Part of James Anderson
into the 76ers has been adjustment. Namely, evolving into a shooting guard who
doesn’t shoot all that much.
Anderson has attempted only 46
shots through the Sixers’ first seven games, an average of 6.5 shots per game.
And while he’s hitting at a 41-percent clip, Anderson has become more of a
defense-first option for coach Brett Brown
That doesn’t come as a
surprise to Anderson’s former coach.
“(Anderson) is pretty good at
a lot of areas. Hopefully, at some point, he’ll get really good at something,”
said Gregg Popovich
, whose San Antonio team was in town for Monday’s date with
the Sixers. “He does many different things, and this is a chance for him to gain
some confidence and find his way. He really enjoys Brett and has a relationship
with him. Brett is a great confidence-builder. He knows how to make people feel
like the greatest player that ever lived at that position, so he’ll be good for
someone like James Anderson, who needs that confidence.”
Anderson, who played for the
Spurs for two seasons, from 2010-12, is averaging 6.9 points and 3.9 rebounds
in 33.4 minutes per game, a total that demonstrates his penchant for putting
the ball in teammates’ hands. He’s shooting 41 percent overall (19-for-46) and
32 percent from 3-point range (8-for-25).
There’s a chance Anderson, the
pick in the 2010 draft, would’ve latched on with San Antonio if
not for depth on Popovich’s roster.
“The only reason he didn’t
stick was we didn’t have space. We had bodies,” Popovich said. “There was no
place else to put him. What I remember about his most is what you’ve seen –
coaches love him. He does whatever you ask him to do.”
And Anderson is OK with that.
“It’s been a big challenge for
me, going out and trying to defend the top shooting guards in the league,” he
said following the Sixers’ shootaround Monday. “I’ve been aggressive at the
other end, too. I’m just doing anything I can to help this team.”
Labels: Brett Brown, Gregg Popovich, James Anderson, San Antonio Spurs