The 76ers had only one practice today, approximately 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Yesterday, they had a morning session of about the same length, which they filled almost entirely with defense and a night session, about 75 minutes, filled entirely with installing the offensive principles.
With the addition of 6-foot-8 power forward Rashad Jones-Jennings to the training camp roster, the Sixers now have 18 guys at this training camp, 13 of whom are under contract. Yesterday, power forward Stromile Swift, who signed on Monday, strained his left hamstring. He did not practice today and will be evaluated tomorrow. So the Sixers practiced today with 16 (Jones-Jennings is not yet here).
The Sixers opened practice to the media around 12:45 and actually practiced until about 2 p.m. They spent nearly all of that time scrimmaging, sometimes going from half court, sometimes from a free throw. Here was the breakdown:
1st team: Lou Williams, Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young, Elton Brand, and Samuel Dalembert. (Dalembert began grabbing his right shoulder at the beginning of the scrimmage. He stepped out for a minute, but then returned. Afterwards, Jordan said he had some soreness, but he won't miss any practice time. Dalembert said he had a "small tear" during the season last year, which equates to a strain.)
2nd team: Willie Green, Rodney Carney, Jason Kapono, Jason Smith, and Marreese Speights. (Speights running the center spot and Smith the wing.)
Other guys: Primoz Brezec subbed in on the 1st team, as did Jrue Holiday. Royal Ivey played with both teams.
Free agents: Dionte Christmas, Brandon Bowman, and Sean Singletary played sparingly. Stromile Swift was out. Jones-Jenning was not yet here.
Each team ran the Princeton Offense, which starts with a two-guard front with two wings, who usually cross. Right now, they're running most possessions through the center. A guard enters to a wing then slices through the middle on a cut. The wing usually dumps it into the center and then either runs a quick cut off the center, or screens up for the top guard.
After the practice, Jordan said they have only installed a small percentage of the offensive options, so right now the defense is well ahead. It seems the offensive options they haven't installed are the backdoor cut options and the flashes when overplayed. At one point during the scrimmage, Brezec did run a flash cut to the elbow, caught the ball, and then ran a hi-lo, dumping it into Brand. Jordan seemed to like this option.
For the most part, the offense looked like a spread-and-cut offense revolving around the center. But that's because, as Jordan said, those other options are still being added.
A few observations:
1.) Holiday is "last in the pecking order" as Jordan said post-practice. That's Jordan's style, to have the rookie earn his way onto the floor. So right now he's behind Lou, Willie, and Royal. Jordan called him "solid." After practice, Jrue had some ice wrapped around his knees. When asked about it, he said, "I'm getting old, I'm 19 now."
2.) Iguodala's outside shot looks improved. But, alas, we'll have to wait for the games for the final verdict.
3.) Right now, the "forward" options on the offense are non-existent, so that means guys like Iguodala and Thad are getting their opportunities in transition. Thad especially.Jordan said as the week progresses, the options for Thad will be expanded.
4.) Speightyman. Is this our first mention of Marreese Speights on here? He's running a lot of center spot on the 2nd team, with Jason Smith running the 4-spot. He looks like he'll be a nice option because he can catch in the post and then face up.
I'll be advertising this new Twitter account until I get my tweeps up to 1,000. I think I'm like 110 now, so it might be a while. I'm tweeting all Sixers, all the time. Here's the link: DeepSixer3.
Check out the videos in the player at the right. Behind the Scenes. That's our plan this year, to bring the video camera everywhere, on the road, to the airport, to the arena, wherever it's allowed. So those of you wondering what the Sixers are like all the time, this is it.
More tomorrow ...