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Brand’s biggest contribution to Sixers could come in a trade
November 14 Wilmington News Journal:
“When Elton Brand signed with the 76ers, the expectations were for him to score about 20 points and grab about 10 rebounds per game.
It didn’t happen through his first two seasons with the Sixers, as Brand quickly was labeled an injury-prone bust. He bottomed out last season, averaging career lows of 13.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.
Yet here Brand is this season, averaging 17.2 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. He’s much more active on both offense and defense, and he’s becoming more of a vocal leader on a team that desperately needs it.
The Sixers would have been ecstatic with those numbers his first two seasons. That would have made him the low-post presence the Sixers needed to make them one of the top five teams in the Eastern Conference.
The Sixers, of course, are a long way from an elite team now.
So, what does this all mean?
Well, two things:
The first is that Brand deserves credit for making himself into a good player again. It would have been easy for him to collect his paycheck and sulk in hopes of catching on with a championship-caliber team.
Brand was damaged goods when he signed with the Sixers. He was a year removed from surgery on his Achilles’ tendon. Then, midway through his first season, he needed season-ending shoulder surgery.
When Brand came back the next season, he still wasn’t 100 percent.”
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November 14 Philadelphia Inquirer:
If you watched Andre Iguodala in person, you’d see a very talented player playing below his potential. Or if you walked into the locker room after a game and saw a guy hunched over after yet another loss, you’d be nearing the same conclusion: It’s time.
For proof, let’s read between the lines.
Doug Collins rarely goes a day without reiterating one simple fact: The 76ers’ coach has been brought here to evaluate talent, to decide which players are prepared for the journey ahead.
So let’s forget the team’s record, which is quite bad. Let’s forget the roster’s salary, which is quite high. Let’s forget the remaining sliver of hope which keeps some believing that by season’s end this squad – in its current incarnation – will be transformed into a playoff team.
And let’s state the truth without pump-faking or jab-stepping: The Sixers are reassembling, which is the NBA’s version of rebuilding.
You probably knew that. But there’s a chance you didn’t.
You’ve likely read the multitude of quotes from Collins commenting on his search for the right mix of guys, for the secret recipe that will produce the gourmet meal.
But when your ingredients are brown sugar and pickles, there is no gourmet meal. You might come up with a funky appetizer that a few people find interesting, but it’ll never be satisfying.
“I mean, I’m being ultra-positive. I don’t know what else I can do,” Collins said after Friday’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks. “I’m ultra-positive: ‘Let’s go, let’s do our jobs,’ and stuff like that. But if we’re going to judge ourselves after nine games, I mean, I would think that that wouldn’t happen.”
Collins is smart enough and in tune with this challenge that he might get the Sixers to make a push, get them to 35 wins, but this season will not be a winning one.
Which brings us back to the opening premise: It’s time.
November 14 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“The 76ers count on Lou Williams for scoring.
His role is simple – putting points on the board – and he has been so effective that he’s become a focal point of opposing teams’ scouting reports.
Entering Saturday night’s game against the San Antonio Spurs, Williams was averaging 14.8 points in 23.2 minutes a game.
Those numbers include his previous two games, in which he was hindered by a left-shoulder injury suffered in the second half of Wednesday night’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Williams scored only six points against the Thunder, and only two points two nights later against the Dallas Mavericks.
Still, in averaging less than half a game of playing time, Williams is the team’s second-leading scorer and is third in assists with 3.3 a game.
“When he took that hit, a big part of his game is getting in there and drawing fouls and getting contact,” said Sixers coach Doug Collins. “I just didn’t think he had that much aggressiveness. Against the Spurs, we’re going to need him to come in and do what he does.””
TALKIN BOUT PRACTICE: Sixers blog
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