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Jack McCaffery is the lead sports columnist for the Daily Times and He has spent several decades covering everything from the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers, to college hoops, to high school sports in Delco.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Bynum rules killing 76ers

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sixers booed for a reason

Doug Collins said he was never booed as a 76er. For two reasons, that claim is correct.

One: He was never booed because he played on some developing teams.

Two: He was never booed because he played on some great teams.

But Collins never played on a team like he has now --- a collection of uninspired, mid-career average pros. And that team was booed during and after its 98-84 loss to the Orlando Magic Tuesday in the Wells Fargo Center.

“Nobody takes this harder than I do,” Collins said afterward. “Nobody. And when I have coached, I have always been able to find some answers. And I have not been able to find answers. And from my standpoint, that is very disappointing. Because I am paid to do that.” He added, “If everybody looked inside themselves like I do, the world would be a CAT scan."
Maybe a scan, an x-ray or a better anti-gravity contraption can help Andrew Bynum to play. As for Tuesday, the center didn't bother to meet the press for an informal update on that injury that has kept him from everything but bowling since he became a Sixer. Nor did he bother to spend the night sitting on the bench.
Not only is Bynum not helping, in other words, but his clear disinteret in all-things-Sixers has to be becoming a detriment.
The Sixers have lost six in a row.
"We didn't come with any fight at all," Collins said.
That's why the Sixers are treated differently by the fans now than when he played.
Check out my column on the faceless Sixers in the Daily Times Wednesday, and as always, on

Monday, February 25, 2013

Sports gets, don't gets

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Phillies taking a calculated risk

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Flyers still have a lot to prove

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sixers need to steal a playoff spot

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Some sports thoughts ...

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Martelli alleges some 'Poor refereeing'

Phil Martelli said "the better team won" after Saint Joseph's fell, 76-64, Saturday to La Salle at the Palestra.

That didn't stop him from citing  "poor refereeing" in the context of what he'd considered to be the ignoring of Explorers allegedly flopping in front of Hawk Halil Kanacevic in an attempt to draw fouls.

This, from Martelli:

“The flops have to stop. It's just silly. That's just silly. Nothing to do with the game. But it did impact his game. It's just silly. It's poor refereeing. But I think that Halil has … we've been able to restrict his game a little bit and put the ball more in the post. What I want him to become is a a great layup shooter. He is a good layup shooter. But he is not a great layup shooter yet. He stayed with it. He had composure in the second half. (I was) just kind of probing and looking to see if we could play three bigs. But the ball was just on a string from from (Ramon) Galloway to (Tyreek) Duren.

“Halil? That's what he has given us every day in practice. And to be honest with you, some of the inconsistency that you're seeing, that's what we see in practice. We think like, 'That can't be the same guy, not from two plays ago.' But Halil has practiced in a very mature way since he came back from his suspension.”

Kanacevic was suspended by Martelli for two games earlier in the season after he'd taunted Villanova fans in the Pavilion. For that, Martelli says, the alleged La Salle flopping had a chance to rattle Kanacevic, who was not available for comment afterward.

“Because he's mine, I can say this: He is a highly emotional guy, OK?” Martelli said. “And those flops can set you to getting engaged with referees. He did last year. And he hasn't this year. Look: He had a meltdown at Villanova and he is accountable for that. But he hasn't engaged in anything. And when it is that poor --- when it is that evident to everybody in the place except the guy who blows the whistle --- that can set you off. But he's maintained it.”

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

RIP, Matt White

It was sad to read in the Daily Times about the tragic passing of Matt White, the former Penn basketball center.

I remember him as the kind of professional-grade big man that the Quakers used to have when they were expected to win, against any team, any time, in any setting. He was about 6-11, fundamentally sound, a competitor. Then, if Penn wasn't the best team in the East, its fans and coaches would demand to know why not.

The Quakers went to the Final Four in 1979, lost to Michigan State, then took DePaul to overtime two nights later in the consolation game before losing, 96-93. They were one of the best teams in college basketball, not a novelty act that sneaked into the national semifinals. White was a big reason why, pun intended.

Some who remember White more clearly knew him as a gentleman --- one who could be found wearing a sweater, reading a book and smoking a pipe during road trips, more a distinguished grown-up than a rambunctious college student. They remember him as an avid pianist, and as one who, when provided the opportunity to play basketball professionally in Europe, chose his destination based largely on where the finer wines were produced.

