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76ers rookie Jrue Holiday received a DNP-Coach's Decision last night against the New York Knicks. He was the only player suited up that didn't get in the game. After today's practice, Sixers coach Eddie Jordan talked about not playing Holiday. He said he felt bad he didn't get him in the game. His reasoning was that New York's guards -- Chris Duhon, Nate Robinson, etc. -- were playing at a high, intense level. Higher than is usual for a pre-season game. Jordan said he didn't feel comfortable tossing Holiday into that situation. It sounded like he was uncomfortable with it not because of potential mistakes/turnovers, but moreso to preserve Holiday's psyche.
Jordan said before today's practice he addressed some "behavior" issues from last night's game. Some "exhibited frustration" by his players. Jordan said that as the team's leader he thought it important to quickly talk about some of these things ... early in the season. On this point, I have to agree with him. It seemed in the second quarter -- when things really weren't going well -- that some unnamed Sixers were having less than positive energy. In fact, that's a term Jordan used: don't bring negative energy to the court. On one play, I believe it was the second quarter, Willie Green and Andre Iguodala went up for the same rebound. Iguodala snatched it from Green -- barely -- but when he came down, he glared at Green then stole a look to the Sixers bench as if to say, "what's he doing trying to take that rebound from me?" (That's how the interaction looked from press row, about 10 yards away.) I'm assuming these are the types of interactions that Jordan would want to eliminate. Awesome that he's addressing them so early.
Overall, Jordan said he took a lot of good things from Tuesday night's game: how the team responded in the second half, how the big players stepped up and got things done, how Lou responded to a poor start shooting, how Brand played. Sure enough, it's the pre-season, you gotta find the good things to take away, but having actually seen the game, and not actually being paid to coach the Sixers: it wasn't very good. Although a lot of the poor play belonged to the Knicks.
(Also of note, both Willie Green and Jason Smith were getting over flu symptoms ...)
The Sixers practiced about 90 minutes today. They looked to be practicing at a higher intensity and it seemed as if it was important to get in a good practice after the Knicks game.
The Princeton Offense: Jordan took the team out of the PO after the first quarter. Jordan said he is still learning how to coach this team and that the move was an "in-game feel," based on some of the Knicks knowing the Princeton. He explained that because he hasn't installed all of the options, his guys were out there without the proper counters. He also said that some of those Knicks would still know the calls for plays and because his guys weren't at the point where they could run the offense without calls (based on reads), he felt like continuing to run it would put them at a disadvantage. That all makes sense.
Rodney Carney won't be making the trip to Phoenix/Mexico. He is still out with a strained left hamstring. He's still officially listed as day-to-day, but I'd be surprised if he was back before the end of the pre-season games. He looks a little gimpy. Samuel Dalembert was wearing some sort of tape around his right calf today, and at times he looked to be limping, but the Sixers did not report any injury to Dalembert.
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