Saturday, February 28, 2015

Creating A New Brand

The Sixers looked significantly better in their second intra-squad scrimmage of training camp.

Creating A New Brand

STATE COLLEGE--Willie Green said that, as soon as he knew Elton Brand had signed with the 76ers, he went seriously to work on his jump shot and his range.

If tonight's open scrimmage at the Bryce Jordan Center is any indication, the work is paying off. Green looked sharp and crisp, leading all scorers with 29 points for the White team in a 100-87 loss to the Black.

The Black unit was the projected starting lineup, but with a twist, Thaddeus Young playing shooting guard and Andre Iguodala playing small forward. The others were in place: Elton Brand at power forward, Andre Miller at the point and Samuel Dalembert at center.

"I wanted to see how it would work,'' coach Maurice Cheeks said. ''It looked great, with Thad's energy, Andre's energy and (their) length. It was a very good combination.

What he didn't want to see was Dalembert tweak his left shoulder in the second half. Dr. Jack McPhilemy, the team's orthopedic specialist, examined him afterward and pronounced him day-to-day.

There will be nights when Brand will take command, when he will impose his will, but this was hardly a necessary time. This was a night to try combinations, to make sure everyone was in sufficient condition. They played four 10-minute quarters, and no one was gasping for breath afterward.

''This was pretty good, this was much better than before,'' Cheeks said. ''I thought everyone was there in executing the things we've been working on, getting up and down the floor, running, pushing the ball. We've got to do a better job of getting our defensive pressure back to where it was. Reggie (Evans) obviously was doing it, because that's the way he plays. I told the guys, we'll be able to score; we have to be more consistent on the defensive end.''

Some observations--

''Thaddeus was very good,'' Cheeks said after Young put up 26 points. ''Not one time did we actually run a play for him. He was very active, playing the way he always plays, (being) around the ball, tipping the ball.''

Evans was his usual self, creating mayhem around the basket, wheeling to press after a score at unexpected times.

Donyell Marshall, at 35, was sometimes uncanny from long range, scoring 17 points for the Black.

At one point, Theo Ratliff, also 35, went way up to block a shot by Young and I could have sworn I heard a fan yell ''Third floor.''

Free agent big man Jared Reiner was ''traded'' from the Black to the White in the third quarter. Later, free agent guard Maureece Rice was ''traded'' from the White to the Black.

The Sixers will practice once tomorrow, once again Sunday, then return to Philadelphia.

 

About this blog
Bob Cooney has been at the Daily News for more than 20 years, working in the sports department for the past 15. This is his third season on the Sixers beat. He has covered just about everything, but mostly college basketball, where he was the La Salle beat writer for six seasons. E-mail Bob at cooneyb@phillynews.com and follow him on Twitter.

Bob Cooney
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