While most casual fans around the city are greeting the beginning of the NBA season with a "who cares?" type of mentality, there does seem to be a little more enthusiasm towards the Sixers, who start tonight in Portland.
Coach Doug Collins lamented how his team might just have the hardest beginning schedule throughout the league, as the Sixers will play their first five games on the road. Tonight they'll face a Portland team that is vastly different from last season.
Forward Gerald Wallace will start his first full season with the team and coach Nate McMillan is counting on the rugged forward to provide many intangibles on the court, both offensively and defensively. Raymond Felton takes over the point guard responsibilities from Andre Miller and have added sixth-man specialist Jamal Crawford from Atlanta and had to part with Brandon Roy, who retired due to chronic knee problems.
The Trail Blazers do return leading scorer LaMarcus Aldridge (21.8 pts., 8.8 reb.) and will also start ageless Marcus Camby in the front court.