The NHL, NBA, and MLB are all well on their way to resuming their seasons. MLB opening day is today (Phillies on Friday), the Sixers first exhibition game is Friday afternoon, and the Flyers first scrimmage is on Tuesday.
The formats the NBA and NHL have developed to finish their seasons and the 60 game season MLB has instituted have created much debate. But which Philadelphia team benefited most from the layoffs and structures put in place?
This poll was run on twitter a few days ago asking that exact question.
It seems most fans believe the layoff helped the Sixers the most. Ben Simmons was out with a back injury that would have kept him out for the remainder of the regular season and most of the playoffs. Al Horford had nagging injuries. And the team as a whole was playing inconsistent basketball. Since entering the bubble, the team has become healthy. They also have had time to restructure their rotation. Shake Milton has been running as the starting point guard. Al Horford has not shared the floor with Joel Embiid in practice at all. And Ben Simmons has played at the PF spot mostly. And of course there is more videos of Ben Simmons draining 3’s in practice.
The Flyers, did not have as many injuries to recover from. Their biggest boost from the layoff is coming in the form of the return of Oskar Lindblom. Lindblom was having a breakout season before his season was cut short with a Ewing’s Sarcoma diagnosis. The months long layoff, has given him the time to finish kicking cancers ass (way to freakin go Oskar!)! Whether he plays or not in the restart, the Flyers coaching staff expect him to be a part of the 31 player bubble. The Last Out writers team had a debate and several writers feel that whether he plays or not, he will give the team the emotional boost just being there. If he is capable of playing, he will give the team an offensive boost they need. In the 30 games he played this season he had 11 goals and 7 assists.
The Phillies are the team not getting any love on the twitter poll. In a 60 game baseball season, anything can happen. A five game loosing streak will look like a 15 game loosing streak. If a pitcher has three straight bad outings, they may pull the trigger and take that player out of the rotation. The biggest thing that the layoff did for the Phillies was get Andrew McCutchen fully healthy. In 2019, prior to McCutchen’s injury,the Phillies were in first place. McCutchen had an OPS of .834 and was a catalyst at the top of the lineup. After he went down with the torn ACL, the Phillies were 48-55, finishing in fourth place in the division. He was scheduled to spend the beginning of the season on the disabled list and now will be ready to go day 1.
Who do you think benefited the most? Are you ready for these leagues to resume? As always comment or leave me a message on twitter!