Sitting here waiting for my flight to Phoenix and contemplating the 76ers. Sixers flew to Phoenix after last night's loss to the Golden State Warriors and they will not practice today. They'll hold a morning shootaround on Wednesday in advance of Wednesday night's game against the Suns.
Here's the injury update, as far as we know it right now: Andre Iguodala (Achilles tendinitis) is listed as day-to-day. Before last night's game, Sixers coach Doug Collins seemed hopeful that Iguodala would be available against the Suns, especially given the off day between games. No official word yet on Iguodala's status for that game. Forward Jason Kapono (strained calf) has been on the inactive list for the previous few games, even before he injured the calf on Saturday. He's day-to-day, although his activation status depends on if Iguodala plays. Lou Williams is expected to join the team in Phoenix and play tomorrow night.
Last night's loss to the Warriors was interesting for a few reasons: Basically no Marreese Speights, a struggling offensive game for Evan Turner, and absolutely no perimeter defense against the three-point line. It's difficult to say how much of the wide-open shots were a result of Iguodala's absence. It's tough to imagine that D. Wright would score 28 points if Iguodala was swarming the perimeter. Regardless, Iguodala's absence, coupled with Williams' absence, seemed to open the door for Turner, whose minutes have been limited lately. If there was any game in which Turner should have exploded offensively, this was it. Golden State isn't very good on defense and Turner could attack offensively without worrying about deferring to Iguodala or Williams. On Monday night, it seemed, we'd really get a chance to see what Evan Turner is all about.
What we saw instead was a guy who seems unable to create much offensively. He seems to be attacking the basket with the mentality that he's going to be rejected and he's shooting the perimeter shot like he expects to miss. As a result, he's getting rejected and he's missing. There's nothing wrong with Turner's effort, it just seems like he's not checked into doing the little things that make a play. At one point on the right wing, while trying to make an entry pass into the post, he couldn't even get his wrap-around bounce pass past his own defender. And then we saw that in the third quarter, Collins went with Nocioni and Craig Brackins before he went back to Turner. The worrisome part of all of this is that now that Lou is back, and now that Iguodala is likely back, Turner has kept himself in a position to play limited minutes. After what we watched on Monday night, you can't really argue that Collins needs to give Turner more than the obligatory minutes. The minutes Turner does get will be because of his status as the No. 2 pick.
As for Speights, he didn't seem overly eager to check into the game with about 2 minutes left. Speights spent the entire game sitting all the way at the end of the bench, past even Kapono, who was dressed in a suit. If that doesn't tell you exactly what Speights was anticipating from Monday night's game (i.e. he wasn't anticipating playing) then nothing will.
Losing Monday night's game was disappointing because it really was a game the Sixers should have won, even if they were shorthanded. The good thing is we'll get to see a more complete unit take the floor against the Suns.
And the road trip keeps on chugging along. Time to board this flight to Phoenix.
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