Henry: Four in frame for captaincy

Posted On Sep 21 2020 by

first_img Press Association The Ulster loose-forward sees Ireland’s autumn international captaincy as a four-way fight between Paul O’Connell, Brian O’Driscoll, Jamie Heaslip and Rory Best. New head coach Schmidt will confirm his skipper on Thursday, with Munster talisman O’Connell still the favourite despite continued calf trouble. O’Connell is expected to feature in Saturday’s opening autumn clash against Samoa in Dublin, but forwards coach John Plumtree admitted he may not last the full match. Henry admitted whoever Schmidt chooses will receive the squad’s full backing but he revealed the four men he feels best-placed to lead the side. “We as players don’t really know who the captain is yet,” said the eight-cap forward. “But look around: there are options all over the place and Paul (O’Connell) definitely is up there. “There’s a lot of inspirational characters there. I suppose sometimes when I’m running around training, you look at the circle of players and you still have to take a second glance sometimes, with Paulie, Drico and Jamie, and Rory as well. “Whoever gets the nod will be extremely proud of course but there are options all over the place, and the fact that we have so many leaders, whoever gets the nod will have a lot of experienced hands behind him as well. “I’m glad I don’t have to make the decision, but in my head the four candidates would be Paul, Drico, Jamie and Rory. “Any one of those boys will do exactly the right job and we’d all stick behind them exactly the way it should be.” Ireland boast four captaincy front-runners who could lead the squad into the Joe Schmidt era, believes flanker Chris Henry. Lock O’Connell, centre O’Driscoll, number eight Heaslip and hooker Best hold a combined 334 caps, with an average age of 32. Ireland’s need to usher in long-term successors in a host of positions underpins Schmidt’s accession. Henry expects big-hitting Samoa to provide a stern test of Ireland’s early credentials under former New Zealand schoolteacher Schmidt. But he warned the Pacific Islanders’ physical threat will be matched by their defence-splitting offloading game. Henry said: “The small bit of defence we have done so far has been about their offloading game; their continuity. “Once they get the ball, it’s about us trying to connect (tackle) as quickly as possible. “We want to keep the ball but there are going to be turnovers and whenever that happens we’ve got to respond very quickly. “They’ve got some serious ball carriers in their team and they always want to keep the ball alive. “We’ve got to focus on that ball and stop the offloads.” last_img read more

Mata: Giggs has got what it takes

Posted On Sep 21 2020 by

first_imgJuan Mata feels Ryan Giggs is the perfect man to lead Manchester United. Press Association Giggs’ reign as United manager got off to the best start possible on Saturday as the Red Devils strolled to a 4-0 win over Norwich at Old Trafford. After a slightly cumbersome first half United sprang into life after the break, playing with width, pace and flair – just as Giggs had demanded. Mata, another of Moyes’ signings, was happy to end a tumultuous few days for the club on a high. “It has been a difficult week for us,” the Spaniard told MUTV. “A change of manager is never good news because it means that you are not doing the things right but today it was very important to win and give the fans what they deserve.” Moyes made no mention of the United playing squad in his midweek statement, but Mata, for one, was sad to see the 51-year-old go. “I will always be grateful to him because he was the one who brought me here and gave me the chance to play for this amazing club,” said Mata, who signed for United from Chelsea for £37.5million in January. “I wish him and his staff the best in the future.” Giggs admitted he barely slept on the eve of the match as he was worried about dropping some of his team-mates, such as Mata. But it turned out all right for the interim United boss. Norwich never looked like beating David de Gea once the hosts found their rhythm. Giggs was happy with his team’s performance, but he knows he must stay grounded. “I thought we ended the game really well,” said Giggs, who has been told he will be in charge until the end of the season. “It would have been nice if Chicho (Javier Hernandez) had scored a fifth at the end but I can’t get too greedy. “And I can’t get carried away either. It’s the first game. We are at Old Trafford and we are expected to win. “We will look forward to the Sunderland game and hope for the same performance.” Giggs, who is taking his coaching badges, added: “Maybe I should retire now with a 100 per cent record!” Norwich, meanwhile, face a real battle to stay in the Premier League. The Canaries, who have lost their last five matches, face Chelsea and Arsenal in their remaining two games and interim manager Neil Adams knows time is running out for his men. “There are two massive, massive games now, and we need to take points from both of them,” Adams said. “I’ve seen character in the dressing room. There are people in there now who are hurt.” Giggs may not be under consideration for the post on a full-time basis, but many of the 75,208 fans who were inside Old Trafford wish he was. Mata is also a big fan of Giggs, even though he was dropped to the bench by the Welshman for Saturday’s game. “If we speak about Ryan we speak about a Manchester United person,” said Mata, who scored twice following his introduction on the hour. “He was very successful here as a player and now he is leading the team. We are all happy because who is better to do it?” Giggs said prior to kick-off that he wanted to “restore the positivity” around the club following an extremely disappointing campaign under David Moyes. The 40-year-old certainly did that. The greeting Giggs received from the fans as he strode down the touchline in his club suit was real Roy of the Rovers stuff. There was little mention of Moyes at Old Trafford. The ‘Chosen One’ banner had gone and Giggs did his best to make a clean break from the Scot’s reign. Giggs made six changes to the team that lost 2-0 to Everton in Moyes’ final game in charge while Marouane Fellaini – the Scot’s £27.5million signing – was not even on the bench. last_img read more