Ivy League man, big-time ballplayer.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Chester made a point against N-G

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Column on Danny Briere's status as a winner

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Briere delivers ... as if on cue

Julius Erving on a breakaway.

The Legion of Doom, with the puck, at full speed.

DeSean Jackson ready for a punt-return.

Chase Utley, in 2008.

How many Philadelphia athletes, over so many years, have so conditioned the fan base to expect success that there mere presence elicits calm, not panic?

Danny Briere is one.

Briere scored the game-winner, in overtime of the Flyers' 4-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes Saturday. But it was what happened just before that would tell the deeper story.

"Yeah," Briere said, smiling, "I heard it."

What he heard was a roar of anticipation --- the kind of anticipation that only few athletes earn. Naturally, he delivered.

"That's why he is a special player," Jakub Voracek said.

Check out my column on Danny Briere and the way the fans expect him to deliver, Sunday in the Daily Times and, as always, on

Friday, February 8, 2013

Sixers OK with moving Holiday off ball

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sixers' patience with Bynum is strange

Monday, February 4, 2013

Bynum, Sixers in no particular hurry

Andrew Bynum surfaced in the Sixers' locker room around 6:20 for a 7 o'clock tip Monday. That's on time for an inactive player, and it is the way it is with him and the Sixers any more.

Nobody, apparently, is in any hurry to have him play, not even with the Sixers desperately trying to stage a playoff-push.

“I'll see him and say 'Hi,'” Doug Collins said. “And I watch him. You can see him starting to move around a little more. I think the big thing with him is that he just had the injections in both of his knees, and he came back, and I think he feels good about that. I really don't talk to him much about that. I am trying to focus on the guys we have playing. But he is starting to feel better. Hopefully, that's going to continue.”

It might. But who knows?

The All-Star break is next week, and Bynum is heading back to L.A. It must be because he can better rehab his knees there. It can't be because he needs the vacation.

The relevance of Bynum and his absense was heightened Monday when Nik Vucevic, the fifth leading rebounder in the NBA, had another 14 rebounds for the Magic. The Sixers, remember, crammed Vucevic into the multi-pronged deal for Bynym, desperate as they were to make a relevant offseason move.

The Sixers won, 78-61, over the Magic, which was missing four key players, including Chester High All-Delco Jameer Nelson. That ran their winning streak to three and continued to nudge them back into the Eastern Confrence playoff race.

At some point, Bynum would help.

However ...

“I don't have any idea,” Bynum said, “about that yet.”
Check out my column on the Sixers, their missing center, their patience and Vucevic, who could help them now, in the Daily Times Tuesday and, as always, on

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Hawks' experience showing

Saint Joseph's began the Atlantic 10 season at 1-3, but has won its last three, including a 70-69 victory Saturday over Temple.

The climb, Phil Martelli calls it.

So a climb it remains for the Hawks, who have 13 wins and need plenty more to win an NCAA Tournament spot. But the way they are playing --- and the way they fought to beat Temple --- suggests that their moment has arrived.

The Hawks were built for this. They start four upperclassmen after an interesting, NIT season last year. Against Temple, in a Big 5 pip, they controlled the lane, refused to buckle, played more physical.

"Our experience is starting to show," Halil Kanacevic said.

Next, they will play at Dayton. Martelli has begun to warn of that danger. He's right. Suddenly, though, it is a challenge that the Hawks will have a good shot to handle.

Check out my column from Hawk Hill in the Daily Times Sunday and, as always, on

Friday, February 1, 2013

The next time anyone says the Sixers should miss the playoffs and collect lottery picks ...

... show them the Sacramento Kings.

Friday at the Wells Fargo Center, the Kings rolled out a virtual highlights film of recent NBA drafts ... then played one hideous game of basketball, lost by nine and fell to 17-31.

"We know we have great talent," said Tyreke Evans, the Kings' former All-Delco guard. "We know we can play with anybody. We just have to be ready every night.”

They should be able to beat anybody by now, after six consecutive non-playoff season and resulting Draft Day treats. But that's not how it works in the real world.

As for the Sixers, their better bet is to keep a spot open for Andrew Bynum, continue to improve with their new playing rotation ... and avoid the believing the false promise of multiple lottery picks.

Check out my column in the Daily Times Saturday and, as always, on

Philly sports prop bets ... and other notes