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News » Carney may replace Brand in 76ers' lineup

Carney may replace Brand in 76ers' lineup

Carney may replace Brand in 76ers' lineup If you read Rodney Carney's poker face - or lack thereof - it seems as if the athletic swingman might be the 76ers' starting small forward tonight against the Charlotte Bobcats.

But maybe because Sixers coach Eddie Jordan has yet to decide, or maybe to preserve the element of surprise, neither Jordan nor his players would confirm a starting lineup switch - Carney in, Elton Brand out - after yesterday's practice at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Carney, without saying anything, came closest.

When asked if he thought he'd be in the starting lineup tonight, Carney, who has practiced with the first team the last two days, smiled what appeared to be a giveaway smile, said, "I don't know," then chuckled for a second.

"I've been practicing with the first team to try to mix things up," Carney continued. "I bring defensive energy and push the ball and help get the fastbreak game going. It's whatever Coach wants me to do."

If Carney does start, that moves small forward Thaddeus Young to power forward - a position he played for most of last season - and Brand, who signed a five-year, $80 million contract before last season, to the bench.

The Sixers (4-6) play the Larry Brown-coached Bobcats (3-7) tonight at the Wachovia Center. On Monday, the Bobcats acquired star swingman Stephen Jackson and guard Acie Law from the Golden State Warriors for shooting guard Raja Bell and forward Vladimir Radmanovic.

The Sixers' potential lineup shuffle comes after backup center Marreese Speights, the team's fourth-leading scorer at 13.0 points a game, tore the medial collateral ligament in his left knee, an injury that puts him out six to eight weeks.

When Speights went down in the fourth quarter of Saturday's 94-88 loss at the Chicago Bulls, Jordan played Carney for the game's final 9 minutes, 38 seconds.

In nine appearances this season, Carney is averaging 3.0 points in 10.3 minutes a game. Jordan said he liked Carney's minutes against Chicago. "We're thinking about how we're going to play differently without Marreese," Jordan said. "I'll talk to the staff and we'll talk about possible things we can do. Whether it's a starting lineup change, different rotations, or guys in different positions."

Added Jordan: "I'm looking at Elton as playing a lot more five [center] . . . and we're looking at Rodney Carney playing a lot more forward. Because I like what he does defensively and I like the fact we're athletic and can turn people over."

Jordan made it clear a switch, if made, would be for defensive reasons, especially given many NBA teams play power forwards capable of hitting perimeter jumpers. Jordan said he watched the Bobcats' game against the Orlando Magic on Monday and they're one of those teams, too.

"They're playing with three small forwards, or I should say four guards in a sense," Jordan explained. "So we have to be able to match up to them, and if we don't match up to them, then our bigs have to take advantage of their smalls."

Sixers center Samuel Dalembert said the potential change would allow the Sixers to run, but in the past they've also "kind of gotten killed on the boards."

"We'll see how it works out for us and see if it's something," Dalembert said. "And I have to say we add Rodney Carney, too, so, we're going to add a big difference: agile, athletic, can jump. I think it's going to be something good."

Sammy D rumors. Early yesterday morning, Marc Stein of ESPN reported that the 76ers , Boston Celtics, and Sacramento Kings were "discussing" a three-way trade that would send Dalembert to the Kings, with the Sixers possibly receiving Kenny Thomas and Tony Allen.

A source close to the situation said nothing was going on with that deal, although Marc Cornstein, Dalembert's agent, confirmed that he is continually looking into trade scenarios for his client.

Contact staff writer Kate Fagan at 856-779-3844 or kfagan@phillynews.com.

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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 18, 2009


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