Wylie lines up Cheltenham team

Posted On Sep 20 2020 by

first_img “To be honest, I’ve been a bit disappointed with him this season,” said Wylie. “I thought he was going to finish seventh when he came over the last in last year’s Gold Cup, but by the end, I thought he’d maybe won it. He stormed up that hill, and to come second was brilliant. I had to supplement him for the race, and I was just thinking ‘don’t make an idiot of me’. “He ran well in the Lexus, but the ground was heavy that day and it was a stamina test. That’s what he wants. In the Hennessy, it was better ground, and Ruby got off and said three miles wasn’t far enough for him. “He’s going back to the Gold Cup. It’s three-mile-two, with a hill at the end, and hopefully the greater stamina test, run at more of a pace, might suit him.” Speaking to The Northern Echo, he said: “He’ll run in the Albert Bartlett over three miles. He’s a monster, and I’m sure he’ll stay that no problem. He’s been in great form, although it’s a bit of a shame that we haven’t been able to get him out since December. “There haven’t been that many three-mile races to put him in, and that’s what he needs. Willie’s looking forward to seeing him in action again, and there’s also a chance he could roll on to Aintree and Punchestown too.” Wylie will be represented in all three novice hurdles, with last year’s Cheltenham Bumper runner-up Shaneshill in the Supreme and Nichols Canyon the favourite for the Neptune. The owner went on: “Shaneshill hasn’t been out since he came second at Navan in December because he had a setback. Willie says he’s hoping to get him to Cheltenham for us. He’s not there yet, but he’s getting there and if he lines up it’ll be in the Supreme and he’ll have a decent chance. “Willie obviously has Douvan in the race as well, and some people are saying the Supreme is not the right race for him (Shaneshill), but Willie is adamant it is. Hopefully, his stamina will come into play. “Nichols Canyon has been excellent all season, and it’s just a shame he stepped on that hurdle over Christmas (at Leopardstown) because that’s the only blemish on his record. He would have won three Grade Ones if that hadn’t happened. “He’s still a double Grade One winner, though, and if he jumps well, Ruby (Walsh) says he has tons of stamina. He’ll run in the Neptune, and he’s got a great chance.” Wylie came within inches of winning the Gold Cup 12 months ago with On His Own and while his form this year has not set the chasing scene alight, he will have another crack at the feature. The Willie Mullins-trained six-year-old has only run twice over hurdles, winning at Cork both times, with his most recent outing coming over three miles. Wylie did, however, admit his lack of jumping experience is playing on his mind a little. Owner Graham Wylie has described Black Hercules as “a monster” ahead of his run in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Press Associationlast_img read more

