The 76ers practiced today at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. They're taking tomorrow off, then they'll be back in the gym Monday and Tuesday before flying to Orlando on Tuesday afternoon for Wednesday's season opener against the Magic.
Once again, the Sixers would not allow Marreese Speights to speak to the media about the current situation involving former Temple star, and recently waived Sixer, Dionte Christmas. Speights practiced. The Sixers official stance on this right now is still that they are "aware of the situation, but no comment."
As for basketball, the Sixers are coming off a preseason-ending, 110-88 loss to the New Jersey Nets on Friday night on the campus of St. John's University. The Sixers finished the pre-season 5-3. If you want to hear Sixers coach Eddie Jordan talking about why he was pleased with Friday night's game -- as well as the pre-season -- you can check out the video in the Deep Sixer video player on the right. If you want to follow Deep Sixer on Twitter, click here: Deep Sixer.
I've been getting e-mails lately asking for a straight-up assessment of where this team is right now. Exactly how well are they running the Princeton Offense? Are we getting the real version of the team in the pre-season or are they holding back? How did they actually look Friday night?
All very good questions.
Friday night was one of the more confusing games to cover because I thought I watched one thing -- not very good basketball by the Sixers -- but then spoke to Jordan, who seemed very happy with the effort and said the main goal was to stay healthy and get some other guys some minutes. He said he wasn't really worried about the score. This early in the year, I think it's fair to go with what Jordan is saying: Don't worry about what Friday night looked like, wait for Wednesday, for the real product. Until we see the Sixers in a regular-season game ...
If I was going solely off of what I've seen in pre-season games, I'd say the Princeton Offense is in its infancy and the team is struggling -- mightly -- to run it effectively. But there are other factors: options they've installed that they weren't running because there were about 10 NBA scouts at every pre-season game, the fact it's pre-season, the fact there's nothing for which to play, really. But these reasons only stretch so far: You're still sitting there watching a team completely out of rhythm. If that's just a facade ... it's a nicely played one.
On Friday night, in what is supposed to be a "pass-and-move" offense, the Sixers were doing far too much dribbling, and even more one-on-one stuff right in the middle of the shot clock (not even at the end of it).
They looked good in practice today. Mostly, when we watch them in practice, they look crisp and effective. It's in practice where we see the backdoors and movement that makes this offense so fun to watch. In talking today to Elton Brand and Thaddeus Young, they both seemed to think they had some options they'd be using in the regular season that hadn't yet been shown. Also, Brand said he felt the offense wouldn't really be where it needs to be until Thanksgiving.
More on Monday ...