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

Thursday, January 31, 2013


(Associated Press)
Andrew Bynum was not with the 76ers Thursday, instead heading to New York City for a pair of joint-lubricant injections in his afflicted knees.

A Sixers spokesman said the Synvisc injections were previously scheduled with Bynum's personal physician, Dr. David Altchek, and are not to be considered a setback.

Bynum will take the rest of the week off and will resume his basketball-related activities next week, presumably as soon as Sunday.

Bynum previously received Synvisc-One injections in September. It's understood that the lubricant can provide relief from pain for up to six months.

Monday, Sixers GM Tony DiLeo said it was possible that Bynum could participate in practice with the Sixers by Friday. That, clearly, is out of the question.

*    *    *

In other news: Jason Richardson is in Vail, Colo., for an appointment with knee specialist Dr. Richard Steadman. Richardson is seeking a second opinion on his left knee. ... Damien Wilkins, who missed Wednesday's game, also was not with the team due to personal reasons.

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(Associated Press)
The 76ers have a good idea how to improve Nick Young's play. And, over the last few weeks, Young's been listening.

The sixth-year guard out of USC continues to turn up his play, with Young chipping in 18 points, four rebounds and four assists in the Sixers' 92-84 win over Washington Wednesday.

Beyond the stats, which have been eye-opening, Young has demonstrated an ability to alter his game – from trigger-happy shooter to all-around contributor. Maybe there's more to Young than that Swaggy P monikor, Sixers coach Doug Collins intimated.

“It's tough,” Young said with a grin, “because (Collins) calls me Swaggy P all day, right?”
Read more »

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013


(Christopher A. Vito)
Looking for Andrew Bynum to ramp up his rehab? The guy ran the gamut Tuesday at practice.

Here's a quick recap of his activities:
  • At least 20 minutes on an antigravity treadmill, as the team concluded its practice
  • Agility work with a rope ladder to improve his footing and strength
  • Strength work with a resistance band around his waist -- side steps, lunges, stepping forward, etc.
  • Shooting. Lots and lots of shooting, from hook shots to power moves through the lane.
  • Dunking. He finished his workout, at least that which was visible to reporters, with two dunks.
Monday, Sixers GM Tony DiLeo said it's conceivable that Bynum could join the Sixers in practice by the end of this week. Bynum certainly looked as active as ever in Tuesday's workout.

Check out the videos of him and coach Doug Collins below:

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Monday, January 28, 2013


(Associated Press)
Monday, Sixers GM Tony DiLeo said it's possible injured center Andrew Bynum could begin practicing with the team as early as Friday. Bynum commented on that, as well as where he is in his rehab, before the Sixers hosted Memphis:

Still targeting the All-Star break for debut?
“I think right after the All-Star break, in my mind.”

Practice by the end of the week?
“I have no idea. It'll be up to the doctors at that point.”

Do you feel like, in your rehab, you could practice at the end of the week?
“I'm not sure. I don't know. We haven't discussed anything yet.”

How are you feeling?
“Baby steps. Still no slides, but I dunked yesterday. I was happy to know I could still do that, which is good. Just taking it really, really slow.”

Been elevating much?
“Gradually increasing. We did sprints today. That's the next step – doing sprints, next slides.”

Are you where you thought you'd be at this point?
“I'm a little bit farther ahead. I honestly believe that. Earlier, before I started getting better, I thought I'd have to play through a lot of pain, but the pain is subsiding a bit, which is good.”

Any consideration to playing before the All-Star break, then using the week between to see how you feel?
“I talked about that for a little while. To me, it doesn't really matter when I come back. Giving myself a full, 'nother week of training is going to be better than trying to come back before that.”

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Saturday, January 26, 2013


(Associated Press)
Saturday, Jrue Holiday had a Jrue Holiday-type game, which meant everyone was talking about Jrue Holiday. Understandably, right?