Rafael blow for Manchester United

Posted On Sep 20 2020 by

first_img Adnan Januzaj appears to be available despite coming off in the same under-21 match as Rafael with an ankle injury. “(His injury) is not so heavy,” Van Gaal said. Another piece of good news for Van Gaal is that centre-back Jonny Evans is available, having served his six-match ban for spitting at Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse. Sunday will be the first time in-form Marouane Fellaini has returned to Goodison Park since Everton sold him to United for £27.5million. Fellaini was a cult hero at Goodison Park after spending five successful years at the club, so his decision to leave for United did not go down well with a number of Everton fans. But Van Gaal has no concerns about Fellaini’s temperament, nor his ability to take his old team apart. “Marouane Fellaini has qualities and we want to let them dominate in a team and that’s why his performances are better just now,” Van Gaal said. “I have spoken with Fellaini because I know this (is his first game back there). “Fellaini is always dry in his answers. He said, ‘It’s a game…’. (I said,) ‘Yes, but it’s a special game for you’. “I hope the fans shall receive him like the Chelsea fans received Juan Mata because I like that very much. I hope it’s like that.” Last week’s defeat at Chelsea brought to an end a run of six straight wins for United. That streak had cemented their place in the top four, but Van Gaal is still not completely happy with his team’s position in the table. Ideally he would like them to be top of the pile, but he acknowledged last week that was almost impossible after dropping 11 points behind leaders Chelsea. He would still like to finish above Manchester City, who are one point behind the Red Devils in fourth, as that would mean United would qualify directly for the Champions League. Van Gaal experienced a nervy Champions League qualifier against Skonto Riga in 1997 when his Barcelona team – which included the likes of Pep Guardiola, Luis Enrique and Luis Figo – edged into the group stages with a 4-2 victory over two legs. The Catalans needed a last-minute goal from Hristo Stoickhov to win the first leg at the Nou Camp and Van Gaal wants to avoid another qualifying round in August. “It is more easy (if you finish third),” he said. “Your preparation for the new season is more easy then. “Normally you have to win that kind of match because Manchester United shall be in the stronger group so it’s not very difficult. “They (the board) have set this goal (of a top four finish) for me to achieve. “I am always in a club to win the championship, not the third or fourth position. “If we achieve our goal my board and the owners will be very happy.” Van Gaal’s predecessor David Moyes was sacked after this fixture last year, with United languishing in seventh position. Van Gaal’s job is secure – even if United do not finish in the top four. In fact, the Dutchman has already started planning for next season. His scouts have been assessing potential targets and new deals have been handed to a number of players including Chris Smalling, who signed a new four-year contract this week. “We have already extended a few contracts. We are busy with next season,” Van Gaal said. Van Gaal refused to comment on speculation PSV Eindhoven forward Memphis Depay had already flown in for talks. “I don’t discuss it with the media,” Van Gaal said of the 21-year-old, who was a regular for Holland under the United manager. “I have a lot of relationships with players. I cannot buy all the players I’ve coached already.” Manchester United right-back Rafael will miss the rest of the season with a rib injury, manager Louis van Gaal has said. Rafael came off during an Under-21 game against Leicester on Monday after an aerial collision with Anthony Knockaert. And Van Gaal told MUTV on Friday that the player will miss the final five games of the campaign. Van Gaal said of the setback: “It’s unbelievable. “He has broken his ribs so he shall not play any more this season for Manchester United. It’s very unfortunate.” In truth, the news about Rafael is not such a big blow for Van Gaal. The Brazilian has not started a Barclays Premier League game for the club since October. Of more concern to the United boss is the long list of other players who are out through injury. Phil Jones (ankle), Michael Carrick (calf) and Marcos Rojo (adductor) all missed last weekend’s defeat to Chelsea and are not fit to feature at Everton on Sunday. The only man who could return is midfielder Daley Blind, who missed the 1-0 loss at Stamford Bridge due to an ankle problem. “Only Blind maybe can reach the game against Everton but Jones, Carrick and Rojo cannot play,” the Dutchman added. Press Associationlast_img read more

