T.J. McConnell’s Steady Play Providing Boost for Sixers

 

Sixers rookie point guard T.J. McConnell and associate head coach Mike D'Antoni react during a timeout | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Sixers rookie point guard T.J. McConnell and associate head coach Mike D’Antoni react during a timeout | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

When the Sixers made the trade to acquire Ish Smith, much was made about how Smith could help elevate the play of big men Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor, and deservedly so. Both of the Sixers’ prized possessions have been playing substantially better basketball with Smith’s ability to create getting them easy looks at the basket.

A secondary benefit was likely to be the Sixers’ perimeter shooters. If there’s one elite skill Smith has it’s his speed, and his ability to collapse the defense, force the opponent into help rotations, and pass out of that pressure was sure to generate more open looks for guys like Robert Covington, Hollis Thompson, and Isaiah Canaan.

One of the unexpected beneficiaries of Smith’s presence on the roster has been rookie T.J. McConnell.

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Ted Cruz Shares Emotional Story of His Half-Sister’s Overdose Death in Delco

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz. | Photo by Elise Amendola/AP

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz. | Photo by Elise Amendola/AP

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is usually a rabble-rouser when he delivers a stump speech on the campaign trail. Thursday night at a church in Hooksett, N.H., he was anything but as he shared the story of his half-sister Miriam’s drug addiction and an attempt he and his father made to rescue her.

Miriam’s journey from untroubled childhood to addicted adulthood began when Cruz’s father, Rafael, divorced Miriam’s mother — and it ended in a crack house near Philadelphia.  Read more »

Report: Sixers Have Inquired About Clippers Forward Blake Griffin

Could the Sixers acquire star power forward Blake Griffin? A report from Fox Sports Ohio says they have inquired about his availability | Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Could the Sixers acquire star power forward Blake Griffin? A report from Fox Sports Ohio says they have inquired about his availability | Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

According to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio, the Sixers have had discussions with the Los Angeles Clippers about the availability of star forward Blake Griffin.

The report comes on the heels of a report from Mitch Lawrence of the Sporting News that the Denver Nuggets had inquired about Griffin.

Speculation about Griffin’s availability has increased in recent days after a report that Griffin would miss at least 4-6 weeks because he broke his hand in an altercation with the team’s assistant equipment manager.

Do the Sixers have a chance of pulling off a deal?

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Atlantic City Could Run Out of Money By the End of Month

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

Atlantic City’s government could be out of money by the end of the month.

The declaration by the city’s attorney came in response to the Borgata’s announcement that it would not pay its first-quarter real estate taxes.

Atlantic City owes the city $62.5 million after the Borgata successfully appealed its property taxes several years in a row. The government of Atlantic City missed a deadline in December for the $62.5 million payment, which is for 2009 and 2010. The city owes the Borgata an additional $88 million in tax refunds for 2011 through 2015. Read more »

Court Denies Reinstatement of Kathleen Kane’s Law License

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane speaks during a news conference Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015, at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane speaks during a news conference Dec. 1, 2015, at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

Kathleen Kane isn’t getting her law license back right now.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied Kane’s attempt to have her law license reinstated when it rejected her appeal today. The court suspended her law license in September after she was charged with obstruction of justice and perjury. Read more »

Missanelli: Eagles Have No Choice But to Bring Bradford Back

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Here is the current state of the Philadelphia Eagles:

The Birds are operating with basically one man in charge: one Howard Roseman. The Eagles currently have no director of college scouting on board, and they haven’t filled the position of permanent pro personnel director. In fact, they have announced publicly that the position won’t be filled until after the forthcoming NFL draft because that’s when most of the “good” candidates for the position will be available.

In the meantime, a phantom named Tom Donohoe is supposed to be lending a hand in that area, though Donohoe lives in Pittsburgh and it’s not clear whether he even attended the recent Senior Bowl practices and/or game.

Which brings us back to Roseman.

Never before has a man risen from the ashes like Howie Roseman. Dispatched to the equipment room a year ago by team owner Jeffrey Lurie — at the behest of coach Chip Kelly — Roseman hung around long enough to make a triumphant return to the front office. It is clearly his show today. He now gets to play NFL football general manager, his lifelong desire. And it scares me a little, even though Roseman has made a couple of contractual master strokes lately, signing core Eagles players to long-term deals.

Doug Pederson, the new coach, seems to be a mere spectator to the Howie show right now, which is probably the way Lurie wanted it when he re-exalted Roseman. Read more »

Chaka “Chip” Fattah Jr. Is Appealing His Conviction

FILE - In this Aug. 14, 2014 file photo Chaka Fattah Jr., walks from the U.S. Courthouse in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Chaka Fattah Jr., walks from the U.S. Courthouse in Philadelphia in 2014. | Photo by Matt Rourke/AP

Chaka Fattah Jr. is not giving up his freedom without a fight. The 33-year-old son of U.S. Congressman Chaka Fattah announced that he is appealing his conviction just three days after being sentenced to five years in prison and getting taken into custody, the Inquirer reports. Read more »

Assessing SEPTA’s Suicide Prevention Pilot Program

13th Street Station|Mariam Dembele

13th Street Station | Mariam Dembele

Since 2011, there have been 66 deaths along SEPTA’s train, trolley and subway lines. Forty of those deaths have been ruled suicides.

After a high of 10 suicides in 2011, SEPTA started looking into ways to prevent more. In September of 2014, SEPTA began working with Montgomery County Emergency Service to install suicide prevention signs within its stations. It started as a pilot program at the Norristown Transportation Center, then was expanded into 290 of SEPTA’s regional rail, subway stations, and trolley stations and along the Norristown High Speed Line. The bold red, black and blue signs display both the national suicide prevention lifeline number and website. At the bottom they urge, “With help comes hope.” Currently, there are approximately 1,000 up. Now almost one year since the last sign was posted, statistics tell a couple of different stories about how effective they’ve been. Read more »

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