Archive: December, 2012
OAKLAND - If the 76ers (14-15) are going to extend their winning streak to four games over the Golden State Warriors in their game tonight at Oracle Arena, they better be prepared to face a team that looks nothing like last season’s version of the team (23-43).
Last season the Warriors dropped both meetings with the 76ers by 26 and 22 points. They were an awful defensive team (ranked 20th in opponent field goal) and an even worse rebounding team (ranked 28th).
But second-year coach Mark Jackson has changed all of that, and a little more than a quarter of the way through the season the former point guard is among the leading candidates for the coach of the year.
Starting a seven-game, 11-day road trip with an injured player as the first bit of information to arrive from the road is not the way to begin a road trip, but this is where the 76ers are as they prepare to face the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday.
Starting shooting guard Jason Richardson will not face the Grizzlies due to a low back strain. The Sixers did not say whether this was a one-day situation or whether it is something that could carry over into one or more of the remaining six games on the trip.
Richardson is the Sixers’ fourth leading scorer (11.5).
Andrew Bynum and the 76ers said he is getting better, able to increase his rehabilitation, beginning with riding a stationary bike.
Both the Sixers and Bynum were smart not to give a timetable on his return or even if there would be a return.
“It’s hard to say,” Sixers general manager Tony DiLeo said. “It depends on how his body reacts.”
Lou Williams at first tried to downplay his first return tonight to play the 76ers, but the Atlanta Hawks guard then quickly changed gears and admitted that this is not a typical NBA game.
Williams played his first seven years with the Sixers and is in his first season with the Hawks. He is enjoying the same success in the super-sub role.
Last season Williams led the Sixers in scoring, averaging 14.9 points. This season he is averaging 14.3 points for the surprising 15-8 Hawks, who trail first place Miami by two games in the Southeast Division.
UPDATE (8:05 p.m.): The Sixers announced via Twitter that guard Jrue Holiday will not play tonight due to a left foot sprain against the Dallas Mavericks.
From earlier: DALLAS - Jrue Holiday remains a game-time decision for the 76ers game today against the Dallas Mavericks.
Holiday said that when he woke up this morning the sprained left foot that has forced him out of the team’s last two games was sore. Before the team boarded their charter to Dallas on Monday, Holiday spent about 20-25 minutes working with assistant coach Aaron McKie on shooting drills and did some light running. Afterward Holiday said he felt fine.
WASHINGTON -- After playing parts of the past three seasons with the 76ers, Jodie Meeks makes his first return to Philadelphia tonight with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Meeks, who is averaging 7.9 points, but coming off a 24-point effort in Friday’s 102-96 win in Washington, says he has nothing but good memories of his time in Philadelphia.
“It should be fun,” Meeks said earlier this week.
When it comes to talking on defense, the Sixers have become the Marcel Marceau of the NBA. Coach Doug Collins said after Sunday’s 111-98 loss to the visiting Los Angeles Lakers that the Sixers aren’t communicating enough on D.
Actually if they were talking more during the first half, they would have simply been saying, “Help.”
The Lakers were 10 of 15 from beyond the arc, led 60-50 at the half and were not seriously threatened during the final two quarters.
Video: The Inquirer's Marc Narducci reports from the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. where Lakers guard and Lower Merion native Kobe Bryant talked about making yet another return to the area when the Sixers square of against the Lakers Sunday.