Holiday dumped in a career-best 35 points in the Sixers' 97-80 win over the New York Knicks. With Sixers coach Doug Collins unavailable due to health reasons, assistant coach Michael Curry handled questions about Holiday. Here was one of Curry's replies:

“It's good for the organization to have a young guy that comes in and a young guy that can play with Andrew (Bynum) for a long time. That's good for us,” Curry said. “That's good for confidence and when you're bringing guys in in the future, they want to play with those guys.”

Whoa. Hold the phone here. Curry said what?

To date, no one from within the Sixers' organization has said anything about Bynum long-term. Every question has been answered in the same guarded way, that they're waiting and hoping, praying and finger-crossing, that Bynum returns to the court and debuts for the Sixers sooner than later.

That someone mentioned Bynum in the same breath as the term “long time” is kind of a revelation. What does it mean? Nothing much. It's a postgame quote lauding the play of one star with the mention of another. Does it mean the Sixers have had internal discussions about Bynum returning? You could have made those assumptions long before those words left Curry's lips.

But it's certainly news – or, at the very least, new – that someone views Bynum in that light.

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(Associated Press)
The last two days at practice, Spencer Hawes ran with the first team. Last year, that wasn't uncommon, with Hawes being a starter for the Sixers.

Saturday, against visiting New York, Hawes earned his first start of the season – and it was deserved. Nick Young also gets the nod, in place of injured Jason Richardson.

In his last 10 games, Hawes had averaged 11.8 points on 51.5-percent shooting, with 6.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.4 blocked shots in 28 minutes. Compare those numbers against those of starting center Lavoy Allen, who had amassed 6.3 points on 48.4-percent shooting, with 5.1 rebounds, 0.7 assists and 0.9 blocks in 21 minutes per game.

They're not too far apart, but they're not identical either. Hawes is giving the Sixers more in his minutes than Allen has, which justified the move. Perhaps in a big to downplay his performance of late, Hawes said it's because his teammates are so familiar with what he does best.

“They know the way I like to play,” Hawes said after Friday's practice. “I like passing as much as anything else and being a guy that gets other guys going on the offensive end. At the defensive end, (I like) trying to be an anchor that talks, keeping everybody on the same page. That's where I'm efficient and trying to make the game easier for everybody.”

Then, Hawes said something rather telling: “Over 82 games,” he said, “it's hard to ride five guys.”

Sixers coach Doug Collins intimated earlier this week that adding Hawes to the starting five wasn't the most-sound idea, because that would leave the cupboard bare in terms of scoring options he could bring off the bench.

So much for that theory.

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Friday, January 25, 2013


(Associated Press)
Moments before Jrue Holiday talked to reporters Thursday about making the All-Star Game, Andrew Bynum – the guy everyone expected to put up All-Star numbers – Velcro'd his way into a right knee brace in order to launch his shooting workout.

Talk about dichotomy.

Holiday was all smiles as he addressed the topic, of earning an all-star nod for the first time in his career. And, between questions about his trip next month to Houston, Holiday was asked about how different his season would've gone had Bynum been able to run alongside him.

“Maybe my assists would've went up and my scoring would've went down,” said Holiday, the only player in the NBA averaging at least 19 points and nine assists per game. “He attracts so much attention inside, offensively and defensively. He's, like, eight feet tall. It's not like you can take your eyes off of him. I really think my assists would go up and my points would go down.”

But would Sixers coach Doug Collins have been less likely to have put the keys to the Sixers' car, so to speak, in your hands? Maybe it would've been more of a shared role between the two?

“I don't think that would've changed,” Holiday said. “Me and Andrew would definitely have to be on the same page to where we have the point guard-big man connection.”

When Bynum eventually returns (and the injured center said he hopes it's sometime either before or after Holiday's trip to Houston), Holiday said he doesn't anticipate any sort of lag on the court. Even though the Sixers haven't had too many opportunities to work out with Bynum, who does most of his shooting on the side after practice, Holiday said the chemistry between he and Bynum is strong.

