November 07, 2017
You had to see this coming – the Philadelphia 76ers had no rational explanation for the absence of Joel Embiid as a healthy player for Tuesday night’s game at Utah.
Embiid has looked like he’s ready to rock and roll during the very early portion of the season, averaging over 20 points and 10 rebounds, while playing an average of about 28 minutes per game. The official explanation of his absence from the Utah game can be found under the medical file of “load management.”
The Sixers have used this term before, it appears to be a close cousin of “maintenance day” in other sports, and it could more correctly be termed – we’re just being careful.
It does seem a little strange that there did not appear to be anything wrong with Embiid, and the Sixers have had a quiet period with four days off. Even coach Brett Brown seemed to want to wash his hands of the situation, simply stating “if it (the albescence) requires more information, (the doctors) will be the ones to explain it.”
Well, there is no real explanation, and fans of the Sixers and the NBA are again left in the dark about the status of a star player.
At the very least, fans of the team and the sport are owed some sort of reason why Embiid will not play in a game. If the reason is the upcoming West Coast trip will be taxing, and the doctors feel it would be better to get an extra day of rest, at least that alleviates the fear that something is wrong.
Nobody doubts that Embiid has to be handled cautiously, but when so many people have been patient and bought into the process, the process going further should be to include the fans in the decisions regarding playing time.
After all this time waiting, it’s only fair that fans are included in the process – if only to hear the reasons behind it.
The New York Giants are a mess, and it’s even more complicated due to the fact that their two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Eli Manning is at or near the end. The Giants are driving in the breakdown lane through the rest of this season and coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese look like a couple of flat tires that need changing.
What a lovely sinkhole, and it’s not likely the organization will be able to climb out quickly, especially with no real answer at quarterback. The Giants are a long-term crash while the Eagles are a long-term soar.
Just another reason to feel good about the future well beyond this season.
Nice to hear the feud between Tony Romo and Deion Sanders has continued into their post-playing TV broadcast careers. Romo poked fun of Sanders’ (non) tackling during Sunday’s Dallas victory over Kansas City, and Sanders was quick with a witty and cutting response about Romo’s postseason failures.
As a fan in Philadelphia – and presumably the rest of the nation, it was nice to see two ex-Cowboys sniping. It might be difficult to admit for some, but Romo has enjoyed a strong start as an analyst.
Then again, as Sanders would probably agree, we shall see how he does in December and beyond.
The Phillies finally hired their new manager when Gabe Kapler was brought on board last week and there were the expected raised eyebrows about some of Kapler’s colorful blog episodes.
The real issue will be how the new manager manages a locker room of young players, and if he can get the most out of Odubel Herrera. This is also a crossroad for general manager Matt Klentak, who simply can’t swing and miss on this selection.
Klentak would be wise to add some veteran pitching on this roster for spring training and back off the gospel that the club is still in early stages of a rebuild. The last thing Phillies fans need to hear is a GM throw cold water on the club’s outlook in Clearwater.
Klentak also needs this hire to be a home run to help sell his reliance on analytics. Kapler was hired in very large part to his familiarity and belief in analytics, and a failure would represent a failure of the entire organizational plan.
The National Football League is battling all sort of issues, not the least of which is the on-again, off-again suspension of Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott.
At some point, it seems inevitable Elliott will have to serve his six-game suspension for an issue with domestic abuse. The fact that courts have not found enough evidence to punish Elliott has no standing with the NFL.
Like it or not, the NFL Players as a bargaining unit agreed to terms with the league that they are bound by the ruling of commissioner Roger Goodell, and that will be the bottom line – just ask Tom Brady.
The best news for the Eagles would be that Elliott will miss both games against the Birds, but the way Carson Wentz is playing there is a good chance that whether Elliott plays or not, the Cowboys will have a difficult time keeping up with the Eagles.
In fact, it is remarkable to hear many Eagles fans declare that actually would like Elliott to be available when the schedule resumes in two weeks in Dallas. The belief in the Eagles is so overwhelming that many fans want Wentz and the team to prove they can whip the Cowboys when the Boys are at full strength – in Dallas.
Bring on the Cowboys, the Seahawks, the Patriots. Bring ‘em all on, the Eagles are better than them all – at least that’s the way it feels right now.
It’s a great time for a bye week.