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News » Philadelphia 76ers Getting Inside 2009-12-06

Philadelphia 76ers Getting Inside 2009-12-06

Philadelphia 76ers Getting Inside 2009-12-06The Sixers come home from a miserable road trip to their first full house of the season Monday against the Nuggets. Fans flocked to the box office and the team's Web site to buy tickets in the wake of Allen Iverson signing a non-guaranteed, veterans-minimum contract for the rest of the 2009-10 campaign.

But the Sixers have real issues that must be figured out if they're going to have a chance to reach the playoffs for the third year in a row.

The first one is Iverson. He left the Grizzlies on Nov. 6 on his way to being waived, so he's been out for a month and is not in game condition. How much can he play? How effective will he be right away, when he's only had one practice and a few individual workouts as preparation?

The decision for Eddie Jordan is: How integral does Iverson become from the outset? The coach has already pretty much ditched his beloved Princeton offense in favor of running at every opportunity, which is a better fit for Iverson's abilities. The Sixers have had trouble hitting big shots in late-game situations, so Iverson could end up taking his share of those.

But the Sixers are the worst team in the league at defending the 3-pointer (.412), and Iverson, who tends to gamble to get steals, is not known for his perimeter defense. Consequently, Philadelphia may have to outscore teams to win.

There's also Elton Brand. He wasn't happy about being relegated to sixth-man duties for two games after he missed three games with a strained right hamstring. Brand started Saturday against the Bobcats because rookie guard Jrue Holiday was out with a strained right rotator cuff, but he may be headed back to the bench as soon as Monday. Jordan seems intent on playing "small ball," with Andre Iguodala and Thaddeus Young at the forward spots.

At Friday's practice in Charlotte, Brand made it known that he's not in favor of the switch in which he's essentially the backup center.

"I don't accept it," Brand said. "I don't think I've done anything to merit a bench spot."

With $66 million left on his contract through 2013 (including this year), Brand has been a disappointment, but trading him figures to be difficult. A source close to the situation denied an online report that the Sixers are trying hard to deal Brand less than 18 months after team president Ed Stefanski gave him a five-year, $80 million contract.

BOBCATS 106, SIXERS 105: The Sixers are struggling at the season's quarter pole, having lost nine straight and sporting a 5-15 record. They blew a 10-point fourth-quarter lead, following a 38-point third period with just 19 in the fourth. The Sixers slipped to 2-10 on the road while allowing another team to hurt them from 3-point range, with the Bobcats making 52.9 percent from downtown.

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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 6, 2009


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