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November 12 Philadelphia Daily News columnist Bob Cooney:
“Andre Iguodala has missed the past 2 1/2 games with a strained right Achilles’ tendon.
Did anyone notice? Is this team just so interchangeable that even its best player missing time doesn’t change the look of it?
When Iguodala stayed in the locker room for the second half of last Friday’s eventual loss to Cleveland, the 76ers trailed by nine points and had given up 61.
When the third quarter was completed, the Sixers were ahead by five and seemed poised to pick up their second win of the season.
In that third quarter, with Iguodala, their defensive stopper, in the locker room getting his ankle checked, they allowed just 18 points to the Cavs.
It sort of made you scratch your head a little bit. Then, in the fourth, they gave up 44 points and allowed the Cavs to score on 14 of 15 possessions at one point. You had to figure that if the player who coach Doug Collins hopes to be the best defender at his position was in the game, that wouldn’t have happened.
Then, Sunday, in New York, the Sixers put together a terrific all-around game, holding the hot-shooting Knicks to very limited success from the field (40 percent) and using a balanced offensive attack in pulling out a 10-point win.
Again, head scratching.
Wednesday, in Oklahoma City, Collins’ club got down by 14 late in the third quarter before making a valiant comeback in the fourth to cut the deficit to three a couple of times before some defensive lapses did them in.
November 12 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“The 76ers are heartwarming, if not effective.
In nearly every game, the Sixers refuse to be buried under double-digit leads, routinely escaping from them and clawing to within one or two baskets.
It’s just that through the first chunk of this season, they have precious few victories to show for the effort.
The Sixers are 2-6, with wins over the Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks.
On Wednesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Sixers trailed in the second half by as many as 14 points. But with a little more than two minutes left in the game, they trailed by only 99-96.
The final few possessions included a number of losing plays, and by the final buzzer that’s just what the Sixers had done: lost.
“Basketball is a game of mistakes, but you have to minimize them under pressure,” Sixers coach Doug Collins said minutes after the 109-103 loss.
On Friday night against the Dallas Mavericks (5-2), the Sixers will try again.
“We did some great things,” Collins said Wednesday. “But you saw the maturity of a [Thunder] team that has been together for a while, that has been in the playoffs, played the Lakers, and you saw us once again trying to learn.”
Before Wednesday’s game, Collins explained how intimidating the team’s schedule could appear to the players: on the road against the Mavericks, the San Antonio Spurs, and the Cleveland Cavaliers.”
TALKIN BOUT PRACTICE: Sixers blog
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