford and Donovan McNabb.

Still, more passers than not have come back and looked less than 100 percent in their first season removed from the injury. And many of them had more time to recover than Wentz, who only went down in November.

We don’t even know for sure if Wentz will be cleared to play Week 1. It seems likely he will be, but it’s far from definite. Until he’s playing in actual NFL games, and back to looking like the 2017, MVP-caliber version of himself, all of these concerns give folks some pause before assuming the Eagles would immediately be better off with Wentz under center.

Better or worse?

Fortunately, the determination doesn’t rest solely on Wentz here. A comfortable and confident Foles and the developing Sudfeld should give the Eagles a marginal lift at quarterback. And even after sharing a pile of concerns about Wentz, eventually, possibly sometime in 2018, he will be fine, making Wentz-like escapes and ice-in-his-veins third-down conversions. In fact, if Wentz Is miraculously fine for Week 1, he should still be improving heading into his third season.

Now that’s something BETTER to look forward to.

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