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A Philadelphia 76ers blog, hosted by Christopher A. Vito

Wednesday, October 31, 2012



This is an excerpt from Daily Times columnist Jack McCaffery's blog:

With time running out for the Sixers to prevent point guard Jrue Holiday from becoming a restricted free agent at the end of the season, owner Josh Harris sounded something less than convinced that a deal would be done.

"It's a work in process," Harris said.

His gut?

"I don't want to speculate," he said. "I don't want to speculate."

The Sixers have until midnight Wednesday (into Thursday) to sign Holiday to an extension. If not, he would become a restricted free agent at season's end.

Before an 84-75 victory over the Denver Nuggets, Holiday assured that he would prefer to remain a Sixer. Reports are, though, that he wants as much as a $10 million a year raise from the $2.7 million he will earn this season.

The timing was favorable for Holiday, who was the difference Wednesday, making three important plays in the final four minutes to blunt a Denver rally. Without a replacement point guard of Holiday's skill and experience, the Sixers might not be able to afford his entry into free agency.

"The way we are going to approach all of this stuff is to try and make smart decisions," Harris said. "We really like Jrue. We would like to have him around. But I don't know what is going to happen. I hope it works out. But if not, he will be around certainly all season and hopefully beyond that. We'll have to see."

Said Harris, not long ago: "There are two hours and 17 minutes left, an eternity in the 'deal' business."

Check out my column on Holiday in the Daily Times Thursday and, as always, on

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Andrew Bynum will sit out the 76ers' season-opening game Wednesday night against Denver. Yes, a truly shocking development.

The All-Star center, who missed nearly all of preseason due to discomfort in his right knee, wasn't expected to play anyway. But late Tuesday night, the Sixers made Bynum's unavailability official.

But here's the kicker: There's no timetable for Bynum's return

Here's the statement in full from the team:

"As previously announced, Andrew Bynum has a bone bruise of the right knee.

"While Andrew and the 76ers are both eager for him to resume game play as soon as possible, given the long regular season and playoffs, the team intends to act with caution as to the date of his return. Andrew has already commenced low impact conditioning, and will be re-evaluated by medical personnel on a continuous basis.

"Tony DiLeo, the 76ers General Manager said, “With the team’s intriguing play in the preseason leading to a 6-1 pre-season record, we are confident that the 76ers will be an exciting, talented and highly competitive team from day one. When Andrew Bynum rejoins for game play, that will take an already strong team to an even higher level.”

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012


(Associated Press)
The 76ers, back in August, put the faith of their 2012-13 season in the big hands of Andrew Bynum.

Now the season's upon us...and the Sixers.

Wednesday night, when they open their most-anticipated campaign in more than a decade, the Sixers will be without Bynum against the Denver Nuggets at Wells Fargo Center. And who knows just how long they'll have to bide their time without the big man in the middle.

The Sixers are hoping it's not long. Nonetheless, the Bynum-less Sixers are still an improvement upon last season's club. Though having the 7-footer in the lineup wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. (Read more about that here.)

Without Bynum, the Sixers fall into a clutter in the Eastern Conference. Clearly, the Los Angeles Lakers -- the team that traded Bynum to Philly -- are the favorites to win it all. With Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard, the Lakers don't stand to have much competition in the NBA. (Read a preview of the NBA season here.)

For more on the Sixers' season, check out my breakdown of the five biggest questions surrounding them -- including when Bynum will be back and if his knees will ever be healthy enough.

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Monday, October 29, 2012


(Associated Press)

The 76ers have known, since they traded Andre Iguodala to Denver in August, that the Nuggets would be their first opponent this season.

They've enjoyed four weeks, between training camp and practice. They've played seven preseason games. They've had plenty of time to worry about Iguodala and the Nuggets.

So what does Sixers coach Doug Collins know about them?

“I have not watched any of their tape yet," Collins said.

Hey, at least he's honest.

The Sixers welcome back Iguodala, who spent the first eight seasons of his career in Philly, when they open the season against the Nuggets Wednesday night. 

Without having seen video of the Nuggets, Collins said he and his assistants have a good idea what they bring to the table. Conversely, according to Collins, Iguodala's tenure with the Sixers will not aid his approach to playing against his former club.

"We're a different team this year. We had a smaller perimeter. We might do things differently defensively than last year only because we have some bigger guys on the perimeter," Collins said. "I think so much of what you do is personnel. Obviously he is going to know the strengths and weaknesses of our players. He's played with Thad (Young), he's played with Jrue (Holiday), he's played with Evan (Turner) and Spencer (Hawes), so he knows so much about what those guys do. Most of the stuff we're doing is probably pretty similar, but it's different personnel. Spacing on the floor sometimes looks a little different. Maybe we have a few more playmakers in spots on the floor. 

"We have the ability this year to go to a smaller lineup more effectively than we did last year. He definitely knows our personality and what we like to do, but our personnel is so different."

