Back in Philly


I considered titling this post "PCOM Day 1." But in addition to sounding like something from NASA, I realized by the end of the season we'd have something like 217 days (or thereabouts). It would become repetitive.

For those unaware, as I once was, PCOM stands for Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and is located on City Avenue off 76. I'm sure that's common knowledge to most, but perhaps one person out there was wondering. I've included a few photos of the set-up. There's a shot of the outside, the lobby, and the court. That Sixer shooting free throws on the left is Elton Brand. He was the first guy in the gym this morning. I guess when he spoke of giving the "Philly Max" at his press conference in July, he wasn't only referring to the contract GM Ed Stefanski scraped together for him ...

Today's practice, the first of the season in Philadelphia, starts at 11 a.m. and should run until about 1 p.m. After, we'll be running a Live Chat, just like we did each day last week from State College. Today's will be at 3 p.m. We'll be running Live Chats, I hope, daily. Here's the link if you have a few minutes and want to join: Sixers Chat.

Going into today's session, the question marks are the same as when head coach Maurice Cheeks closed camp on Saturday:

1.) Who is going to be the starting shooting guard? I would be very surprised if the lineup to start Wednesday night's game against the Celtics is anything but Andre Miller, Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young, Elton Brand, and Samuel Dalembert.

2.) How's Sam's shoulder? He didn't practice Saturday after suffering a left-shoulder strain in Friday night's open scrimmage. I talked to Sam as he was leaving the arena on Friday night and he sais he was fine. He said he could have practiced Saturday, but being so early in the season, the training staff was cautious.

3.) Can Mo Cheeks find room for all these new players? We touched on this topic at the end of Saturday's last post, but I think it's worth revisiting. Cheeks clearly has 13 proven NBA players on his roster. Only 12 can be active. Since players can be easily added and removed from this "Inactive List" (I believe the team has to submit it 60 or 90 minutes before tip-off), it's of little consequence -- I believe -- who begins the season on the IL. What is of consequence is what Cheeks said after Saturday's practice. Essentially he said he would not even attempt to include 12 players in his rotation. He said he would evaluate during upcoming preseason games and settle on a rotation. He did not give the number of players in this rotation, but best guess would be nine, maybe 10.

(Obviously, this rotation will evolve throughout the season, just like it did last season when Thaddeus Young emerged from the end of what was a much shorter bench.)

4.) Marreese Speights, where does he stand? I'm going to try to get a more definitive answer after today's practice. Does Cheeks see him in the rotation?

5.) The crush at guard, including Willie Green, Kareem Rush, and Royal Ivey: Where does each player fit in? Ivey has been the guy on the outside-looking-in during scrimmages, playing for, but not starting, on the White Team. You might be wondering about Lou Williams. I just don't believe he is in this group. I think he has set himself apart.

There it is. First Monday in Philly, two days before the Celtics. I felt remiss in not blogging yesterday, but I was probably doing what most of the players were doing: watching football.

Live Chat at 3 p.m. ... and, of course, congrats to the Phillies

Be back later ...

-- Kate

*post-script: After seeing this actually posted, I noticed there is a link below the photos: "Buy Photos." I don't know how that got there. I certainly didn't put it there, nor am I under the impression any of the photos I took with my Blackberry Curve are worth buying. Just to clarify.