Ndidi, Iheanacho on Duty as Leicester Claim all Three Points against…

Posted On Sep 17 2020 by

first_imgNdidi wired the pass to Hamza Choudhury to make it three unreplied goals for the Foxes barely three minutes to end the game.Iheanacho was once again in Leicester’s starting line up before going off for Demarai Gray on 63rd minute.Ayoze Perez fired the opener for Leicester on 36 minutes, following a careless back pass from a Newcastle defender.Another poor clear out from the back saw Leicester capitalise again and went two goals up on 39 minutes through James Maddison.While the game was Ndidi’s 20th league appearance, Iheanacho featured in his fifth outing.The win keeps Leicester rooted to the second spot of the English Premier League behind Liverpool on 45 points.Elsewhere at St Mary’s, Southampton continues their revival following their hard fought 1-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur.Danny Ings was the hero as his 17th minute superb strike, made it three wins for Southampton in their last four league games with one draw.Spurs suffered a huge injury blow as Harry Kane went off holding his hamstring in the 75th minute.The North London side are now sixth on 30 points with Southampton on 11th and with 25 points.And at Vicarage Road, Nigerian forward Isaac Success was an unused substitute in 10-man Watford’s 2-1 win against Wolverhampton Wanderers.Success has only made four league appearances for Watford this season.Gerard Deulofeu and Abdoulaye Doucoure scored on 30th and 49th minutes respectively to put Watford 2-0.On the hour mark, Wolves pulled a goal back off Pedro Neto.In the 70th minute, Watford were reduced to 10 men after Christian Kabasele was shown a straight red card, for stopping a Wolves player who was goal-bound.Watford are now unbeaten in four league games, securing three wins and one draw.Despite the win Watford are 19th on 19 points while Wolves have now lost two straight league games, after losing to Liverpool before facing Watford.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram PREMIERSHIPSuper Eagles duo of Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho began the New Year on a clean slate, claiming the first three points on offer for Leicester City.Ndidi in particular provided an assist as Leicester City handed Newcastle 3-0 defeat on New Year day clash at St James’ Park. Iheanacho (right) played last_img read more

Crashing net for rebounds has become Orange ice hockey’s bread and butter

Posted On Sep 17 2020 by

first_img Published on December 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm Facebook Twitter Google+ The act of crashing the net symbolizes Paul Flanagan’s Syracuse ice hockey team. And the scene of the team’s leading scorer, Isabel Menard, doing just that is one of many. The success that has been generated in similar situations has created a new mindset for the players as well. ‘I think I should be doing that more,’ said Menard, a sophomore forward. ‘Anybody that takes a shot, I will just crash. I know last year I didn’t do that enough, but this year I’m trying to focus on that a little bit more.’ On that play, Menard skated from the right side of the ice into the attacking zone and sent a wrist shot toward the net. The puck was blocked, but with three Syracuse players surrounding the net, the puck crossed the goal line seconds later. Just another rebound goal sent home by Megan Skelly. The red light turned on, and the offensive onslaught continued. The Orange caught fire this weekend and kept Wayne State’s goalkeeper Delayne Brian busy in the process. SU (8-7-2) has a good chance to extend its two-game winning streak against Princeton (4-10-1) in a two-game series this weekend.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text And the Orange will still be clawing for those rebound goals that have been there all season. This year, when Menard enters the offensive zone, she has one objective in mind. ‘Get the puck toward the net and generate a rebound,’ she said. With a monthlong break on the horizon, Flanagan sees a successful weekend as added motivation for SU at the halfway mark of the season. ‘We have a real good opportunity to play a real good team down at Princeton and finish up the semester in a real good way,’ Flanagan said. ‘Hopefully all our energy is used to get ready for that game and final exams.’ The Tigers may provide the Orange an opportunity to end the first half of the season on the right foot. Syracuse’s offense has been able to create numerous scoring chances in its last five games, meaning the opportunities to come away victorious are there. Now teams need to be weary of how the puck is coming off of any Syracuse player’s stick. Last weekend’s goals came following slap shots and wrist shots or simply anything fired on net. Anything that would create a rebound. When the Orange generated enough shots on goal, it led to greater scoring opportunities. The Orange scored three of its five goals during Saturday’s contest with the Warriors off rebounds. SU players are beginning to understand the rewards that can come from crashing the net. For the Orange, this weekend’s series may be one of its best opportunities to get wins away from the Tennity Ice Pavilion this season. With six of the team’s nine games on the road in the month of January, Flanagan hopes his team will make the most of this opportunity. ‘I think we feel that we need to win all of our points at home and steal some on the road if we want to position ourselves to be a high seed in the playoffs,’ Flanagan said. ‘One of our goals is to get back to that championship game.’ SU may be playing Princeton at just the right time. The Tigers have given up 14 goals in their last five games. The recent offensive success of the Orange could carry the team successfully into break. Following Saturday’s victory against Wayne State, Skelly acknowledged that sweeps are important confidence builders for the rest of the season. Especially heading into the team’s heavily-concentrated conference schedule following break. ‘Our goal at the beginning of the year was to get to that CHA conference final,’ Skelly said. ‘This should instill some confidence in the team that we are a great team and we can win.’ The Princeton series presents a big chance for the Orange — as long as it continues to play its crashing style of hockey. ‘It would be really nice to finish up with a sweep,’ Flanagan said. ‘And come back here in January, re-energized with a good record to start off the new semester.’ adtredin@syr.educenter_img Commentslast_img read more

