Elliott Records Shutout as Flyers Defeat Sabres

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

On Saturday afternoon in Buffalo, the Flyers nearly got their regular lineup back. It certainly showed as they were opportunistic, dominant on the forecheck, and consistently rolling lines.

Brian Elliott was also on point. He made 23 saves to secure his second shutout of the season, both coming against the Sabres, once again in a 3-0 victory on Saturday afternoon.

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Flyers-Sabres: Game 17 Preview

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

The final reinforcements are on their way. The Flyers continue to get players back into the lineup after their long two weeks dealing with a COVID situation. It comes at a great time for the Flyers, as they hit the road for the next five games.

It starts over the weekend with a pair of games in Buffalo against the Sabres. Following a COVID situation of their own, the Sabres have lost five of their last seven games.

Game time is at 1 p.m.

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Strong defense carries Sixers in win over Mavericks

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The Sixers would be back on their home floor Thursday night in a matchup against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks. Both teams would start slow in this game, but it didn't take long for the Sixers to take full control.

Team defense would carry the Sixers, making every possession tough for the Mavericks. This engaged defense, along with strong performances from Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, would lead the Sixers to a convincing 111-97 victory.

Ben Simmons would not appear to have a great game looking at the box score, but he would be the standout player for the Sixers on Thursday night. His aggressive play on both ends of the floor would be a key factor in the Sixers running away with this game.

Simmons would finish this game with a stat line of 15 points, three rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and one block. What was most impressive about Simmons' efforts was his defense on Luka Doncic.

From the opening tip, Simmons made his life miserable, giving him no room to operate and funneling him right to Joel Embiid in the lane. Doncic would end the night with 19 points and turned the ball over seven times. On the other side of the floor, he continued to get downhill in transition and punish smaller matchups when switched on to him.

Embiid would have a rough shooting night on the outside but would still manage to put up numbers. Despite shooting 5-20 on the night the MVP favorite would score 23 points in just under 28 minutes of action.

Things would not go well for Tobias Harris in this matchup. He would score just six points before leaving the game in the second half due to a right knee contusion.

The Sixers' second unit has been in a dry spell over the last two weeks, but they would have a much-needed breakout game against Dallas. 46 of the team's 111 points would come from the bench.

Shake Milton and Dwight Howard in particular would lead the surge off the bench. Both would be two of the five Sixers to finish this game in double figures. Milton would score 10 points and dish six assists, while Howard would rack up 14 points and come down with eight rebounds.

Three-point shooting has also hurt the Sixers at times in their recent stretch but they look to be getting hot from deep after Tuesday's game against the Raptors. Five different Sixers would hit at least two threes tonight en route to shooting 41.4% from beyond the arc as a group. This effectiveness from the outside did a great job opening up the floor for Embiid and Simmons to attack around the rim.

The Sixers couldn't have kicked off their final stretch of the first half of the season in a better fashion. They were able to get their stars off their feet for the entire fourth quarter and keep up their dominant play on their home floor. Looking ahead, their next game will be on Saturday facing off against Collin Sexton and the Cleveland Cavaliers.


Rumor Report: Kyle Lowry open to trade to Philly

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

We are exactly one month away from the NBA trade deadline, and the rumors are starting to pick up. Recently Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer reported that Daryl Morey and the Sixers are still looking to make 'big moves' before the upcoming deadline. One name O'Connor tied to the Sixers is Raptors' guard Kyle Lowry.

The Lowry to Philly talk has gained even more steam as the Sixers and Raptors just wrapped up a two game series. Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer has reported that Lowry is open to the idea of being dealt to his hometown team.

A source said Lowry would like to be in Philly. The source believes the Sixers and Raptors might be able to get something done.

The Philadelphia native has played 26 games for the Raptors this year and is currently averaging 18.0 PPG, 5.5 RPG, and 6.5 APG. He is also shooting a stellar 39.5% from beyond the arc on seven attempts per game.

Lowry's playstyle fits what the Sixers should be looking to upgrade, but acquiring him is going to be no small task. Along with creating a package of proper compensation for a six-time All-Star, they have to match his 30 million dollar salary.

In a deal to acquire Lowry, the Sixers would have to include Danny Green, Mike Scott, Terrance Ferguson, and Tony Bradley, and that is just to salary match. They would still have to throw in draft pick(s) or a young player like Matisse Thybulle, Shake Milton, or Tyrese Maxey.

Bringing in Lowry would certainly push the Sixers more into the title picture, but will they have enough left to round out the roster after a deal like this is done? In using all of the contracts at the end of the bench to get Lowry, the Sixers will have very little to work with to continue to make upgrades.

All they would have left to upgrade the roster is the trade exception from the Al Horford deal (8.1 million) and what's left of the taxpayer's mid-level exception. Realistically speaking you still could acquire players to fill the bench with those, but you are leaving a lot to chance.

This is an interesting position to be in for the Sixers. They have the assets to get a Lowry deal done, but is it the right move? Should Morey play it safe and use his pieces to revamp the second unit to better fit a starting lineup that has played well together, or should he push all in and acquire a soon-to-be 35-year-old on an expiring contract? It looks like we could find out soon.

Morey has always been know for getting deals done so he is not just going to sit on his hands. It is all going to come down to if he wants to work the margins or make a big splash to his already star-filled lineup.


Flyers 5: Takeaways from Wednesday’s Flyers-Rangers Game

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

For two games, the Flyers played with a shorthanded roster and without the player that has been a fixture of the lineup for over a decade. It's certainly a rarity, especially after 328 consecutive games. The captain returned on Wednesday and had an immediate impact on the team. 

The Flyers were able to open up leads in the first and second period with a pair of goals in each, before ultimately holding on for a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers.

It wasn’t a pretty win, and it wasn’t going to be pretty with the Flyers still plenty shorthanded from their COVID situation. But Claude Giroux marked the first player to return on a list that will only be increasing with each passing day, and he showed just how motivated he was to come back strong.

Here are five takeaways from Wednesday’s win.

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