Right now, the Phillies and the Sixers are very much alike.
Well, both are looking for some kind of offense. While the Phillies are struggling to get runs in the NLCS against the San Francisco Giants, coach Doug Collins is trying to find the right fit for a starting five before the season starts on October 27. He would preferably like to start a group that could score him some points.
Sunday at practice, Collins trotted out a first unit that included Jrue Holiday, Andre Iguodala, Jason Kapono, Craig Brackins and Elton Brand. During the last parts of practice, when that unit (with Jodie Meeks rotating with Kapono) was scrimmaging against the second team, it looked very good offensively.
What they might look like defensively against a real opponent could be a different story, however. And that's where Collins' biggest problem is right now.
Without injured center Spencer Hawes, who probably won't be back for another week or so, Collins is trying to mesh together not only a starting lineup, but still have a unit with some firepower coming off the bench. It doesn't help that Mo Speights, the leading big man off the bench, is hurting with a sore hamstring.
Mixing and meshing might be a fun thing to do for a coach if he is loaded with talent. That just isn't the case for the Sixers. He's pretty much shuffling just so he can find a group that can be competitive. So far this preseason no one has stepped forward as a go-to player on the offensive end, and the defense is probably even a bigger problem.
The team will play on Tuesday in Cincinnati against the Cleveland Cavaliers before closing the preseason against the New York Knick on Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center.
They open the regular season on October 27th against the Miami Heat.