With 2016 fast approaching, and 2015 being a Philadelphia sports year to forget (except for you lucky Temple footballfans) here is a resolution for each team to make 2016 one to remember.
Flyers: Keep Doin’ What They’re Doin’
The Flyers entered their Christmas break on as good a note as possible, coming back from three goals down to beat the St. Louis Blues.That win caps, but hopefully doesn’t end, an 8-2-2 run by the Flyers after beginning the season 7-10-5.The playoffs, hardly a consideration with that record, are back in range.
By the way, “Keep doing what they’re doing” includes keep playing rookie Shayne Gostisbehere, and to do that Gostisbehere must remain on the NHL roster.Gostisbehere, who assisted two of the goals in the Flyers’ Monday comeback, has 14 points in 18 games played this season. In those18 games the Flyers are 10-4-4 in.
Philadelphia needs every reason to enjoy its sports teams it can get this winter, and the Flyers recent surge and Gostisbehere’s emergence are two of the few available.
Eagles: Be Conventional. Appreciate Talent.
The 2015 season Eagles fans got is not the one most were expecting.Whether you believe the poor on-the-field product a result of poor talent or poor coaching, the man responsible for both is Chip Kelly.
The much discussed fourth down play against the Cardinals can be a microcosm of the season in general.Conventional wisdom says: Run the ball with the back who is perfect on the season at converting, behind your best offensive lineman, don’t show your hand and come out in the same formation after a timeout, and maybe don’t even go for it in the first place.
Similarly, conventional wisdom said: Don’t cut Pro Bowl wide receivers, don’t sign running backs that just had 388 carries anddon’t draft players three rounds ahead of their grade.Occasionally, conventional wisdom became conventional wisdom for a reason.Kelly is often called innovative; innovative only means new and original, it doesn’t always mean good.
If they’re to be good, fixing the Eagles starts as the job of Kelly the general manager.
RELATED LINK: Here’s what each Flyer should ask for for Christmas
Phillies: Don’t Become the Sixers
The trade of Ken Giles raised some eyebrows around town.Wasn’t this the Phillies’ most promising, hyped, prospect before the arrival of Aaron Nola?The player Jonathan Papelbon –a Hall-of-Famer — had to be shipped out of town to make room for?
The Phillies future has been dark for a long time, and nobody expects wins to come immediately, but this town doesn’t have room for two franchises mired in a seemingly unending turnover of young players.
On its own merits, the Giles trade is understandable: much like with Papelbon, the Phillies are in no position at the moment to use a top-flight closer, which is what Giles might become.And while his value is high, they got what they could for him. But prospects are prospects, which should be clear after the career of Dominic Brown.
Sixers: Progress the Process
Maybe Jerry Colangelo’s arrival in town is a sign of this step being taken, maybe not.If the plan is that you need the number one pick, well, the best chance you can have at number one is only ever going to be one-in-four, even with the worst record in the league.
Hopefully Colangelo’s eye for talent will be used to add talent to the 76ers, not assets, and not just at the top of next years draft if that should be where the Sixers happen to land. It has already done so in one aspect, bringing the arrival of Mike D’Antoni.If you believe, like Sam Hinkie, the Sixers needed a top three pick to be successful, well, after this season they’ll have three of them on the roster, so maybe it’s time to be successful.
The Warriors just won an NBA title, and yes, they did have a former first overall draft selection on the roster: Andrew Bogut.But weren’t seventh overall pick Stephen Curry and ninth overall pick Andre Igoudala a little more important?You don’t have to bottom out to win big, you just have to find talent when you have the chance.And the Sixers will be a lot better at that if they stop running in the other direction.