“I see him every day. He's a good guy to talk to,” Holiday said. “He's actually pretty funny. Easy to talk to, pretty sarcastic. My type of personality and a guy I can really connect with.”

As for Bynum's workout Friday, he didn't look at all hindered by the right knee brace. He told me that it's more for additional support than anything else. Bynum worked on a couple moves, namely taking passes in the chest from 10 feet away and working on one-dribble, turnaround shots in the paint. He tried his hand at bank shots from about the same distance. His touch looked solid.

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Thursday, January 24, 2013


(Associated Press)

Jrue Holiday is an All-Star.

The Sixers point guard was selected Thursday by a vote of Eastern Conference coaches to be a reserve for the NBA’s All-Star Game, to be played Feb. 17 in Houston. 

It’s Holiday’s first selection, though he played in the Rookie Challenge in 2011 as a second-year guy the same weekend as the All-Star Game. It’s also the second straight year the Sixers will have a representative in the All-Star Game, with Andre Iguodala making it a year ago.

“It shows you can really play,” Holiday said the other day, of the potential of getting picked. “Not too many people get to be all-stars. It’s huge to get recognized in that way and for a few people to think of me as one of the best in the game this year is great.”

A fourth-year guard, Holiday is averaging 19.0 points and 9.0 assists for the Sixers. Validating Holiday’s status as an All-Star pick: He’s the only player in the league averaging at least 19/9, and the Sixers (17-25) were winless in the four games he missed in December with a left foot injury.

This week, Holiday said he didn’t want to get too amped up for the possibility of getting chosen.

“I guess I’m the type where I don’t get excited until it’s the actual day, the actual night when it’s going to come,” he said. “My fiancée just keeps telling me, ‘I have a feeling.’ Come Thursday, I might be a little on the edge of my seat.”

The rest of the East reserves are: Chicago's Luol Deng and Joakim Noah, Cleveland's Kyrie Irving, Miami's Chris Bosh, Indiana's Paul George and  New York's Tyson Chandler.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013


(Associated Press)
MILWAUKEE – Tuesday night, like a pot that's been on the stove too long, Doug Collins boiled over.

He vented his frustration, letting it all out in the moments following a 110-102 loss to the Bucks. He didn't hold anything back, either. The Sixers coach voiced his discontent with his team's penchant for starting slowly, argued that a lineup change would do his team no good, danced around calling his players individualistic and suggested that they'd be the same even if he wasn't the coach.

Yep, it got to that.

On slow starts dooming his team:
“First quarter. Again, first quarter. We let them get 28 to start out the game. It's a two-possession game in the fourth quarter and we turn it over three straight times. … But it's what I come to talk about every single night. It's unacceptable the way we're starting games. Unaceptable. We coaches have worked so hard to prepare these guys, and to come out and look up and see six points on the board, 5-for-20 shooting and the other team's up 10 or 12 every night? Every night.”

On neglecting team-first style:
“You've got to share the ball, you've got to help each other out, you've got to talk on defense. We're not good enough to do it by ourselves. We've got to do it collectively.”

On whether a lineup change would create a spark:
“I've got to have something coming off my bench. It's like rob Peter to pay Paul? Guys have got to play. Lavoy comes out and shoots the ball the first three times he touches it. How about moving the ball and go screen somebody?”

On giving up easy offensive rebounds to Milwaukee:
“As I've said, guys know what they're supposed to do. You know? Be it Phil Jackson or whoever you want to have to coach. It don't matter. It don't matter. Doesn't matter. They've got to play. They've got to play. They've got to compete.”


My hope is that the Sixers' play -- which has resulted in 16 losses in 21 games -- won't cost Collins his job. There are far too many variables at play here.

For one, Andrew Bynum has yet to play and the team was designed around him, you know, playing. Second, they lost four straight without Jrue Holiday, during that four-game stretch he sat with a foot injury. Third, they had an eight-game roadtrip around the holidays, one no other team in the league embarked upon.

