Here's the update from Sixer-land: Samuel Dalembert, Elton Brand, and Lou Williams sat out today's practice at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM for short).
Sixers officials said Brand participated in a few non-contact drills.
Brand: Strained right hamstring. MRI showed inflammation and swelling (I feel like those two are the same thing.) He is listed as day-to-day.
Dalembert: Left knee effusion, which is fancy terminology for swelling in the left knee. MRI was negative. Dalembert is also listed as day-to-day.
Williams: Right abdominal strain. Williams suffered this injury three games ago and has played the last two with it. He is listed as day-to-day (but then again, aren't we all? -- this one mention shall serve for all three "day-to-day" listings.)
Sixers head coach Maurice Cheeks said after practice that he expects all three to be ready for Wednesday night's game against the fighting LeBron James's (aka the Cleveland Cavaliers). Cheeks and Brand both said Brand would be full-go on the practice court tomorrow.
Topics of discussion from today:
1.) Samuel Dalembert. It hasn't been the easiest two weeks for Dalembert. In the last six games, he has recorded three goose eggs, one 0-for-6 effort, one game where he didn't take a shot, and a plunge in his minutes that resembles the downward trajectory of Google's stock price.
Cheeks spoke about Dalembert today (perhaps because we asked him question about Dalembert). Cheeks said of Dalembert: "His effort is always there. It's not like he doesn't go out and try. For the most part I like his effort when he goes on the floor."
Cheeks said Theo Ratliff's minutes have increased because he (Cheeks) likes what Ratliff does on the floor. Cheeks also said Sammy's struggles have been due, in large part, to a decrease in minutes. He said he understands that Dalembert hasn't been playing his customary 30-35 minutes a game. Cheeks said he also understands that Dalembert hasn't been left on the court to work through certain things (my assumption: Cheeks means that Dalembert often hasn't remained on the court to work through a bad stretch, thus finding a rhythm).
Here is what Samuel had to say.
"I'm feeling a little bit on the outside," Dalembert said. "I don't think [the organization] is upset. I didn't think it's the case. Somebody would come talk to me."
Dalembert said he has "been in this situation before, where my minutes are going to someone else."
"They ask me to rebound and block shots. My defense has always been there," Dalembert said.
He also said that two of the guys who usually create for him -- Lou and Andre Iguodala -- have been going through struggles of their own. I take this to mean that, right now, the offense is out of rhythm, and the guys that usually get him the ball in places where he can score have been unable to do that.
"Obviously there is a problem," Dalembert said of this season so far. "And we're trying to fix the problem."
Dalembert made it clear he is not pointing the finger at anyone. He also said "whatever the case is, I'm going to play hard for this team."
2.) Elton Brand's injury. He said his injury is "still progressing," and that everyone is "looking long term." Brand said he would participate in contact drills tomorrow and go from there. He said as long as it goes well with the contact tomorrow, he'll be out there on Wednesday against the fighting LeBron James's.
"I know the body, " Brand said. "It's not something huge like an Achilles."
(Goodness, let's hope not!)
Brand said he was encouraged with today's practice because point guard Andre Miller, who is usually quiet, made it a point to talk, to get everybody "revved up." Brand said this team has been in this situation before (see 2007, December). "Their feeling a similar feeling now."
Brand was asked which player he would rather have on his team, Kobe Bryant or LeBron James. Brand paused for a second and said, "I'd have to really do some more research."
3.) Donyell Marshall: The new 3-point savior of this team. Mashall said he didn't even think he was going to play at Detroit (where he scored 8 points in the 4th quarter, including the eventual game-winner). He also said he has been running before games to "stay in shape."
But, more importantly, Marshall played with LeBron James in Cleveland. Here's the best thing that came out of that exchange:
(LeBron is known to be a Cowboys fan.)
"I was going to text him on Sunday night about the Steelers beating the Cowboys, but I didn't because I knew if I texted him that, he would take it out on the Sixers."