NEWS: Andre Iguodala did not practice this morning due to a sprained left ankle. He suffered the sprain during last night's session when he went up for a jump shot and came down on someone's foot. The sprain happened with plenty of practice left last night and he finished the session. This morning, the trainer held him out of practice, and he is day-to-day (aren't we all). After the morning session, which he spent with his ankle elevated, Iguodala said he was "cool, cool," and that he might be practicing tonight. He said it was a low ankle sprain -- not that dreaded high ankle sprain -- and it was just slightly bruised.
I'm aware it's a privilege to be able to watch the Sixers here at Penn State, and I'm sure a lot of you would love to sneak into the gym and see how this team looks. With that in mind, let me give you a breakdown of the 15-20 minutes of practice we were allowed to watch. I wish those minutes had included scrimmaging, but, alas, it didn't.
When we first stepped into the gym (by the way, the Sixers aren't practicing on the actual arena floor in the Bryce Jordan Center, but in the practice gym about 50 yards down the hall from the arena floor) the team was split on two ends, guards on one end, posts on the other. The guards, to whom I paid more attention, were working on moves off the dribble. This included Lou Williams, Andre Miller, Willie Green, Kareem Rush, Royal Ivey, Maureece Rice, Andre Emmett. I can't say for sure that's the complete list, those are the guys I distinctly remember. They were catching the ball on the wing and making a move -- behind the back, spin, between the legs, etc -- then taking one or two dribbles and shooting jumpers on the baseline after a step back or another move. I know Mo Cheeks loves that mid-range game.
I did glance down to the far end where assistant coach Jeff Ruland was working with the big men. Yup, that's the extent of my detail about that end! (Can you tell I played guard?)
After a few minutes, post and guards mingled in a shooting drill that involved a guard on the wing and a post player on the block. The guard would penetrate baseline towards the post player who would roll off the block and to the elbow. The guard would hit the post player for an elbow jumper and then receive a pass from a coach for a jumper of their own along the baseline. It was a pretty standard penetrate and pitch drill.
That was the extent of the drill work the Sixers engaged in while the practice was open. After this, Cheeks had them on the sideline for a set of "17s" (17 widths of the court with a goal time of a minute). Thaddeus Young finished first. Not too many of the guys made the goal time. Cheeks had a few guys shoot free throws: Sam Dalembert made 1 of 2, Andre Miller made 1 of 2, Elton Brand missed both. Heck, it's difficult after that running drill to make free throws, especially this early in the season when players don't have their "basketball" legs. (That's kind of like "sea legs.")
Then they ran another set of 17. Maybe a third of the way through this one, Cheeks stopped them because they weren't touching the line. They restarted the running drill. When it was over -- and I don't believe anyone made the time on the second go 'round -- Cheeks ended practice and called everyone to center court.
(Of note: Kareem Rush did not run the 17s, but was being stretched by a trainer. He then had ice wrapped on his right hamstring with an ace bandage. Theo Ratliff did not run, either, but nothing appeared to be wrong with him. That doesn't mean nothing was, just nothing visible I can relay.)
The Sixers then spent about 8 to 10 minutes stretching with those wonderful green stretchy bands. Afterwards, the majority headed back onto the court to work on free throws, jumpers, etc.
Let me include some quotes from the various post-practice interviews: