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News » Philadelphia 76ers Getting Inside 2009-01-23

Philadelphia 76ers Getting Inside 2009-01-23

Philadelphia 76ers Getting Inside 2009-01-23
The Sixers find themselves with a 20-21 record halfway through the 2008-09 season. While that would've been a disappointment coming into a year filled with higher hopes, the uptempo Sixers, winners in seven of eight games heading into a four-day break, feel that they've found a winning formula.

"It's full throttle now," said guard Royal Ivey. "We know our identity. We know what we've got to bring to the court every game. We've got to hold each other accountable. It's not going to change when EB (Elton Brand) comes back -- he's going to fit right in."

Without Brand, the Sixers have gone to a small lineup -- similar to the one that helped them finish last season 22-12, and has been successful creating turnovers and pushing the ball at every opportunity. Head coach Tony DiLeo has established a relatively set rotation and the players' roles and objectives have been clearly defined.

Once Brand returns from a dislocated right shoulder, which could be as soon as Saturday against the Knicks, DiLeo plans to slowly start incorporating Brand into the rotation. The idea is for him to play in four-to-six-minute bursts off the bench until he can handle a larger role.

DiLeo must eventually determine if shooting guard Willie Green or combo forward Thaddeus Young will become a reserve to make room for Brand at power forward (Young could slide over to small forward and Andre Iguodala could go from the "three" to the "two" spot). But what nobody wants to change is the aggressive play at both ends of the floor that carried the Sixers to victories over the Rockets, Hawks, Trail Blazers and Spurs during the past two weeks.

"Elton will fit right into our style on defense, rebounding and running the break," DiLeo said. "Elton is on board with everything. We're definitely a stronger team with him."

If Brand can help out with rebounding, blocking shots and adjust to not being the focal point as much on offense, the players say it's possible they can be better in the second half than they've been in going 7-1 the last eight games.

"We've just got to keep it rolling," Ivey said. "We're looking forward to the opportunity."

MAVERICKS 95, SIXERS 93: The Sixers had their seven-game win streak ended on a Dirk Nowitzki fade-away jumper at the buzzer. They nearly overcame a 12-point deficit with 2:16 remaining with a 12-0 run until Nowitzki's heroics. The Sixers, who enjoyed a 12-point second-quarter lead, experienced another tough night from the foul line (14-for-21), had 17 assists to 16 turnovers and didn't defend the three-point line as well as they had been (Jason Kidd was 6-for-8 from downtown).

Lou Williams led the Sixers with 25 points off the bench. Andre Iguodala added 18 points and 12 rebounds, and Andre Miller chipped in 12 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: January 23, 2009


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