I'm not trying to make excuses, so pardon me if it sounds that way. I'm merely attempting to point out that the Sixers' performance isn't an indictment only on the coach. It's also circumstantial.

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(Associated Press)
MILWAUKEE --- Remember when the Sixers were four games over .500? Remember when they were thought to be a challenger in the Atlantic Division, even without Andrew Bynum?

Yeah, about that...

The Sixers (17-24), who are at the Bradley Center tonight against the host Bucks, are at the midpoint of their season. Since they opened with a 10-6 mark, they've lost 18 of 25 and have slid into fourth place in their division ... and ninth in the Eastern Conference, on the outside looking in at the playoffs.

The good news is Bynum is feeling better and maybe (just maybe) he could be ready for the Sixers' return trip to Brew City, Feb. 13 against the Bucks, in the final game before the All-Star break. (Just an educated opinion, but that would give Bynum almost a full week before having to next take the floor for the Feb. 20 game at Minnesota. Might be desirable for a guy looking to test out his knees and see how they respond.)

The hope of Bynum's return isn't enough to keep the Sixers afloat, though. As Thad Young (pictured) put it yesterday, the Sixers failed to step up "when we needed to play big." That's what it's going to take in order to string together wins ... and assemble their first winning streak in nearly two months.

“These last two games (Jan. 18 vs. Toronto, Monday vs. San Antonio), it definitely showed that we're going out there paying attention, trying to make runs, and we're trying to focus in," Young said. "The effort was there. The focus was there. The concentration was there. Everyone's playing on the same page and at a high level. It's just about finishing games."

Fortunately for the Sixers, they get a chance tonight against the Bucks. And all they had to wait was 24 hours for a fresh slate.

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Monday, January 21, 2013


(Christopher A. Vito)
Andrew Bynum updated his status Monday, before the Sixers hosted the San Antonio Spurs.

The big man said he's feeling better, he's pain-free and he'd like to step up his rehab, but doesn't want to do anything stupid.

Also he's still targeting the All-Star break for a return. Here's the whole interview:

What's the latest?
“It's going pretty good. I shot around at shootaround today with the guys, so getting to be better on the court. If the treadmill would stop breaking down, I might be able to do a little bit more. So I'm doing well.”

The anti-gravity treadmill?
“Yeah, it's like every three days it needs service. I don't know.”

First time shot around?
“Yeah, it's the first time I've shot around at shootaround. I've been involved in a little bit in practice. Just shootaround with the guys. The knees feel good. I don't know. I'm not feeling any pain. It's just all good. I want to keep going.”

Still hoping for a return at the All-Star break?
“Yeah, that's my hope. Obviously, again, I still haven't done lateral movement. That'll be the biggest test. Cutting is the last thing to do, and I'm building up to that slowly but surely.”

Have you done any starting or stopping?
“Very minimal.”

What's the shooting like?
“Just like catch-and-shoot stuff.”

Dr. Jack McPhilemy, Sixers team doctor, was at practice Sunday. What'd he say?
“He just wants to make sure I’m not noticeably limping. Everything’s picking up. I’m getting into jump hooks and things like that.”

And your conditioning?
“Obviously, it’s going to be bad. I’m going to continue to run. I’m also running with less weight (on anti-gravity machine). Once that gets to 100 and gets to the court, that’s when it’ll really improve.”

What feels comfortable?
“Not jumping. Just post moves. Left- and right-shoulder stuff. Turnaround jumpshots at the right shoulder. Regular jumpshots. Shooting spots -- moving baseline, elbow to elbow, all that stuff.”

Is your touch there?
“That’s all I’ve been able to work on, so I’ve been working on it.”

What can you show this team or other teams about what you are?
“I haven’t really thought about it, to be honest. I just want to get back. That’s all I’m thinking about. Once my first game comes, I’m going to play really hard, and just play like it could be gone tomorrow.”

