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News » Jordan: Princeton offense will keep 76ers moving

Jordan: Princeton offense will keep 76ers moving

Jordan: Princeton offense will keep 76ers movingPHILADELPHIA (AP) - Eddie Jordan's imitation 76ers needed some help.

Jordan stationed members of the media around the court as part of a drill to better understand his Princeton offense. Holding a microphone, Jordan asked for a dribble handoff, only to watch a sports writer attempt a bounce pass.

"I'm going to be a coach the rest of my life, not a player personnel director," Jordan laughed.

His hand-picked media team badly needed some work on perfecting Basketball 101.

Jordan, starting his first season as Philadelphia's coach, expects the real Sixers to have a faster grasp of the intricacies of the backdoor-cut, motion offense that he will install starting next week when they open training camp.

"The best players will flourish," Jordan said on Thursday.

That should be good news for Elton Brand, Andre Iguodala and Thaddeus Young, the trio of players expected to make the Sixers improve on their 41-41 record and first-round playoff elimination last season.

Brand's health is nearly as big a question as wondering if the Sixers will pick up Jordan's offense. He averaged only 13.8 points and 8.8 rebounds in 29 games in the first season of a five-year deal and had season-ending shoulder surgery in early February. If the Sixers power forward can regain his 20-10 form, then perhaps a winning record is within reach.

Jordan said Brand, who proclaimed himself recovered and ready to go, has looked healthy in various summer workouts.

"It's going to take a while for him to really get his game legs, his season legs, under him," Jordan said. "He may surprise us and be a little bit ahead of the curve and really play at a high level in November."

At his best with the Clippers and Bulls, Brand could automatically be counted on to lead the team each game in points and rebounds. But he's missed most of the last two seasons and might not ever regain his All-Star form. Jordan said Brand will get every opportunity to prove he's the force he was the first eight years of his career.

"Our players have made sure that he gets a lot of opportunities to score in the low post around the basket," Jordan said. "He's been just as active and physical as anybody else out here."

Iguodala and Young should help distribute the scoring.

"I want him to play on a team that's better than the team he played for when scored 20 points and got 10 rebounds," Jordan said.

The Sixers have been mediocre for most of the decade after their dazzling run to the finals behind Allen Iverson in 2001. They've been knocked out in the first round in each of the last two seasons and haven't won a playoff series since 2003.

That streak could extend another year. Shaquille O'Neal is teaming with LeBron James in Cleveland and Vince Carter was added to the Eastern Conference champions in Orlando. Rasheed Wallace adds a talented, yet volatile, piece to Boston's Big 3 of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett.

Philadelphia's offseason pickups have lacked the pizzaz that sells tickets and makes anyone feel good about contending in the Eastern Conference. Primoz Brezec, Rodney Carney and Jason Kapono have gone from castoffs to important role players in Philadelphia.

Jordan believes the gap between the best of the East and the Sixers is shrinking.

"This team has that 'Umph' that you need to be competitive," Jordan said.

Jordan ran a "Chalk Talk" seminar with the media in which he explained in simple terms the Princeton offense. He ran a few plays and explained how each Sixer will fit.

At one point during the media drill, Jordan yelled, "I just want a new center."

He was talking about subbing sports writers, not benching Samuel Dalembert.

The 6-foot-11 Dalembert asked for a trade last season and his inconsistent play - and whopping salary - has made him the No. 1 target for angry fans. Jordan said he had several talks with Dalembert and the Haitian said he was committed to the team and ready for a fresh start.

"We'll try to make him understand the more he passes, the easier it is for him to score," Jordan said.

If not, the Sixers may be looking for a new center.

Jordan can't wait to see how Dalembert and the rest of the Sixers will make the offense work.

"There's not going to be a lot of random basketball at either end," Jordan said. "When we watched film, there was random basketball. There are reasons, there's a method to what we're doing at both sides of the ball."

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: September 25, 2009


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