Iguodala was critical of Collins and the Sixers upon his exit, saying in an interview with that he was misused, mislabeled as a non-scorer and didn't enjoy playing in Philadelphia. A win Wednesday would change Iguodala's opinion of having fun in Philly. But Collins said he's aware of that.

"Dre is going to want to come in here and play great, he's going to want to come in here and win," Collins said. "He spent his entire career here and left on a very high note, which is the thing I'm very happy about. The two years that I was here and what the team did and he was such a huge part of it: he was second-team all-defense, world championship, a gold medal, getting to the second round of the playoffs and a Game 7, winning Game 6 (against the Bulls) for us with the two free throws. I’m sure Dre is going to want to come in here – it’s the only time Denver comes in here and plays – and I’m sure he’s going to want to win. On the other hand, we're going to try to beat Denver. It's not going to be that we're going to try to beat Dre. We're going to try to beat the Nuggets, and Dre is a going to be a huge part of that."

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Sunday, October 28, 2012


(Times staff / ERIC HARTLINE)

The 76ers are taking some precautions in preparation for the landfall of Hurricane Sandy, and coach Doug Collins said he hopes residents in the area do the same.

With the brunt of the storm expected between Sunday night and Tuesday night, Collins said he and the Sixers have arranged reservations at hotels in proximity to the team's practice facility, at PCOM in Montgomery County.

"As long as we can get to practice (Monday), and as long as hopefully the power doesn’t go out, we have some contingencies where we have some hotel rooms around the practice facility here where we wouldn’t want our guys out driving," Collins said Sunday after a two-hour practice. 

"If we can get them here tomorrow, we should be OK. I’m just hoping for all those people out there in the Delaware Valley and everybody around that they’ve taken the precautions and that they’ve got enough water and enough food and flashlights and candles and everything for their families. Just yesterday being with my daughter and my grandkids and all, my daughter was worried about losing power and stuff. I’m hoping everybody takes the precautions and let’s hope the warnings are far greater than what the storm is."

The Sixers -- tentatively, of course -- have practice scheduled for Monday morning.

NOTES: Collins said Kwame Brown practiced, though the veteran center's participation in an intrasquad scrimmage took place before the team opened practice to the media. ... Rookie guard Maalik Wayns was back at practice after missing Friday's session with a head contusion. He said he feels good. ... If Collins had to pick a starting lineup for Wednesday, he'd go with these five: PG Jrue Holiday, SG Jason Richardson, SF Evan Turner, PF Thad Young, C Lavoy Allen.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012



Andrew Bynum did not practice Wednesday, and 76ers coach Doug Collins and general manager Tony DiLeo said the 7-foot center will not participate in basketball activities until Bynum is pain free in his right knee.

“We are going to hold him from basketball-related activities until he’s pain-free,” DiLeo said. “He is improving, so it’s nothing new. It’s just something that’s not completely healed.”

Bynum has not practiced with the Sixers since joining them via a four-way trade in August. The team announced Oct. 1 Bynum would miss three weeks while battling discomfort in a right knee in which he sustained a bone bruise. Three weeks are up, and Bynum still isn’t practicing.

Bynum said “it’s a possibility” that he’ll be available for the Sixers’ opener against Denver Oct. 31, “but to be honest, it’s up to the team and to the doctors and all that.”

“I just want to avoid any kind of setback, so that’s where we are. We’ll reevaluate it,” Bynum said Wednesday, following the Sixers’ practice at PCOM.

“I’ve carried a certain amount of swelling in the past, but it’s always resolved, always been able to play. … I’m confident that this issue will resolve, given time to rest and given time to heal.”

Bynum, who had a joint-grease injection of Synvisc-One Monday, said the day-to-day stuff like walking and standing for extended periods does not cause pain. Rather, it's "impact stuff" like running that causes discomfort. Bynum offered a degree of clarity on the origin of the injury, saying it occurred in a basketball drill prior to the opening of training camp, and that it was not during a scrimmage or a pick-up game. DiLeo said Bynum has not progressed to the point where he is running.

Collins has said this preseason that his primary objective was to get a sense of where the Sixers were without Bynum. That preparedness helped them amass a 6-1 preseason mark and renew confidence among his players.

Still, if he had his druthers, Collins would opt to have Bynum as a participant in practice, rather than a spectator attempting to learn his teammates’ tendencies.

“He’s new to our team and just trying to watch what we’re doing,” Collins said. He’s got a good handle on our personnel and what everybody does well. I think it’s important, especially when you’re a big guy playing in the post, to know the guys you’re playing well.”

Added Bynum: “I don’t feel pressure, but I’m more psychologically feeling like it stinks not being able to play. It’s tough coming and staying motivated and things like that. My teammates are there. They’re all patting me on the back, wanting me to get back. That helps. My coaches, they’ve been a great pleasure for me to talk to also and advocate being healthy and getting back. That’s the big picture."

Without Bynum available, and knowing what he knows now about Bynum's knees, DiLeo said he still would have proceeded with the trade to acquire him.

"Yes, absolutely," DiLeo said.

The Sixers practice again Thursday.

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