Archive: October, 2009
Elton Brand grew up in upstate New York and played the majority of his NBA career in Los Angeles. He didn't arrive in Philadelphia until last season. So where, as the Phillies prepare to face the Yankees, does he place his World Series allegiance?
''Phillies, absolutely,'' the 76ers' power forward said after practice today at Philadelphia College Of Osteopathic Medicine, completing preparations for tonight's NBA regular-season opener in Orlando.
Not that it was always that way.
Sixers' record: 38-44.
Andre Iguodala’s scoring: 22.3.
The Sixers finished the preseason with a 5-3 record, and, according to new coach Eddie Jordan, have been able to grasp his new offensive and defensive styles at a very good pace.
The team and the coach both know that the process is a long one, but are very happy with the results thus far. The first test will come Wednesday night in the season opener at Orlando.
Jordan will trot out a starting lineup of Williams and Iguodala at guards, Sam Dalembert at center and Thaddeus Young and Brand at the forwards. His rotation off the bench will consist of Marreese Speights, Jason Kapono, Willie Green, Jason Smith, Royal Ivey and Carney, with Holiday and Brezec fighting for time.
NBA coaches and general managers are fond of talking about the importance of protecting their assets. That's why invoking a third-year option on Marreese Speights and fourth-year options on Thaddeus Young and Jason Smith for 2010-11 were basically no-brainers.
Still, the one who should be the most grateful is Smith, the backup forward-center who missed all of last season after undergoing knee surgery.
''He's been with us through his whole rehab and was cleared to play in July,'' Sixers president/general manager Ed Stefanski said. ''He's played through the preseason and his level of energy has been off the charts. We've been told by the doctors that he'll get stronger as the season goes on. And he has a nice skill, in that he's a 'big' who can come in and make shots.''
There was a theory circulating that, if the 76ers were going to carry a 14th man, Dionte Christmas might fit the bill.
The theory suggested that a 14th guy should have a special skill, and Chrstmas is a good shooter, something the Sixers have lacked in recent seasons.
Nice theory. Didn't work. The Sixers waived Christmas, the undrafted rookie from Temple, and forward Brandon Bowman, leaving them with 13 players. Teams can carry as many as 15 players, with 12 eligible to play in any given game. And the Sixers had already improved their shooting by trading for Jason Kapono and, to some degree, by trading for Rodney Carney.
In case you're looking for something to watch between the end of the Eagles-Oakland Raiders game (no disrespect to the Eagles' post-game show on Comcast SportsNet) and the start of Game 3 between the Phillies and the Los Angeles Dodgers . . .
There's always the 76ers. Their preseason game against the Phoenix Suns at 7 from Monterey, Mexico is being broadcast by NBA-TV, albeit in Spanish.
The Sixers are 4-1 in the preseason after Friday night's 115-113 loss to the Suns in Phoenix. Tonight's game will feature Spanish-speaking announcers and graphis in Spanish, part of an NBA marketing initiative to personalize the game for Hispanic fans.
The 76ers have won their first four preseason games for the fifth time since 1963. As they prepare for a pair of weekend games against the Phoenix Suns, is that enough for you to begin to hope and dream about the coming season? Is it even enough to get a feel for what the season might be like?
Don't go off the deep end yet with Eddie Jordan and his Princeton offense, but here's what history says about the Sixers winning at least their first four preseason games--
1967-68: They swept their first six in a 7-2 preseason. Powered by Wilt Chamberlain, Hal Greer and Billy Cunningham, they went 62-20.
The Sixers have waived guard Sean Singletary and forward/center Stromile Swift, trimming the roster to 15.
Singletary, the Penn Charter product. appeared in one game for a total of 10 minutes this preseason for the Sixers.
Swift was seemingly destined to be cut when he was injured in virtually his first workout with the team. He missed the Sixers first three preseason games with a strained left hamstring.