Archive: January, 2009
The numbers are true. The result bordered on the unbelievable.
The 76ers, who led the New Jersey Nets by as many as 17 points in the third quarter and by as many as 12 in the fourth, spent the final 10:37 as if their game plan had been written in invisible ink.
They missed their last 18 shots from the floor.
I guess Samuel Dalembert's sprained left ankle in the second period of the 76ers' victory over the washington Wizards last night wasn't nearly as severe as it looked.
I say ''I guess'' because we won't really know until Dalembert steps on the court tonight against the New Jersey Nets. But the idea that Dal;embert is playing comes as something of a surprise, because when he went down with 1:54 remaining in the first half last night, he was unable to get up or walk to the locker-room without assistance.
He said he stepped on the foot of Wizards rookie big man JaVale McGee and felt the ankle twist.
HOUSTON--The response by ESPN.com's Chad Ford to a chat session question all but jumped off the Internet. Elton Brand, the player the 76ers signed for five years and $79.8 million, was available on the trade market? Already?
Ford: "From what my sources around the league are saying, Brand is available. The question is, given how poorly he's played this year and his huge contract, does anybody want him?''
My comment: Calm down. While Sixers president/general manager Ed Stefanski said he does not comment on rumors, a source familiar with the Sixers situation said that Ford's premise is incorrect, that Stefanski had not contacted anyone about Brand, that the chat session comment had no legs.
Sixers forward Thaddeus Young was selected today to play for the sophomore squad in the rookie challenge game at All-Star Weekend. The game will be played on Friday, Feb. 13 in Phoenix. The squads are selected by the NBA's assistant coaches.
“This is a definitely a great opportunity and I would like to thank everybody who voted for me,” Young said. “I'm looking forward to going out there to participate as a representative of the Sixers organization, to play as hard as I can and give the fans a good show.”
This season, Young has appeared in all 43 games with 39 starts and is averaging 13.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.09 steals in 33.6 minutes per game while shooting 49.5 percent from the floor. He has the sixth-highest scoring average among sophomores and the eight-highest point/rebound/assist total.
Former 76ers guard Lionel Hollins, introduced today as the Memphis Grizzlies' coaching replacement for another former Sixer, Marc Ivaroni, wanted two former NBA head coaches on the bench with him. He has Johnny Davis, a former Sixers coach, as a holdover, but he doesn’t have close friend and onetime backcourt mate Maurice Cheeks.
Hollins had extended an invitation to Cheeks, fired earlier by the Sixers, and got an early indication that Cheeks would come.
“But he decided he wanted a little more time to himself,” Hollins said. “I certainly understand that. He’ll have opportunities later.”
Maurice Cheeks has an offer to join the Memphis Grizzlies as an assistant coach, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
If Cheeks, fired Dec. 13 as the head coach of the 76ers, accepts the invitation, he will be joining new head coach Lionel Hollins. Cheeks and Hollins were teammates with the Sixers, and have remained close friends.
The Memphis Commercial Appeal is reporting that Hollins has been chosen as the fulltime replacement for Marc Iavaroni, who was fired with a record of 11-30. Iavaroni, who was in his second season with the Grizzlies, was the starting power forward with the 1982-83 championship Sixers, where Cheeks was the point guard.
No Elton Brand today, either.
The 76ers have decided not to activate Elton Brand for this afternoon's game against the Dallas Mavericks, allowing more time for his injured right shoulder to heal.
This is the 16th game the 6-9 power forward has missed since suffering a dislocation of his right shoulder Dec. 17 against the Milwaukee Bucks. He has resumed practicing and has been doing extra before games, either in three-on-three halfcourt scrimmages or going through drills.
This is for all of you emailers and commenters (you know who you are) who have gone to great lengths this season to bust on Samuel Dalembert.
And, OK, there have been enough games when he has been a total puzzle, not just to you and me, but to the 76ers. His offensive game has all but disappeared for long stretches. He and Elton Brand seemed to struggle to find ways to complement each other. But he has also had 12 games of at least 10 rebounds. And he has also been their leading shot-blocker.
And lately . . .