The 76ers just finished practice today at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. They went about 2-1/2 hours and are flying to Ontario this afternoon for tomorrow's opening game of the preseason against the Toronto Raptors.
First things first, with about 10 minutes left in practice, while they were scrimmaging, Rodney Carney aggravated the left hamstring he initially strained during Saturday night's scrimmage at Saint Joseph's. Carney had a breakway on the left side and he seemed to pull up in mid-explosion. He immediately went to the corner of the gym, laid facedown, and grabbed his hamstring. A minute later, he was helped to the training room by the training staff. He was putting a little bit of weight on his leg, but was walking gingerly. After practice, the Sixers confirmed he would not make the trip to Ontario, but would stay behind for treatment. Sixers are saying he is day-to-day and will not, as of now, being receiving an MRI. (Also of note, if you were following Deep Sixer on Twitter, you would have known this info about Carney about an hour ago. Feel free to join, the goal is 1,000 tweeps. Click here: DeepSixer3.) Power forward Stromile Swift still did not practice due to the left hamstring he tweaked during the first session of the first day of training camp. He, too, will remain in Philly. That means of the 17 guys on the roster -- don't forget the Sixers released Rashad Jones-Jennings this morning -- 15 will travel to play the Toronto Raptors.
There's a Deep Sixer video in the video player along the right rail. Assistant coach Aaron McKie working on shooting post-practice with Andre Iguodala, Lou Williams, and Thaddeus Young.
Sixers practiced long today. We watched about the last 25 minutes of practice, which was a scrimmage w/out referees and looked like 8-min long quarters. Teams were split first team (Lou, AI, Thad, Elton, Sam) and second team, although Jason Kapono was running as a sub on the second team and he's definitely one of their top-10 guys.
This is about the fifth time we've seen them scrimmaging each other and it's getting to the point where it's impossible to tell if there is improvement, considering they all know the offense and the defense knows where the offense is trying to go. Good thing games start tomorrow. That said, here are a few things coming out of today's session:
1.) The offense is good-looking basketball. It remains to be seen how they'll run it against a live NBA defense, but the cuts they're making are pure basketball. And it's interesting to watch the movement and the counters. From knowing the layers and intricacies of offenses like the triangle and Princeton, they really do appear to be running the offense well. If anyone watched Saturday night's scimmage, please, feel free to add your own thoughts about likes/dislikes of Jordan's system. Jordan said today he's adding options on the Princeton quickly because the offense needs more options considering how well the defense has been playing.
2.) Jrue Holiday is struggling. He's not getting a ton of play in the scrimmages and when he does he is clearly off a beat on the pace/physicality. After practice, Jordan said basically that he's being hit hard with what being a rookie is all about (i.e. having his eyes opened to the pace of the NBA game). This is specifically noticeable because last season's rookie, Marreese Speights, earned playing time so quickly. Of course there were times Speights looked like a rookie, but rarely to the point where you thought it would impact his playing time. Jordan said Holiday will make a breakthrough soon and things will get easier. I'll keep you posted on such a breakthrough.
3.) Speaking of Speights, I'm sure we haven't talked enough yet about how he's playing. He sort of faded to the background with all the other storylines: Holiday, Brand's return, Jason Smith coming back from ACL, Dalembert's contentment, Lou at the point, Iguodala at the shooting guard, etc., etc. Speights looks just like he did last year, which I think is a good thing. He's shooting the ball a lot, but that might be because he's not comfortable yet with the offense and that's a better decision than making a bad pass. He's getting most of his minutes on the second team with J-Smith. As for the folks asking if he'll be starting over Dalembert: nope, that does not appear to be the case.
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