November 26 Philadelphia Daily News columnist Bob Cooney:
“YESTERDAY OFFICIALLY began the holiday season for many. Although it should be a time of giving thanks and time spent with family, gift-giving is also a big part of this time of year. If we were so inclined, here are the gifts that we would give to members of the 76ers, a team that has won just three of 15 games so far this season.
To head coach Doug Collins, we would deliver not one, but several stockings full of patience. He has said over and over again that he is a strong man of faith and that these trying times will not break him. But the man is not made of rubber. How his team continues to find ways to lose games is incomprehensible. It certainly could/would break just about anyone.
For swingman Andre Iguodala, who has been the epitome of health in all of his six seasons before this one, we give good health, which would lead to him putting up good all-around numbers, which would lead to teams wanting him on their roster, which could lead to someone offering what the Sixers want in a trade for him. He is the best trade commodity they have, and though many teams have undoubtedly already inquired about him, president Rod Thorn and general manager Ed Stefanski need to hit a home run, or grand slam, when/if they deal him.
If forward Elton Brand would accept it, we would bestow on him continued good health. The label of 20-10 that accompanied him to Philadelphia when he was signed in the summer of 2008 can no longer be reasonably expected. But now that he is the healthiest he’s been since arriving here, Brand is leading the team in scoring and rebounding. Contract aside, you have to be happy with that.
Spencer Hawes might not be too happy with the workout machine that we are offering to him. The center, who came over from Sacramento in the Sam Dalembert trade, seemed quicker with his feet when he was playing out West, when he was a little lighter and the body fat percentage was lower. It’s not a surprise that he’s playing better with more games under his belt.
For the painfully young starting backcourt of Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner, we would like to provide buckets full of concentration. Great point guards and two guards are given that label because they are focused in on every play, every situation in every game. Lazy passes and lapses in focus are rare with the greats, but way too common right now with the Sixers’ inexperienced backcourt.
We are not going to give anything to forward Andres Nocioni. Instead, we are going to ask him to give some of his intensity and inner fire to his teammates. Once he hits the court, the man is as mean as an angry pit bull, which is surely something this team could use more of.”
TALKIN BOUT PRACTICE: Sixers blog
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