First things first, we'll be doing a Live Chat today at 3 p.m. ... In about half an hour. If you have a few minutes, stop by, we'll be talking about the 76ers' first day of training camp here at St. Joe's. Here's the link: Sixers Chat.
Second thing: DeepSixer is also now on Twitter. I'll be on all things Sixers, all year. And since I'm so efficient with my Blackberry, I'll be posting anything newsy, funny, or interesting. Here's the link: Twitter, DeepSixer3.
Sixers practiced this morning from about 10 a.m. until a little after 1 p.m. The doors opened around 12:30 or so and from then the team worked on some 4-on-0 and 5-on-0 drills as well as a little bit of 4-on-4 stuff. Afterwards, new head coach Eddie Jordan said they did almost entirely defensive work. He said they would work exclusively on offense tonight for about 75 minutes. The second session starts at 6 p.m.
The main takeaway from the first few hours seems to be the discipline with which Jordan ran the practice. At the end of last season -- the very end, the very last game -- the word out of the locker room was the lack of purpose, discipline, and accountability. That does not seem to be the case this season. Guard Lou Williams said after practice that Jordan stopped the practice at one point and forced them all to tuck in their jerseys.
"We don't do anything for no reason," Williams said. "It's going to be great for our basketball team."
As for the most important questions: What's up with Elton Brand, Samuel Dalembert, the point guard position, the new offense ... there are no real answers after three hours. Clearly, this is just the start of finding these answers.
Jordan said he's looking for leadership from Brand, who was pegged along with Andre Iguodala and Willie Green as the leaders of the team. After practice, Brand did take a second to talk about the Achilles injury from two seasons ago and showed the difference in size of one calf from the other. It's obvious his left calf is still much smaller than his right. Brand said the difference was even more pronounced at the beginning of last season. Brand was asked if he's worried about getting hurt again -- after two straight seasons with season-ending injuries.
"That's how the mind works. It's in the back of my head, I don't want to get hurt again ... and I won't."
Sixers have 17 guys in camp, 13 under contract and 4 free agents. One of those free agents, Stromile Swift, strained his left hamstring and missed the last hour or so of practice. He is out for the day and will be re-evaluated tomorrow morning.
We have two Deep Sixer videos from today. They should, sometime soon, be attached below. I'm no videographer, so I promise they (might) get better as the season progresses.