Friday, December 26, 2014

Turner a go, Hawes iffy as Sixers host Denver tonight

Evan Turner announced after shootaround this morning that he is ready to return to action, while center Spencer Hawes is a game-time decision with strained Achilles'

Turner a go, Hawes iffy as Sixers host Denver tonight

Doug Collins and the Sixers fell to the Knicks on Wednesday, their third loss of the season. (Frank Franklin II/AP)
Doug Collins and the Sixers fell to the Knicks on Wednesday, their third loss of the season. (Frank Franklin II/AP)

As the Sixers finished their shootaround this morning at the Wells Fargo Center, most players made their way to the locker room, got dressed and headed home to prepare for tonight's game against the Denver Nuggets.

Evan Turner was not one of them, however. Turner, who missed Monday's win due to a bruised thigh, stayed on the court to get some extra work in, playing in a competitive two-on-two game with teammates Craig Brackins, Lavoy Allen and assistant coach Aaron McKie.

Afterwards, Turner said he is ready to roll.

"I'm good. I was just doing some two-on-two to get my wind back up, so I'm fine," he said. "It's a little sore but I'm all right. I can run on it, I can cut on it, I can pivot on it and everything. I'm fine.

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"Every time I tried to stretch out the past couple of days it would get tight and I couldn't really cut or jump off of it. Yesterday it felt a lot better and today it feels great."

Hawes didn't talk to the media after the shootaround and coach Doug Collins said that he is a game-time decision. Hawes was dealing with a strained back recently but said on Monday that it was not a concern anymore. Then on Tuesday at practice he was hobbling around due to a strained Achilles'.

In the Nuggets the Sixers face a formidable opponent who can score (104.1 points a game, second in the league) and have won three of their last four. The Nuggets handed the Milwaukee Bucks their first home loss of the season, 105-95, Tuesday night. They will be playing their second of a five-game road trip tonight.

They are led by Danilo Gallinari's 16.8 points a game. Coach Doug Collins admitted his concern this morning about the big front line of Denver, featuring Gallinari, Nene and Timofey Mozgov. They also feature mercurial point guard Ty Lawson. Like the Sixers they have an explosive bench with former Sixer Andre Miller, Al Harrington and Corey Brewer leading the way.

"We're going to need a deep bench tonight, Denver has a very deep bench," said Collins. "They (the bench) had 51 points last night (against Milwaukee) so that's going to be important to us. And they have Mozgov, who is very big, they have Nene, they come in with Birdman (Chris Andersen) who's very, very active. Sometimes they'll play Gallinari at the four if they want to go to a smaller lineup. Al Harrington is very good off the bench."

Game time is 7 p.m. and it is dollar dog night.

More to come...

Bob Cooney
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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