October 14 Philadelphia Daily News:
“Five games into the preseason for the 76ers and questions are still far more plentiful than answers.
But that’s exactly what coach Doug Collins expected when he took the job in May. When the product that you’re looking to repair accounted for all of 27 wins last season, it really shouldn’t be surprising that the blueprints have been made, thrown out, made again, and so on.
Here’s what we do know a little less than 2 weeks before the Oct. 27 season opener against the Miami Heat.
* Right now, Lou Williams is the best thing going for this team.
Collins stated in the offseason that he wanted Williams to compete for a starting job. But with No. 2 pick Evan Turner in the way, that really didn’t seem realistic. Williams is best suited coming off the bench and scoring points, and he has been doing that extremely well during the preseason. He is exactly what a team expects from its backup shooting guard – a real threat from the outside and an ability to break defenders off the dribble. He is also very good at finishing fastbreaks, which is something the team sorely needs to do.
* Injuries have hindered Collins’ ability to figure things out.
Forward Andres Nocioni, whom the coach envisions as a 20-minute-a-game guy at either the small or power forward spots, came to camp with a severely sprained ankle suffered with Team Argentina while getting ready for the FIBA World Championships. Nocioni just got in his first practice last Friday and has played in two preseason games.
Spencer Hawes, the starting center at the beginning of training camp, has been out since the middle of the second preseason game with a sore lower back. Before Tuesday’s game against Boston, Collins said Hawes could miss about 3 weeks, but also mentioned a bulging or herniated disk, which certainly doesn’t sound good.”
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