Archive: January, 2013
There is no denying that on December 7th, 2009 the Wells Fargo Center had as much electricity running through the stands as it has at any time since, maybe more. That includes the Game 6 win that propelled the Sixers past the Chicago Bulls and into the second round of the playoffs last season. It also the Game 6 win over the Boston Celtics that tied the series at 3 games apiece and inched the Sixers towards an improbable chance at playing in the Eastern Conference final (they didn’t, of course, as they fell to the Celtics in Boston).
When the Sixers played their 21st game of the season that year, the next to last starter introduced was Allen Iverson, back to the team where he spent 10-plus electrifying seasons. The crowd greeted him with a hero’s welcome as the then-34 year-old returned not as a marketing ploy but as a player the organization thought could help a floundering team.
He couldn’t. And he most certainly can’t now.
Those were the words after Sunday’s 76ers practice at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine from associate head coach Michael Curry. He wasn’t talking about the 97-80 pasting the team put on the visiting New York Knicks on Saturday night, but rather about the prospect of Andrew Bynum returning to the team. Bynum ran as hard as any media has seen him so far on the anti gravity treadmill Sunday, and Friday he was alone on the court practicing some hard low-post spin moves, making hard plants and turns on each of his fragile knees. A return to the court and his debut with the Sixers seems to be a real hope right now. Bynum has stated his hope is to come back sometime around the mid-February All-Star break.
“We were talking about Andrew (Saturday) night where people have to understand that you totally change the personnel that you’ve got to play when he’s on the court and you totally change how you are going to have to guard. You’re not going to trap Jrue (Holiday) if Andrew is in the pick and roll and he (Bynum) rolls you can’t just have a man pick him up.
The 76ers paid over $16 million (and dealt a lot of players) to have Andrew Bynum on their team this season. We know that hasn’t turned out very well as he’s been sidelined with knee injures basically since being acquired in August.
To try and quicken his return, the organization invested in a state-of-the-art anti-gravity treadmill that will alleviate up to 80 percent of the person’s body weight. The estimated cost of that piece of equipment has been guessed to be close to $60,000. Now as Bynum is working towards a return that he predicts could come around the All-Star break (mid-February), the new machine is breaking down.
Someone in the Sixers’ financial offices can’t be happy. But a return of Bynum will certainly make everyone in the organization a little more joyful, and the mammoth center said before Monday’s Sixers-San Antonio game that he thinks he’s still on target for that mid-February debut.
Early in training camp, Sixers coach Doug Collins and his assistants loaded into an SUV after practice and headed to an Eagles practice as a guest of coach Andy Reid. Collins not only came away from that practice with respect for the Eagles' coaching staff, but also with a new friendship - with Reid.
Collins talked of Reid's professionalism, attention to detail and focus. So when the Eagles fired the 14-year head coach, Collins felt the pain that Reid no doubt absorbed.
Since Reid's hiring by the Kansas City Chiefs, Collins has been sporting a Chiefs hat. It's a show of support for his new friend. But Collins is still an Eagles fan, also, and will support their new coach.
Video: The Sixers fall to the Hornets, 111-99, at the Wells Fargo Center. The Daily News' Bob Cooney breaks down the Sixers struggles on defense.
The Oklahoma City Thunder own the best record in the NBA at 24-7. But there is minor panic down here concerning the defending Western Conference champs.
See, the Thunder has won only half of their past six games and they did get blitzed, 110-93, Wednesday by the visiting Brooklyn Nets. According to local reports, there have been a couple of spots in recent games in which the team hasn't played particularly well.
If only the Sixers had such minor concerns. It was funny to pick up the local paper today and read a very long story detailing miniscule moments over the past couple of weeks in which the Thunder has not played up to par. When asked about it, stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook shrugged it off, both basically saying that you can't play well every night during an 82-game season and lulls, no matter how minor they appear, are going to happen.
The look was one of total befuddlement and the reaction was dispersed more than once from 76ers coach Doug Collins’ mouth. “I don’t know, I just don’t know,” is what he said repeatedly when asked about his team’s performance following Wednesday’s sloppy, lethargic and sometimes stupid play against the Phoenix Suns that left them at 15-18.
The team was coming off a very nice effort against the Los Angeles Lakers the previous night, a game in which they did a terrific job defensively of allowing cold shooters to take bad shots, did a nice job of defending Dwight Howard on the inside and forced Kobe Bryant to take 29 shots to accumulate his 36 points.
The next night in Phoenix, that was all out the window. The defensive rotations were slow and Luis Scola, who appeared to be wide open most of the night, torched them for 21 points. The Suns beat the Sixers to loose balls and when they needed key rebounds, they simply decided to go and get them.