Lateral is next – when?
“I don’t know when. If the target’s the All-Star break, it’s got to be in the next couple weeks. It’s going to be defensive slides, cutting, running full speed and stopping, backpedaling, jumping – just explosive stuff.”

Do you want to do more?
“I want it to go smoothly. I don’t want any setbacks, so I want to run on the court and do all those things, but I’m going to let the team and the doctors tell me exactly when to take the next step, because if I go out there, I’ll do something stupid.”

What step is next on the six-step plan?
“I don’t know what step it is. It’s dynamic. It changes every day.”

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Sunday, January 20, 2013


(Associated Press)
Eastern Conference coaches have until noon Wednesday to cast their votes, determining whether 76ers point guard Jrue Holiday is deserving of his first all-star bid.

The number is his favor are that the Sixers were 0-4 without him in December, when he missed time with a left foot injury, and 17-19 with him -- right around where they expected to be. He's also the only player in the league averaging at least 19 points and 9 assists.

Not even stud point guards like Rajon Rondo, Chris Paul, Greivis Vasquez, Russell Westbrook or Deron Williams can say that.

What goes against Holiday, though, is the Sixers' record. It's something Sixers coach Doug Collins said he looks at when deciding who should represent a conference among the all-star reserves.

So what do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments section, email me ( or Tweet them to me (@ChrisVito) to start a dialogue.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013


Andrew Bynum's knees must be feeling better, because he upped his rehab some more.

Thursday, after the Sixers' practice had concluded, Bynum began taking shots. This time, he was jogging lightly to certain spots on the floor, at the high post, and receiving bounce passes before tossing up a few hooks and jumpers. Earlier in the week, Bynum was only shooting from a stationary position.

“It's a huge lift," Sixers coach Doug Collins said. "The thing I like is Andrew is a very hard worker. When he came here, he knew nothing about our organization – other than we wanted him and he grew up in New Jersey and we wanted to make him a focal point of what we were doing. He came in here with his own medical people. Now he's working with our people and ... that's a positive sign.

"I worked out on the elliptical (Wednesday) while he was working out and he was working his tail off."

Think Collins hasn't considered what it'll be like when Bynum debuts for the Sixers?

“He sees where we are right now and … you think he's not sitting there thinking we might have seven or eight more wins?" Collins said. "It's interesting. I was looking the other day. Pat Riley lost Dwyane Wade one year and went 15-67. The Spurs lost David Robinson and went from a 60-win team to 17-47 when Pop (Gregg Popovich) took over the team. That's the impact star players have on the game."

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013


(Associated Press)
A reporter questioned whether Doug Collins has lost his team. Collins refuted it convincingly.

“Are you kidding me? Seriously, you're kidding me, right? You're digging,” Collins said Tuesday, after the Sixers lost for the sixth time in seven games. “The answer to that is no. That's not a good question. That's what you do when you lose games and that's the road you go down. That must mean they're not listening to me.”

The Sixers were outscored, outshot, outrebounded … and the list goes on. If there's something that could've gone wrong for the Sixers, it did in their 111-99 loss to New Orleans.

So where to from here? What's next for the Sixers, who came within an eight-point deficit in the fourth quarter of winning consecutive games for the first time in six weeks? Hold out for Andrew Bynum, who said Monday he thinks he can be back by February? Hope that the struggling defense finds its way? Hope Nick Young scores 14 points in 12 fourth-quarter minutes every night?

“Had to try to do something,” Collins said. “What do they say is the definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? So I didn't want you to call me insane after the game.

“I had to try something. The disappointing thing for me, night after night, is I don't know what I'm going to get. I think maybe some of the people watching our games are saying what the heck am I doing? And sometimes I wonder, because I can't find answers. It's not like I'm not trying.”

The only thing consistent about the Sixers is Jrue Holiday, whose 29-point, 11-assist performance was a thing of beauty. Thad Young wasn't half-bad, either, coupling 12 points and six boards.

