We're here at Carnesecca Arena on the campus of St. John's University in Queens, N.Y. The 76ers are playing the New Jersey Nets in about 90 minutes, their final pre-season game before opening Wednesday at the Orlando Magic. Sixers are 5-2 this preseason, the Nets are 0-6.
We've been Tweeting much of the day on Twitter (which is where you Tweet). If you're not yet following, and you want to follow, click here: Deep Sixer. I just got back from the court where assistant coach Aaron McKie was working with Marreese Speights (who will play tonight, but will not be made available to talk to the media), Rodney Carney (who will play his first pre-season game tonight after missing the first 7 with a strained hamstring), and rookie Jrue Holiday (who I have nothing else to say about, but didn't want to leave him out of the fun of parentheses). If you want to see what the arena looks like and what's happening here in Queens, you can check out the video I just posted in the video player at the right. It's called "St. John's." There's also one from this morning's shootaround of Speights.
After Wednesday's cuts of Dionte Christmas and Brandon Bowman, the Sixers are down to their roster of 13, all of whom are under contract. I talked with Sixers head coach Eddie Jordan this morning. He said the team has played this entire pre-season with winning in mind.
"Our whole makeup was to perform as if it's a game to win," Jordan said. "It shouldn't be any different on Wednesday when we play. There hasn't been any diversion from the style and what our approach is. It wasn't like, 'I'm going to play you 15 minutes because it's the pre-season.' We didn't hold anybody out, we needed to play unselfish teamwork and know how to execute on both ends. That's why we stayed, pretty much, with the regular rotation. I threw in the young guys we made a move on, but other than that we've played with our top 10, 12 guys."
At this morning's shootaround, Jordan kept the team there for almost 90 minutes. For the last 15, they were working through a new option in the Princeton Offense. After last pre-season game, which was overshadowed by the very-bad call at the end of the game, the Sixers really need a strong performance within their offense. In that game, which was against the Washington Wizards, the offense looked, um, .... not good. Even this week at practice, the players -- specifically Jason Kapono -- said they did not play well that night. After the game, Andre Iguodala said it "can be a struggle."
So, tonight, with the roster standing how it most likely will on Wednesday -- barring some unforeseen move -- the Sixers can concentrate solely on what they need to do. All eyes tonight should be on the offense and how they are able to execute within the Princeton. I sound like I'm on repeat with that, but it really is the major concern.