STAFF : Syracuse softball scores only 4 runs in 3-game sweep at South Florida

Posted On Sep 17 2020 by

first_imgThe Syracuse softball team that is off to its best start in program history was humbled this weekend, getting swept in a three-game set by South Florida. The Orange (24-8, 3-3 Big East) scored just four runs in the three games combined, losing 3-1, 7-3 and 4-0.In the first game Saturday, USF pitcher Lindsey Richardson slowed down the SU bats early, keeping them off the scoreboard for the first two innings. That gave her offense time to score three runs in the bottom of the first, and the Syracuse offense never mustered a comeback. The offensive power outage and sloppy defense set a tone for the entire weekend for Syracuse.The Bulls (22-15, 4-0) jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the second game, scoring through big blasts and errors on SU’s part. Syracuse’s offense came alive late in the game, scoring three runs, but the Orange left the bases loaded in the seventh inning.Syracuse’s bats were silenced by USF pitcher Sara Nevins in Sunday’s finale, as Jenna Caira’s double in the seventh inning was the only hit SU could muster. The Orange’s shoddy defense continued Sunday, as SU made five errors in the first inning. This let the Bulls take a 4-0 lead. South Florida didn’t score again, but it didn’t matter with Nevins on the mound.After going into the weekend at the top of the Big East with a 3-0 record, SU dropped seven spots to eighth with the sweep.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textTennisThe Syracuse women’s tennis team (14-6, 6-1 Big East) split its pair of matches this weekend, losing 1-6 to No. 49 William & Mary on Saturday before rebounding to defeat Old Dominion 6-1 on Sunday. Saturday’s loss was the Orange’s third loss against a ranked opponent this season. SU has yet to defeat a ranked team this season.Aleah Marrow was the only player to pick up a victory against William & Mary. Marrow won in straight sets 6-2, 6-3 at the No. 6 singles position. Emily Harman and Simone Kalhorn each forced three sets but eventually lost their matches.Maddie Kobelt and Harman lost their first match as the No. 32 ranked doubles team, losing in a tiebreaker 8-7 (5). The loss to 40th-ranked Anik Cepeda and Hope Johnson snapped the No. 1 SU doubles pair’s 10-game winning streak.Harman and Kobelt responded with an 8-3 victory against the Monarchs on Sunday. Kobelt won her team-best 29th overall match, defeating Diana Ivanova 7-6, 7-6 at the No. 2 singles position.No. 4 singles player Christina Tan won her match in convincing fashion, defeating Margarita Belyakova 6-1, 6-2. Kalhorn and Marrow each won their matches in straight sets at the No. 5 and 6 singles positions, respectively. Marrow was the only player to win each of her singles matches during the weekend road trip.— Compiled by The Daily Orange Sports staff  Comments Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Published on April 3, 2011 at 12:00 pmlast_img read more

