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.
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 CBSsports.com 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."
Labels: Andre Iguodala, Doug Collins, Evan Turner, Jrue Holiday, Spencer Hawes, Thad Young