But by and large, the Sixers didn't get anything from anyone else. Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen were ghosts on the board. Royal Ivey and Damien Wilkins, believed to be saviors to the Sixers' defense, were porous at that end of the floor. Jason Richardson couldn't buy a bucket. And Evan Turner … where's he been lately?

Collins doesn't know what he's going to get any time out. It's not that he's lost his team. It's that he doesn't know how to get enough from his team to make it a winning ballclub.

“Inconsistency. That's the definition of inconsistency,” Collins said. “You can look it up in the dictionary.”

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Monday, January 14, 2013


Monday, Andrew Bynum worked out for about 15 minutes following the Sixers' practice. Here's video of his shooting drills, as well as feedback from Jrue Holiday:

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(Christopher A. Vito)
Everybody else had left the court at PCOM, when Andrew Bynum grabbed a ball and – with assistant coach Michael Curry serving as his rebounder – began to take shooting practice.

It's not the first time Bynum says he's taken shots, but it's the first time in front of reporters. Bynum, who has missed the entire season with bilateral bone bruises in both knees, said Monday he's hoping for a return to the court after the All-Star break.

Here's what else he had to say:

Feel good out there?
“Yeah, man. Coming along well. I'm up to running now on the (anti-gravity treadmill), steady at an eight-mile-an-hour clip for 20 minutes, so that's good. I'm incorporating weights. Time to get ready –  ready to play.”

What kind of weights?
“More explosive stuff – stuff for my legs and my upper body.”

How's your touch?
“My touch feels pretty good. My timing I've yet to work on. We've still got quite a ways to go, but I'm making good progress.”

Mentally, does it feel good to be on the court?
“I feel much better, mentally. I wake up today and I'm ready to go and work out, so that's good, versus the alternative of sitting around all day and just waiting. The waiting is over. The motion is good.”

First time shooting?
“Well, first time in front of you guys. I've been on my own, coming back and shooting some shots.”

Did you approach Michael Curry about helping with the workout?
“I came out today and said I had to get shots up. It's part of the stage, and I got a sweat before I got on the court and came out and worked on my touch. I tried to shoot over 80 percent because nobody is guarding me.”

When did running start?
“Running started today. I've been jogging, but running started today. Weights, I've been doing them, but it's more explosive stuff.”

“Not on the court, but on the treadmill over there. It's starting out with a jog and then running. I haven't sprinted and stopped. Aceleration and deceleration and stuff like that, I'm still working up to that.

Where are you with pain?

It's tolerable?
“It's minimal.”

But is it tolerable to work through it?
“I'm not feeling anything is what I'm saying.”

Are you pain-free?

How good are these signs for you?
“They're the best I've had in a long time, so they look really, really good to me.”

What do you do when you're done – ice?
“We've worked all the way down to just ice, so I'm becoming a regular basketball player again. Just ice.”

Do you feel a weight off your shoulders?
“No, because I'm not back. But I'm headed in that direction. It's all positive.”

Any indication about the next stage of rehab?
“I have to decide when I'm going to start. I think we have it pretty much mapped out, but it's based on me and my body and how I'm feeling. But we're progressing because I'm not feeling anything. We'll continue to do that. I'm fine. I don't get a click. I don't get any pain. It's pretty good.”

What's the next basketball stage?
“I have no idea. It'd still be linear, so probably straight line, going up and down. I'm still running on that treadmill, taking weight off. So the first step would be putting that weight back on.”

So you'll do stationary shooting for the next week?
“I don't know how long I'll do it. It could change every day.”

Do you have a date circled on your calendar for a return?
“I don't ideally have a date. I just want to get back. I think – I'm hoping – around the All-Star break. That's what I'm hoping, but...”

Probably after the All-Star break?
“I have no idea exactly when I'll be back. But that's my hope.”

How did it feel to step back out there?
“I've been doing it – I'm probably not supposed to, but I've been doing it. I don't want to stay away that long. You've got to keep your touch around the basket. The next progression would be to add some movement, some straight-line movement.”