Mia Mottley becomes Barbados’ first female Prime Minister in landslide victory

Posted On Aug 31 2020 by

first_imgOn Thursday, Barbadians elected Mia Mottley as the first-ever woman to head a government in the country in an historic victory for the Barbados Labor Party (BLP).The preliminary results show that the opposition party is on track to sweep all 30 seats in the Parliament. As te results became evident, Mottley thanked Barbadians for doing “what is best for Barbados.”The 52-year-old BLP leader thanked outgoing Prime Minister Stuart “for his service to Barbados” but reminded the nation that “the people have spoken. The victory is not mine, not the Barbados Labor Party, this victory is the people of Barbados victory.”She said that she wanted the victory to be recognized also as te result of “a people’s campaign” and welcomed the new legislators who had embarked on “this special journey. Leading this team has been the privilege of my life, it is now for us to move forward because the electioneering has stopped,” she said, adding that she wanted to thank all those who had offered themselves and had not successful.“I urge them to continue in the spirit of service and…in building this country,” she said, adding that she would begin the task of rebuilding the country“ immediately.The election was fought against the backdrop of a worsening economic situation in Barbados. Mottley said in order to move forward her administration will release the latest International Monetary Fund (IMF) report on Friday so that Barbadians will know what is expected going forward.“We have also committed to releasing the noose of taxes around our necks…if this economy is to grow again, then… that will be business number one for us.”Mottley said her Cabinet will be appointed by Monday, and reminded the country that “all ideas must contend.” She said even before the government has a right to take a decision “all ideas must contend and we have already committed in our manifesto to putting in place a framework for people’s initiatives that come from you and  not started with us.“We have committed to referenda because we believe there are certain fundamental issues that we must consult with you on. Some will be binding, and some will be advisory.”But she pledged “there will be no gloating. There is no way there will be a mistrust of the absolute mandate that you have given to the Barbados Labor Party.”Earlier, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, 66,  accepted “full responsibility” for the defeat of his Democratic Labor Party in the general election. He also announced he is leaving electoral politics in Barbados.Stuart, who entered elective politics in 1994, said Thursday’s general election would have been his last regardless of the results and that he would assist the party as it moves to name a replacement for him.Speaking at the party’s headquarters, Stuart said his administration had to govern in a very challenging environment in the 21st century , adding “we did the best we could according to our likeness and according to our judgement  over the very difficult and challenging decade in which we had to administer the affairs of Barbados”.Hundreds of BLP supporters took to the streets during the early hours of Friday to celebrate the victory. Meanwhile, Mottley urged the private sector to close down their businesses at midday on Friday.last_img read more

Berekum Chelsea players in road accident

Posted On Aug 28 2020 by

first_imgThree players of the reserve side of Premier League side, Berekum Chelsea, are reported to have suffered serious injuries in an accident on the Berekum-Dormaa road in the Brong Ahafo region.The team was on its way to play Aduana Stars in a league match when the accident occurred.Club Chief Executive, Nana Kwame Nketia, has told Luv Sports the three injured players have been rushed to the hospital.The cause of the accident is not immediately known, but there are unconfirmed reports some passengers in a taxi cab involved died.Meanwhile, the reserve match between the two sides has been called off, while the regular match is expected to go ahead.Source: Luv Sports/Kumasi/Ghanalast_img

76ers coach says no one has worked harder than Joel Embiid ahead of NBA’s return

Posted On Aug 13 2020 by

first_imgEmbiid’s fitness has always been a topic of discussion, and all eyes will be on the three-time All-Star center when the NBA returns following the coronavirus pandemic.MORE: TV schedule, key dates for the NBA restartPhiladelphia’s first game back will be against the Indiana Pacers, who share identical 39-26 records to be fifth and sixth respectively, on Aug. 1.And Brown had high praise for Embiid’s training and conditioning midweek.”Let’s start with the respect and applause I give him for putting in time. There is nobody on our team that has put in more time than Joel Embiid,” Brown told reporters on Wednesday.”Forget what he has actually done in the gym for a minute, just go to the man hours and consecutive days and the amount of days he has put in over the past few months. I’m proud of him, I respect him. He needed to do it. We understand the impact he can have on our team.”Coming to your screens August 1st.. pic.twitter.com/db7B4Ycg1R— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) June 27, 2020Embiid had been averaging 23.4 points, 11.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game this season.”We’ve got a three-week runway to deliver him to the regular season,” Brown said. “I’m looking for Joel to come in in as good of shape as he’s been in since I have coached him.”I think the three weeks we have together is an inverted sort of luxury we haven’t had. I’m excited for Jo to get back into this and show what he has been doing the last few months.”MORE: List of NBA players opting out of return Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown said no one has worked harder than Joel Embiid as he hailed the All-Star ahead of the NBA’s return.The 2019-20 NBA season is set to restart via a 22-team format at the Disney World complex in Orlando, Fla., on July 30 after the campaign was halted due to COVID-19 in March. The 76ers — 14 games behind the Eastern Conference and NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks (53-12) — are also set to be boosted by the return of fellow All-Star Ben Simmons.Simmons has been sidelined since February due to a back injury, but Brown added: “He’s good to go. He’s put in a tremendous amount of work for me to be able to confidently say that.”As you search for silver linings with this pandemic and the way things have shaped up, it would be hard-pressed for me to find something more obvious than this: It’s enabled Ben to reclaim his health. He’s good to go, and we look forward to watching him with what I’m told is effectively 100 percent health.”last_img read more