Here's the latest from Sixerland as we approach tonight's game against the Portland Trail Blazers: Willie Green is out with a sprained left ankle that he suffered in the second half of Saturday night's loss at the Utah Jazz. Allen Iverson will play tonight after missing the previous 4 games.
Eddie Jordan said the starting lineup tonight will be Allen Iverson, Lou Williams, Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young, and Samuel Dalembert. Speaking about Iverson, Jordan said he "likes his matchup, no matter who it is." Jordan said Iverson, per doctor's orders, will be limited to 28-30 minutes because of the left knee arthritis.
A couple of more things:
Yesterday I asked both Brandon Roy and Nate McMillan about the Sixers. McMillan said: "There’s a lot of talent there. I haven’t really watched them a lot except for the last couple of days. They have been a team that we’ve had some problems with their speed and athleticism. I don’t know exactly what’s going on, but it’s a talented team."
Roy said: "They have good players. I was surprised by their record. I don’t even look at them, like, I don’t approach this game looking at their record, I approach it as, ‘Look, this team is good and they have talented players.'"
This morning at shootaround I asked Jordan if he agreed with Roy -- it seemed like a pretty innocent question -- that the Sixers are more talented than their record. Jordan said, "That's his opinion." And said nothing more. He seemed annoyed. I'm not quite sure if Jordan thinks his team doesn't have talent, like Roy thinks it does, or if he thinks their record is an accurate reflection of their talent. Or maybe he wasn't exactly sure what the question was. Or maybe he recognizes that if the team has talent and they're 7-22, then the poor reflection is on him. But there you have it.
I asked Iguodala the same question. Iguodala said: "Yeah. We do have a lot of talent and we have a lot of guys who can play. We’re good on paper so any given night we can play really good ball and as this year’s been going, we’ve been playing some bad basketball."
And let's clarify one more thing before heading out to the Rose Garden floor: the situation regarding the comments Elton Brand made after the loss to the Washington Wizards last week (remember he said some guys have longer leashes than others) ... Brand has addressed and clarified the issue within the locker room and all the guys are fine and have moved on from it. Brand is a class act, so I'm taking his word for it.