What are you at now? You look slim
“I'm still at 300.”

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Saturday, January 12, 2013


(Associated Press)
Saturday night, the Sixers gave up 100 points. More importantly, they scored 107. And out the door went their five-game slide.

They didn't have Swag, but that didn't matter.

Afterward, the Sixers could have patted themselves on the back for a job well done – having snapped a losing streak, having reached triple digits on the scoreboard, having broken out of a stretch in which the opponent beat them embarrassingly by 18 or more points.

Instead, the Sixers spoke glowingly of their defense. And justifiably so.

The Sixers – despite James Harden's 10-for-19 shooting display – clamped down on Houston's hot-handed guard in the biggest situations. Sixers coach Doug Collins tried just about everybody on Harden, from Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner to Jason Richardson and deep sub Damien Wilkins.

“On defense, that's really where we got it done,” Holiday said. “When it came down to it, we tried to get the ball out of (Harden's) hands in big moments and I think we did that.”

Giving Wilkins 11 minutes meant taking time from elsewhere – like sitting otherwise-healthy guard Nick Young. The guy they call Swaggy P was absent in a high-scoring affair. Seems unjust, right? Not for a team that needed a win desperately.

“We've got to get some defensive identity,” Collins said.

Whatever it takes to right the ship, right?

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013


(Associated Press)
The 76ers lost Tuesday to Brooklyn. They were outscored at the foul line by 13 points. You could argue that the free-throw discrepancy led to the Sixers' 20-point loss. And some in the organization took that route. Others didn't.

“I've never seen anything like it. I just haven't,” said Sixers coach Doug Collins, whose team went 6-for-10 at the line, compared to Brooklyn's 19-for-22 effort.

When prodded about whether it's just out of character for his guys to drive the lane...

“Guys, you're getting me in territory,” Collins said. “I don't want to talk about this because I'm going to get fined. You're taking me to a territory that, all of the sudden, the league is going to look at me and – I'm sorry, I can't. I hope you understand that. I'm not trying to dance or anything like that. The more questions you ask, the deeper the water gets.”

The Sixers' Evan Turner wasn't as diplomatic.

“We go to paint. There's no reason to keep talking about it. We go to paint,” Turner said. “There's no point in talking about it. When you go down and there's one foul and another foul that's not called. We go into the paint just as much as other teams. It's not new. For the past three years, we haven't really gotten calls. That's not on us anymore.

“We can talk about it. We get into the paint. We get hit, we get slapped. I know a bunch of people got scratches and bruises all on their body. It's not from angel kisses. You can't worry about what you can't control.”

The Sixers (15-21) rank 28th in the NBA in free-throws made and free-throws attempted. So don't just take the Sixers at their word. Judge for yourselves.

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Sunday, January 6, 2013


(Associated Press)
The Sixers recalled Arnett Moultrie from the NBA's D-League Sunday, and the future of another rookie -- Maalik Wayns -- is in jeopardy.

The team announced it had waived Wayns, an undrafted guard out of Villanova. Wayns, who averaged 2.5 points in 20 games, had played only two of the Sixers' last seven. Coach Doug Collins once had envisioned Wayns as a backup point guard to Jrue Holiday, but that plan never materialized.

By rule, Wayns will remain on waivers for 48 hours. If he's unclaimed, the Sixers can sign him to a more-temporary contract than what they would have been locked in to with Wayns' rookie deal, which carried a partial guarantee had they not made a move prior to today at 5 p.m.

Moultrie, assigned to Sioux Falls Dec. 21, hadn't been getting minutes with the Sixers. In his time in the D-League, the first-year forward out of Mississippi State averaged 9.7 points and 6.1 rebounds in seven games. The Sixers need more from Moultrie than six minutes per game over 11 appearances.

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Saturday, January 5, 2013


(Associated Press)
OKLAHOMA CITY – In one facial expression, Evan Turner summed up the 76ers' night. He raced up-court to play defense, clutching the wrist on his right hand with the thumb and index finger of his left, signaling to an official that he expected a call that he didn't get.

These days, the Sixers aren't getting too many calls. And coach Doug Collins doesn't blame the officials for that.

In a 109-85 thumping handed out by Oklahoma City, the Sixers attempted eight free throws Friday. All eight were taken by Nick Young. No one else. Collins was asked afterward if he informed his team of the foul shot disparity.

“What am I going to say? I've been saying it for three years,” Collins said. “We've got to be stronger, take that ball to the basket and make them foul us. For one guy to shoot a free throw tonight, and I'm not saying that has anything to do with the whistle, so I don't want that to be miscalculated at all.”

The Sixers are not a physically tough team. They're a team that's content to rely on jumpshots. That's partly opinion, partly rooted in fact. Consider these numbers: The Sixers rank 28th in free-throw attempts (600) and 28th in free-throw makes (436). And because they rank 26th in free-throw percentage (.726), they're not even making the shots they're earning.

“In certain situations, we rely on pull-ups and getting cleaner shots,” Turner said. “That's not the first day where people are like, 'We don't get foul calls.' That's what happens. I'm not about to waste my time relying on someone else giving me a call.

“Sometimes you go to the rack, get drilled and it's a no-call and it messes up the transition (game) the other way and it adds to the frustration. Certain people on our team would much-rather rely on their jumpshot than going to the rack to get the call.”

One could argue that Jrue Holiday, the Sixers' primary ballhandler, could jump-start the foul-shooting spree by driving. After all, Holiday ranks 63rd in the league in attempts from the line. But because Holiday is at his best driving and kicking for a team loaded with 3-point threats, the task of drawing contact and, subsequently, fouls has to fall on someone else. Maybe that someone else is Spencer Hawes, a big with only 62 free-throw attempts. Maybe that someone else is Lavoy Allen, another big who is severely underperforming when it comes to drawing fouls (34 FTA).

“Sometimes we're getting fouled and sometimes you settle for jumpshots,” Young said. “Just one of those games. We've got some very talented offensive players here and any given night, it could be an attack night or it could be a night where they could feel good going up with their jumpshots.”

There have been plenty of those nights for the Sixers. For their sake, and for the sake of finishing an eight-game roadtrip with a win Saturday at San Antonio, maybe they should drive the lane instead of shooting jumpers.

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Friday, January 4, 2013


(Associated Press)
OKLAHOMA CITY – A hotel flood aside, the Sixers spent the bulk of their Friday morning in good spirits.

They were laughing and joking their way through the final minutes of shootaround at Chesapeake Energy Arena, where they'll face the Thunder tonight. (In case you missed it – Seattle native Spencer Hawes, whose hometown Sonics were relocated to the Midwest, had a pretty solid Tweet about the hotel experience involving a pipe burst and an unexpected early wake-up call.)

Nonetheless, the Sixers seemed happy Friday – an emotion they haven't experienced too much of on this season-long, eight-game roadtrip, on which they've lost four of six thus far. Could they have walked out of Phoenix with a win? Sure. Same goes for a tight game in Portland.

It doesn't sound like Jason Richardson's all that worried about it, though.

“It's a learning experience, especially for a team as young as this,” he said. “It's a decent trip so far, still have to two games left and that lets us know we can't take a play off and we have to have clock management. We have to do things right all the time. I think we grew from those games we were right there and could've won, and that's going to help us out in the long run.”

Richardson said the time away from Philly has led to significant bonding time, like hotel-room hangouts, dinners among teammates, and a New Year's celebration in Los Angeles with the players' wives and girlfriends. So even if two more wins don't come of the roadtrip – and they might not, considering the Sixers face division-leading OKC and San Antonio – the team can bring camaraderie home with it.

“I think being on the road together, having an 'us against the world' thing,” Richardson said. “Being in tough environments and finding ways to pull together – the outcome sometimes, we didn't win the game, but we were there at the end. That's helping us grow as a team.”

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